The difference in temperature between hot air inside the pot when covered with a lid and the cooler air outside the lid can create a vacuum seal. When this occurs, the lid is drawn tightly towards the pot and some air becomes removed. In some cases all air is removed and the lid actually becomes inwardly dented from the suction of the seal. When metal is heated or cooled, it can contract or expand to allow for the change in temperature.
Hold the pan handle using a pot holder (if pan is hot) firmly in one hand. Use the other hand to carefully lift the lid straight up and off. If this does not work place the pot back on to stove burner. Turn the stove burner to low heat and allow the pan and lid to heat up for a few minutes. While holding the pan handle with one hand (use a pot holder), grasp the lid handle and pull upwards to release the lid. This will usually release the vacuum seal.