Grave, serious and solemn describe the emotions connected to the term earnest. Tragic events like the San Bernardino terrorist attack on a company Christmas party sent shock waves across the United States last week. Like the nation of France following their own recent encounter, the news of death tends to bring people to their knees.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him, Acts 12:5.
Although less and less people annually consider themselves to be born again Christians, crying out to God is like a natural response in the face of desperation. Unfortunately, earnest prayers usually arrive after disaster occurs. Thus, for God to answer most prayers miracles are necessary or else people will go home disappointed and disenfranchised. This wasn’t always the case, especially during the first century.
When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel,” Acts 12:14-15.
Persecution was a way of life for early Christian as many leaders were martyred for their faith. Hopeful that Peter didn’t face the same fate of James of Zebedee in Acts 12:2, a spirit of earnest prayer spread. This sober mood spawned an angel into action. The ultimate goal of any prayer to receive the answer that you’re hoping for. However, sometimes God answers quicker than you expect. Thus, before the morning sunrise, Peter was set free, arriving at their front door. Initially shocked like a dream too good to be true, this earnest prayer was blessed immediately. In view of this account, be proactive to form a hedge of protection as you participate in a modern example of earnest prayer.
by Jay Mankus