2012-09-06 - Breathing
Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. (NASB)
James had been executed, martyred for his faith. Peter had been arrested and thrown into prison for his faith. The plan was to execute Peter as well. These followers of The Way were causing trouble with their new doctrine; turning the world on its head. The church was still reeling from the death of James and now it seemed that that they would soon lose one of their leaders in Peter.
The church went to prayer. They didn't plan to dig under the wall of the prison while distracting the guards with food or a riot. I'm the type of person who feels the need to DO something. It has taken time and some humility to turn more to prayer - first. It is still not always natural to do. There is slow progress so I'm encouraged. That is the first thing to take from this chapter. Prayer should come as automatically and naturally as breathing. On a starry night away from the lights of town when the sky is splashed full of starlight it is easy to have your breath taken away and be very very mindful of God and his creation. The goal is to be nearly that mindful of Him in every day life.
The second thing to take away is that Peter, while under heavy guard, in chains and scheduled to die was sleeping. The angel that led Peter out of the prison had to wake him! His heart and mind were at peace - whether God rescued him or not. The Apostle would either be home with his friends and family, or home with his Lord. Could you or I be so calm? One will never know for sure unless the actually find themselves in that situation but how would your or my trust in God's promises to be with us always be measured? How well would be lean on Jesus?
The goals are to be as aware if not more of the spiritual world that surrounds us as the physical world fills our senses daily. The things that we can see and touch have their place. Being of a mind to touch Heaven with prayer first is a behavior that will server us well as we move through this life to the next.
Grace & Peace,