Part of a daily devotional series at Words of Hope (https://woh.org/word/devotionals/2013/03/21) looking at how people in the Bible handled tough situations:
Read Acts 12:1-17
Hoping for a higher popularity rating, King Herod ordered the arrest of some Christians. He had James, the apostle John’s brother, executed. Then he arrested Peter, put him in the military barracks at Fortress Antonia, and had him guarded round the clock by four squads of four soldiers each.
Meanwhile, the church prayed earnestly (pointedly and unceasingly) for him. Right on the heels of James’ arrest and murder, this took not only faith but courage.
That night Peter was released from prison. With the help of an angel, he was awakened and then the prison doors opened one by one. It should be noted that the church was gripped with unbelief when they first heard the news. Maybe they thought even God could not do what they were asking!
Many today find themselves or loved ones in prison. Some may literally hear the deafening noise of prison life each and every day. Others may find themselves in the “prison” of addiction (alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling, Internet pornography). These prisons can seem impenetrable due to the size of the “walls” that have been built.
For those both inside and outside those walls, prayer is one tool that releases every prisoner. E. M. Bounds once wrote, “Prayer is the greatest of all forces, because it honors God and brings him into active aid.”