from the book The Dangers of Complacency by Daniel Kolenda
Prayer That Changes History
Once James had been murdered, Herod’s religious Jewish contingent was thrilled with his initiative and applauded him. Suddenly he saw an easy way to gain favor with a party that had always given him such opposition. Acts 12:3 says, “When he [Herod] saw that it was pleasing to the Jews, he proceeded further and arrested Peter also” (AMP). This time things would be very different. Though Peter was ultimately set free through a miracle, the Scripture is careful to preface the story of his deliverance with the following statement, “prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5 KJV).
This statement is very significant because the writer of Acts is trying to show us that the miraculous deliverance to follow would be a direct result of those fervent and persistent prayers that were offered up by the believers. The tragedy of James’ death had shaken believers to the core and there was nothing complacent about their response. It was time to fervently pray!
Oh, my friends, if we had any idea of the incredible power that is available to us through prayer, I think we would find it so easy to heed Paul’s prompting to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Intercession is a privilege that belongs exclusively to man. No angel can intercede on our behalf nor can the angels intervene in earthy affairs according to their own will.
However, as long as the enemy can keep the people of God convinced that they are powerless against the circumstances that they face, their impact on the earth will be anemic and of little influence. But that is not what God has in mind for His people. There’s much, much more. Our prayers are one vehicle through which God has chosen to impact the world. God has given man not only the authority but also the responsibility to influence events on the earth for His glory. So let us shake off complacency and pray prayers that change history!
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.Acts 12:5-7
pray continually,1 Thessalonians 5:17