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Day 8 – 21 Days of Breakthrough Prayer

Day 8 – 21 Days of Breakthrough Prayer

Earnest Prayer For Him


“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”1 —J. Sidlow Baxter

“About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
—Acts 12:1–5 (esv)

Let’s take a close look at the real meaning of the bolded words:

But: “Oh, no, you don’t!” the church said. “He’s our brother, and you can’t have him!”

Earnest: An intense, dedicated, focused, desperate, physically exhausting, committed to achieving the desired goal, “no quitting in me because of Him in me” kind of prayer.

Prayer: God’s method given to the church to permit us to partner with the divine Creator to accomplish His goals in the earth.

To God: The sovereign Ruler of the entire universe—the King, the Lord, our Father.

By the church: believers in Christ, united in prayers of agreement.

Earnest prayer to God—it’s mountain-moving kind of prayer!

So what happened when the early church prayed? God sent an angel to Peter in the middle of the night, woke him up, released him from his chains, and led him right out of prison to where the church was praying for him! Peter thought it was a dream. When he realized that it was very real, “he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying” (Acts 12:12 esv).

Peter could thank God for people who understood the value of “earnest prayer.” The church was working in the spirit realm so that God would work in the supernatural realm. “But earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5 esv)!

I am not saying that every time we pray, we get instant miracles like this. I am saying that we can receive tremendous encouragement and hope when we realize that the activity of prayer is sacred to God—so much so that He holds our prayers in a bowl in heaven (see Revelation 5:8), and our prayers are eternal.

I am so grateful that my mother, Isobel Maxim, would not let me go. For years, she made earnest prayer to God for me when I was deeply lost, and God set me free. Although it was not instantaneous, nevertheless, in His perfect timing, the day came. And because of the earnest prayer she made for me, my life in Christ—my relationship with God Almighty, my wife, my children, my grandchildren, my fellowship in the body of Christ, my work—all has been possible.

Jesus said,

Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22–24 esv)

This doesn’t mean it will be in your time, but Jesus did say it will be yours: “Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him(Hebrews 11:6).

Let’s take God at His Word! Let’s go before God the Father and bring earnest, diligent prayers, first for the pastors of our churches, as we pledge to pray for them during these twenty-one days. Then, let’s pray earnestly for loved ones who may be far from God, petitioning Him for their release from the prison that holds them in bondage.

I don’t ever want to be lighthearted or casual in my requests to God, do you? He has promised to reward those who diligently seek Him!


Excerpt from 21 Days of Breakthrough Prayer, © 2018 by Jim Maxim, published by Whitaker House. Used with permission.