Can our prayers open doors in our lives?

In Acts 12, King Herod chooses to kill James, one of Jesus’ disciples, to please the Jews, and then he arrested Peter. There was much celebrating, however the believers were shaken by it and turned to prayer “[fervent] prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him”.

This all happened during the time of Passover, and Peter was chained in prison, ready for his execution.


Peter was chained to two prison guards and was preparing to be executed the following morning, but the Bible explains that “suddenly” there was a bright light from heaven as an angel appeared to Peter and instructed him to “Get up quickly!” How could he do this? In Acts 12:7, it says that the chains Peter was bound by “fell off from his hands”.


Peter and the angel then go on to walk past two sets of guards who do not see them, before reaching the prison’s huge iron gate. At this point, Peter still thought it was all a dream, but then when they reached the gate it “opened to them of it's own accord; and they went out, and passed on through one street”. The angel disappeared and Peter realised that this was real and that he had been delivered from the prison.


Throughout Peter’s escape we see every barrier being removed. The angel is not the one to touch the chains or open the gate – these things seem to be done by an invisible hand. Through their fervent prayer, the believers saw God’s answer in the loosening of the chains, the inability of the guards to see Peter, and the opening of the heavy prison gates.


Jesus said to Peter, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

Just like Peter saw this physically, we can see the power of prayer, and the effect on our lives if we “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) can be incredible. God has given us the authority as believers to influence earthly events for His glory and we can do this through intercessory prayer.


Jesus himself interceded and continues to intercede for us – and it is our duty to do the same for others. Jesus made it His primary role and so we are to follow his example. Prayer is a powerful tool as we partner with heaven to see God’s hand move to open doors.

James 5:16 says that, “The earnest [heartfelt, continued] prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. The word for “power” used here, in the original Greek, is “dunamis” , which translates as “dynamite”. The sort of power that causes an explosion with dynamite is the same power that we can see moving as we pray today.

Author: Daniel Kolenda


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