All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously.
(Acts 12:5 MSG)

Bodybuilders perform strenuous weight lifting exercises in order to develop the shape and size of their muscles. The body responds to the periodic stress of resistance training by growing larger and stronger muscles. The church is referred to in the Bible as the “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27) The Lord permits periodic phases of stress to be applied to His church. Stress or resistance come in the form of persecution, conflict and problems which stimulates the spiritual growth of the church. The individual members of the church react to life’s difficulties by strenuously seeking the Lord for direction and help in prayerful dialogue. Dialogue is essential for every relationship and the Lord desires a personal relationship with His people. When the Lord miraculously intervenes by answering our prayer this works to shape our faith and develop our spiritual strength. We shape up with prayer!