I thought this was a great chapter because Alma is presented with a problem and he prays to Heavenly Father to soften the hearts of the people that he might be able to touch their hearts and persuade them to repent. He goes back and it doesn't work. Isn't that how it seems to go a lot of the time. We ask for a blessing and we don't get the answer we are looking for. But the Lord will answer his prayer. Just not the way he had expected. Go back and try again, but this time tell them they will be destroyed. I'm sure this saddened Alma, but this was the way to accomplish what he needed to do. And the Lord provided a way. He prepared Amulek to house him. He allowed them to be thrown into prison so that they could manifest God's power. I'm sure that's not what Alma had in mind when he prayed, but it was the only way to get the people of Ammonihah to listen.
I'm sure we can apply this to our own life. When we ask for something from Heavenly Father, we may not get the answer we were looking for, but it may be the best solution for our problem.
In this chapter Alma preaches in Melek and has great success. Then he continues on to Ammonihah and is rejected by the people. Then he prays to the Lord.
Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in Mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the People who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance.
He tries again to teach the people of Ammonihah and is rejected again. Alma decides to move on to a new place, but an angel comes to him and tells him to go back and preach to them again. This time with the message that if they don't repent that the Lord will destroy them. Apparently the city of Ammonihah was planning on destroying the liberty of Alma's people. So Alma returns to Ammonihah and asks a man named Amulek to feed him. The man receives him graciously and tells Alma...
And the man said unto him: I am a Nephite, and I know that thou art a holy prophet of God, for thou art the man whom an angel said in a vision: Thou shalt receive. Therefore, go with me into my house and I will impart unto thee of my food; and I know that thou wilt be a blessing unto me and my house.
Alma blesses his home and stays with him for a few days then when it was time he went to preach to the people. He and Amulek were so filled with the spirit that nothing would stop them. They didn't exercise their power until it was time to show the people the power of God.