King Herod had no intentions of letting Peter go. By the time he seized this disciple and placed him in prison, Herod had already had James put to death and arrested numerous others with the intent to persecute them. The king ensured that Peter was guarded by four squads of soldiers and had plans to put him on trial.
The outlook for Peter was bleak. But in Acts 12:5, we’re given a reason to hope beyond the odds that the outcome will be far better than we should expect: “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”
When the body of Christ prays, they see God step in and change the story—often in ways that overcome seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. This was certainly the case for Peter. While the local church was bringing his situation before the Lord, an angel appeared to him and led him out of prison, out of his chains and past the guards and gates that had confined him. In response to the prayers of His people, God did the impossible.
From a human standpoint, we too pray toward the impossible. We seek to see least-reached people embrace the gospel: a step that involves abandoning the belief systems which they’ve held to their entire lives and, often, facing great opposition from their families and communities. Trusting in Christ is costly, and doing so defies logic.
Yet, over and over, we’ve been blessed to witness the least-reached trust in our Savior. This is only possible because God opens eyes and hearts, giving the grace to accept the good news. For this reason, we share the message of Christ with joyful expectation of what He will do, and we pray with an urgency that reflects our dependence on the Holy Spirit to draw people to saving faith.
Every aspect of our efforts to cultivate Christ-honoring transformation in least-reached communities requires God’s provision, guidance and strength. That’s why, for decades, we’ve required every long-term Christar worker or couple to have a team of at least a hundred people who commit to uphold them through daily prayer. This symbolizes each one’s reliance on the Lord and serves as a reminder that the Body of Christ participates in our workers’ ministries through the vital service of intercession.
As we enter a new year, we continue to depend on the Lord to open hearts and minds in least-reached communities, and we remain committed to prayer that He will overcome humanly insurmountable challenges. I look forward to the ways God will do the impossible as together, we seek His grace, guidance and strength for the work of Christar!
Enjoying the Treasure,
Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.