Peter was in prison waiting for Herod to bring him forth the next morning to cut off his head. Peter wasn’t scared. As a matter of fact, he was sleeping. He knew that the same God who had released him from prison back in Acts 5 would be the real source of his escape if He so chose. Peter had a secret weapon that the king and the Jewish religious crowd didn’t know about. It was the weapon of prayer. James writes in chapter 5:16B that the prayer of a man who has been made righteous, who continues in prayer will result in many blessings. If that is true, and it is, how much more confident can we be when a whole church is praying for us? Chapter 12, verse 5 of Acts, tells us the whole church was and had been unceasingly in prayer for Peter.
The security about Peter was unbelievable! He was chained on each hand by a soldier. He was kept in the inner ward of the prison. He had a group of 16 soldiers rotating shifts to guard him. Evidently they recalled how the Lord had released him previously and they were going to be doubly sure this time he would be kept secure. Two chains, two soldiers, and 16 guards are nothing compared to God’s choosing to release Peter. While Peter was sleeping an angel of the Lord arrived on the scene. The prison cell lit up. He punched Peter and said, ‘get up and put your clothes and shoes and coat on, we’re getting out of here in haste. Peter, still thinking he was dreaming went out with the angel. The big iron gate opened up on its own accord. The angel left him and he went on down the street. When he considered what was happening, he decided to go to the house of Mary where many were gathered praying. He began knocking at the gate and Rhoda (rose) heard him. She went to the door and Peter said, ‘Open up, its me Peter.’ Rhoda got so excited, she left him outside and ran back in and told the disciples. “You’re crazy they said! Peter is in prison, it is his spirit.” Now they had been praying specifically all week for his release, and now that God had heard and answered their prayers, they were surprised.
If you and I had been there, what would have been our reaction? Would it have been the same? Probably so!