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April 29 – A praying Church

“So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” – Acts 12:5

Scripture reading: Acts 12:1-10, 20-25 

Again Peter is in prison. Bringing the gospel to the Gentiles meant there would be no more sympathy from non-Christian Jews. And it was heartless Herod who was behind the arrest. Herod was not afraid to shed innocent blood, especially if it gained him favor with the general population.

So what is the church to do? Herod has soldiers, prisons and weapons. How can the church avoid being snuffed out by the powers of the world? The church goes to God in prayer. Jesus teaches us to watch and pray. Why pray? Because God is more powerful than any ruler or government or weapon.

As we strive to serve the Lord, we must be praying at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). How do your prayers reflect that your strength is not in yourself, but in the Lord? Are you praying for your needs, for strength against the enemies that seek to choke out your faith? What about the enemies of the church? The church is pressured by false teachings, pressured to be silent in this world and pressured to compromise on the truth. Will you pray for the leaders of the church?

Herod went against God by wanting to put the apostles to death, but the gospel cannot be chained and God will always have the last word. Peter would be released by an angel and Herod would be struck down. The church prays and the Word of God increases and multiplies.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank God for His awesome power over all things. Ask God to keep you humble and dependent on Him so that you remain steadfast in prayer.

Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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