Something from Heaven
“Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. ‘Quick, get up!’ he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.” (Acts 12:7 NIV)
The apostle Peter was in chains, in prison, with the threat of a death sentence hanging over him, and God’s Word says that the church was praying earnestly on his behalf. As a result, something supernatural happened!
The Greek word translated “earnestly” in the biblical account has three connotations. The implication is that the church was being stretched in prayer, that the intercession was deeply heartfelt, and that they were not quitting! The fervency and ability to endure in prayer, which goes beyond mere human emotion, can come only from the Holy Spirit. That’s because the Holy Spirit is the author of every righteous act, every fruit of the Spirit, and every work of God’s power here on earth.
So the church was stirred by the Spirit, and they were praying for Peter and wouldn’t let go. And then something supernatural happened! Suddenly an angel from heaven appeared! The greatest answer to prayer is something God sends from heaven in response to God’s people saying, “God, I can’t go on; send something from heaven!” It doesn’t have to be an angel as was the case with Peter that night. God might send a revival; he might send deliverance; he might perform a healing. The thing we have to pray is, “God, send us something we can’t do ourselves! Send something from heaven for our youth, our seniors, our choir, our services!" And when we pray, as the early church prayed, God will answer. He will give us something from heaven.
Here’s what happened to Peter: The angel struck him on the side and woke him up; and then the chains fell off his wrists. Do you know that when you intercede for someone, God can wake the person up? God can send that loved one a dream, a vision, or someone to give them an anointed word from the Bible. And he can break the chains of heroin, crack, adultery, pornography, racial prejudice, and unforgiveness. He can also break the power of besetting sin in our own lives. God can break those chains by sending something supernatural from heaven in answer to our prayers. Notice that when Peter and the angel approached the iron gate leading to the city—leading to complete freedom—the gate opened by itself! They didn’t have to push or get a pole to knock it down. No, when God does something supernatural and opens a door, nobody can shut it!
So the church prayed, and Peter was awakened; they prayed, and the chains fell off; they stretched in earnest prayer without quitting, and doors were opened—all by the power of the Holy Spirit, all because God sent something supernatural from heaven in response to prayer. The same can happen today!
Read Acts 12:5-11.