Written by Anonymous. Artwork by Katherine Yao.
In this passage, we read that Herod killed James the brother of John and arrested Peter. As the persecution of the church was starting, how did the church respond? Did they come out fighting, protesting against the ill-treatment their brothers had received? Acts 12:5 records that they fervently prayed for Peter. Nothing else was done. Prayer was the first and only thing the church did for Peter. Instead of relying on their own skills and resources, their connections, or their wisdom, their only weapon against the injustices of this world was prayer.
A missionary once said that the problem with American Christians is that we have too much. We have so much that we don’t need God. We pride ourselves on achieving the American dream through our own hard work and pioneering spirit. We solve our problems with our own know-how and money. Prayer is our last resort. But shouldn’t the opposite be true? Like the church in Acts, prayer should be the first thing we do when we encounter difficulties. By praying, we’re telling God that we don’t have what it takes to tackle the problem. We need Him to step in and intervene, to give us the wisdom to resolve the issue. It isn’t until after we pray that we should act.
Is there something that you’re facing today that you need to commit to God in prayer? Some situation where prayer should’ve been your initial response instead of your last ditch effort? Or is there someone you know who is going through a tough time and you need to offer your prayers instead of your advice? Commit to making prayer what you’ll do first because you know that God listens and answers, and not something you’ll do last, after you’ve exhausted all your other options.
1. In times of need what tends to be your first reaction? Is prayer your first or last priority?
2. Name a time when praying to God first might have helped the situation rather than taking matters into your own hands.