Acts 12:5 All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously. (The Message Bible)
This chapter of Acts begins with the execution of one of the apostles named James. Next, Peter is arrested and we are told the king “was planning a public lynching after Passover.” Things were getting pretty scary for the folks in and around Jerusalem. So, what did they do? They prayed. The Message Bible says they prayed “most strenuously.” We pray differently when we are afraid, don’t we? Whether it is a health issue or money worries or relational stress, our prayers become heightened when we fear the future. For some folks, that is the only time they pray. The world is a messy place and there is lots of potential for things to go wrong. Maybe God allows these things so that we will learn how to pray strenuously. Now if we could only learn to praise and give thanks just as strenuously!