Devotional

The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him 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,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel.” –  Acts 12:6-9. 

If we believe that God is big, then we can pray big prayers. Too often, our prayers degenerate into small things. There is nothing wrong with praying for small things, but there’s so much more. Since everything is possible for God, you can experience miracles in your life when you invite God to intervene – even in situations that seem impossible. But too often, people neglect to ask God for miracles in their lives, and end up settling for far less than God’s best for them. Our God is the God of the incredible, the God of the astonishing, and the God of the impossible. There is a story in Acts 12 that demonstrates why we should not hesitate to pray about anything, including miracles.

We read in Acts 12 that King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He killed James. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he arrested and imprisoned Peter, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to hold a public trial, but while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. The church realized that they could not count on any ordinary channels to get Peter out of prison. Peter was under the guard of four soldiers at all times — two chained to his wrists and two standing guard at the door of his cell. Herod was taking no chances that this man would be rescued by any kind of strategic coup. And so they prayed for Peter. 

“The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him 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,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel…They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him….“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!” (Acts 12:6-11)

What a remarkable and unexpected story this is. When we read this account we can see what a supernatural deliverance this was. The angel takes no note of the guards whatsoever, but simply strikes the chains from Peter’s arms. The guards were evidently bemused, or asleep. But when Peter gets outside and sees the iron gate open of its own accord, he knows that God is at work. And the realization suddenly strikes him that God has indeed set him free from prison.

So, don’t settle for quiet little prayers for parking spaces. Go big. Be confident that God hears all prayers, be it a career, love life, finances, travels, or even our life’s purpose. He is generous enough to answer you. If you have doubts, pray for it and God will give you the answer. Big prayers can change a life, even yours.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What do you consider big things and what do you consider little things when you are praying?
  2. But the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (Acts 12: 5). Why do you think the book of Acts underscores the significance of corporate prayer?
  3. Are you looking and listening for answers to what you are praying for?
  4. What changes will you make in your day to day life after hearing this story?