Peter Freed from Prison
“5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
Acts 12:5,13-15 NLT
This story of Peter is great encouragement on why we should keep praying regardless of the situation. Herod had just killed James, the brother of John. When Herod saw that killing James made the Jews happy, he arrested Peter intending to put Peter to death too. Peter got arrested during Passover, so he was held in prison. They kept Peter in what we would call a maximum security prison. He also was under heavy guard, so escaping was not an option. The Church knew that Herod’s plan was to kill Peter. They began to pray on Peter’s behalf, praying earnestly for him.
It’s important to understand what earnestly means because this is essential in prayer. According to Dictionary.com, earnestly means:
- serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous
- showing depth and sincerity of feeling
- seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention
This means they were praying for a purpose, sincerity, and serious intention. They were pleading for a move of God to set Peter free. They knew that this was a situation in which only God had the power to provide a resolution.
While they were praying, an angel of the Lord came to free Peter. Peter thought it was a vision then he realized that the Lord had sent an angel and saved him from Herod. Peter then went to the home of Mary, the same place where the Church gathered to pray for Peter. Peter knocked on the door, and Rhoda was amazed. How could Peter be at the door? Instead of opening the door, Rhoda ran excitedly to tell everyone that Peter was there. They were all in disbelief and thought she was crazy because they were praying for Peter. Peter kept knocking, and they finally opened the door, and they were overjoyed and amazed at how God answered their prayer.
Peter’s story shows us the power of prayer. No matter your situation, nothing is too complicated for the Lord. I urge you to keep asking and praying and believe that God is able! As in Acts 12, literally, while you’re praying, the answer may show up at your front door, and you, too, will bask in the incredible power of our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!
Prayer: Lord, you’re mighty and worthy of all the praise. Father, we ask that you increase our prayer life so that we may pray earnestly. Allow us to pray with expecting hearts. Let us not limit you, Father God. We know that you are a God who can do all things. I pray that we open the door when you answer our prayers. Let us continually lift the body of Christ in prayer by interceding for one another. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks; amen.