Sometimes it’s good to reflect on your life and today I was doing just that. Last school year, I was in a new grade and my district chose new math and ELA curriculums. So in addition to that, everything else was new to me. It can be overwhelming when you have to master the curriculum while teaching the program.
It requires long days at work, long nights at home and sometimes very little sleep. After a while, your body begins to say. “I’m not taking this anymore!” Mine did and I got up one morning, not feeling the best but I thought I could make it. You know what I’m talking about when you pretend you are ok but you are as sick as a dog.
Sometime before my day began, someone came to see me and had difficulty understanding what I was saying. My voice was so soft she had to come closer. When she left, I sent out several group texts asking for prayer. It was a difficult day. At the end of the day I ran into the same lady who saw me at the beginning of the day and she said I looked so much better. The doctor said my vocal cords were infected. I knew that change came into my life because people prayed. Matthew 18:19 says, “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.” I thank God more than two or three prayed for me that day.
When you think about Peter sitting in prison, it’s that same sort of impossible task. But just as in my situation people prayed. You see, Herod killed James and it made the Jews extremely happy. When he realized that killing the disciples gave him popularity in the community, he arrested Peter with plans to kill him also. The members of his church had no intention of allowing Herod to kill Peter. Acts 12:5 says, “But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.” They knew the power of agreement in prayer.
Peter knew that his steps were ordered by God. He probably said a short prayer and went to sleep. However, while Peter slept, the church members called an emergency Prayer Meeting and they began to pray. I’m not sure how many people could do what Peter did. He was not afraid. The average person would be a bundle of nerves as they contemplated the end of their life, but not Peter. His time walking with Jesus taught him that all things were possible with God.
While he was asleep, he had a dream; this dream was unlike any dream he had before. In this dream the cell became bright and an angel spoke to him in verses 7-8 and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” Now Peter was chained to soldiers on both his left and right hands. So the dream continued. He followed the angel through the first and second guard post and they came to the gates of the city. They were walking down the street when the angel left him.
Peter realized he was not in a dream because he knew where he was. Verse 11 says, “Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” What a life changing moment! Herod had plans for Peter but God’s plan for him prevailed. Now the prayer of the people moved the hand of God.
When Peter realized what happened, he didn’t run to his house, instead he went to the house where they would gather to pray. When he knocked on the door, a young woman came to open the door. When she recognized his voice she became so excited that she ran to tell the others that Peter was outside. They didn’t believe her but Peter continued knocking. When they checked, it was Peter. He told them how God miraculously delivered him from prison.
God does not change; He responds when His children call upon Him. Sometimes we mistakenly believe that God only answered pray for those people in the Bible. The truth is, He is still answering prayer today. So when we have difficulties, we can come together, pray and God watch God work for us.