Acts 12 finds the followers of Christ facing persecution. One is killed by the sword and another now in jail. The believers gather in the middle of the night to pray. God answers the prayers and Peter is delivered from jail by an angel. He shows up at the house of the prayer meeting and no one believes it is him.
There are some great things we all would benefit from learning out of this passage.
First…what is persecution. It says that Herod had intent toward Peter. Intent to kill him. Persecution is intention not rejection. Quit making yourself a martyr and embracing the role of vicitm. Rejection is not persecution it is rejection. Christians are too often the worst about this when it comes to our faith. Someone disagreeing with you in a mean-spirited way is not persecution. It is rejection. Move foward and tell someone else.
Second…The believers gathered together and prayed EARNESTLY. This is a big word here because it has rich meaning and we can learn a lot about life from this one word.
Earnestly means urgency with sincerity. Understand that urgency is less about immediately and more about priority. Something urgent gets attetnion, but too often what gets attention does not get sincerity and what gets sincerity does not get attention. Being earnest means giving both. It will take time, conviction, and passion.
If you earnestly desire a better marriage you will be urgent and sincere about the changes that will cause it.
If you earnestly desire your children to live lives that honor Jesus you will urgently and sincerely honor Jesus with every facet of your life.
If you eanestly believe that Jesus is the sole Savior of the world you will urgently and sincerely share the Gospel with others.
What are you being earnest about in life?