Acts 12:1-11;Psalm 34:2-9; 2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18; Matthew 16:13-19
Sts. Peter and Paul
Peter was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf. (Acts 12:5)
In this wonderful story, we read how God answered the prayers of the early church by sending an angel to release Peter from prison. So astonished is Peter that at first he thinks he is dreaming or having a vision. This can’t really be happening! In the same way, when he knocks at the door of the house where the community is praying for his release, the young woman who answers can’t believe her eyes. She is so excited that she rushes off to tell everyone without even letting Peter in!
From the earliest days of the church, Christians have been praying for their leaders. And from the earliest days, those leaders have relied on their prayers. The author of Hebrews urges: “I especially ask for your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon” (Hebrews 13:19). Paul tells the Philippians: “I know that this will result in deliverance for me through your prayers” (Philippians 1:19).
So how faithful are you in praying for our leaders? We should regularly be lifting up our “Peters” (Pope Benedict XVI, our local bishop, our pastor, and all our shepherds) and our “Pauls” (the evangelists and missionaries we know, and even those we don’t know). It’s an important enough ministry that we should be setting aside regular time to do this. You can even join the Holy Father in his monthly intercessions by offering up the prayers that appear on the back cover of this magazine every month. Check with your diocesan office to see if your bishop has similar monthly prayer requests.
When you hear of a natural disaster or a world crisis, find out what Christian organizations are on the scene to help the people who are affected—and pray for them. If a fund appeal captures your interest, find out more about the needs of the people that are pouring out their lives to lift up the needy, and add them to your list. Never stop praying— so many people depend on it!
“Father, thank you for calling pastors to serve your church and evangelists to take your good news to the world. Make their hearts joyful and their work fruitful for your kingdom.”~wau