So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
— Acts 12:5
When there is a problem, I tend to go into fix-it mode. I want to find the solution and make it happen.
Things were intense for the church in its early days, and we’ve been exploring some of that. We have seen today that King Herod was cruel and cunning. He had put pressure on the church and had killed the apostle James, and he liked how that made him popular with the people who had gotten Jesus crucified. So Herod arrested Peter and put him in prison too. It’s almost comical that Herod used four squads of soldiers to guard him.
Did you notice the church’s response? Did they jump into a strategy meeting on how to get Peter out of prison? Nope! They did what came naturally to them—they prayed. Don’t you love that? And it’s not a prayer qualified with the word “just.” We sometimes do that when we pray, “God we just ask . . . .” But these people earnestly sought God with passion.
Sometimes when I’m having a tough moment, I try to sort things out in my own understanding. Prayer gets sidelined as an afterthought. I wonder what it would be like if we grew a response muscle that moved us to turn to God first. I’m sure it would help us see things differently. Maybe we wouldn’t be so overwhelmed. Maybe anxiety and worry would have less of a pull if we stopped trying to fix it first.
God, may turning to you be my first response in tough times. Forgive me when I don’t boldly make my requests to you. Amen.