Posted by: bshelley | July 4, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Today’s Verse: Acts 12:5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. NASB

Herod had begun his persecution of the church to the delight of Jewish religious leaders. He had the apostle James slain with a sword. The response was so “good” that he decided to give them more of what they wanted. So he had Peter arrested during the Passover observance intending to have him executed after the religious holiday. The church aware of the immediacy and gravity of the situation gathered and “earnestly” prayed for Peter. You can just imagine the mixture of fear, hopeful expectation and concern that weighted down their hearts as they sought God’s deliverance. We can only imagine what they prayed that night, imagining what we might pray in similar situations with such dire consequences and immediacy. Fortunately, most of us don’t face the consequences of persecution by worldly authorities, but some do. Fortunately, we are not confronted with our religious leaders being locked up simply for their faith, but some of us do. There are in this world today brothers and sisters in Christ who are imprisoned for their faith. There are bodies who must meet in secret for baptisms and services lest their leaders be thrown into prison. As we celebrate our freedom, let us take pause for those who do not have the same religious freedom. Let’s pause and pray that God would deliver them from persecution and that Christ’s name can be lifted up in the light of day without fear of retribution. Let’s pray with thankful hearts for the knowledge and assurance that Christ Jesus will emerge triumphant and God is still in the salvation business. Let us who are free not forget those who live in fear, hopeful expectation and concern. Let us stand united with them on bowed knees in fervent prayer that they too, like Peter, be delivered.



  1. Thank you for the reminder to pray for those who may be imprisoned by their thoughts, environment or government.

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