Prayer Can Change Things


My husband and I witnessed a small miracle after friends prayed that we would sell our house in the midst of a housing market collapse. Many people looked, but no one wanted to make an offer. In faith, we loaded up our belongings and moved to a new city. We trusted that our earnest prayers, and those made by the church on our behalf, would be answered by God. Some of our friends thought that we were crazy! But God received all the glory when we got papers confirming the sale of the house in the mail about a month later. Today’s passage shows Peter’s friends earnestly petitioning God for a great need in his life. 

  • When have you prayed with others over difficult situations that you or they are facing in life?


5 So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

6 Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Where was Peter being kept and what was the church doing on his behalf (vs. 5)?
  2. Why do you think the church’s prayers are recorded and noted in this passage before the telling of Peter’s miraculous prison escape?
  3. Who was in Peter’s cell with him? How was he being held?
  4. According to verse 11, how did Peter explain his escape from prison? To whom did he give credit?
  5. How would your prayer life be different if you truly believed God would act in the seemingly impossible situations in your life or the lives of those around you? Even though it might feel uncomfortable, how can you invite others to pray with or for you?


  The church was united in prayer for Peter’s release. Some may have thought it impossible, but God, who is more than able, heard their prayers. As Peter was shackled by literal chains, so we, too, are often bound by situations that seem impossible. God responded to the earnest pleas of those praying for Peter, and he still responds powerfully to our prayers today. God may not respond within our timing or in the way that we want, but we have to trust that our loving and all-knowing God knows what we need and when we need it. May the church’s response to Peter’s imprisonment remind us that our mighty God hears, and we are to earnestly pray one for another.

  • If you are facing a challenging situation, consider asking a fellow Christian to pray with you, knowing that prayer can change things.