Topic: Peter in Prison
Bible Passage: Acts 12
Memory verse: Luke 18:1
PETER IN PRISON
An account of the story of the imprisonment of Peter is traced to the era of King Herod Antipas when churches were being persecuted by the unbelievers.
During this period, the apostles preached the gospel in Jewish cities and had many converts for Jesus Christ.
Some of these apostles had been the victims of death through persecution. For instance, ‘Stephen’- in Acts 7:57-60, ‘James’ Acts 12:2.
King Herod decided to frustrate the churches seeing that many Jews had been converted. He had successfully killed James and arrested Peter. Peter’s arrest was during the feast of Passover. He was put in the prison guarded by four squads of soldiers. Herod hoped to take Peter for public trial after the Passover.
The Bible recorded that the church didn’t relent in their prayer for Peter. He was tied with two chains to two guards and two soldiers were watching at the entrance door to guard Peter.
An Angel appeared to Peter unexpectedly and woke him. The Angel ordered him to hurriedly dress up, wear his sandal, and follow him. Peter couldn’t understand, he thought he was seeing a vision.
They both passed the first and second gates and reached the Iron Gate that opened for them of its own accord. The angel took Peter to the town and left. Peter later regained consciousness. He knew that the Lord had sent His angel to deliver him from King Herod. He headed for Mary’s house who was also the mother of Mark where people gathered to pray.
As he was knocking, Rhoda answered, she didn’t open the door because of joy she went back to alert the praying people of Peter’s arrival.
The gathering found it difficult to believe Rhoda. They said it was Peter’s angel. When they saw Peter, they fell with awe. He narrated how the Lord delivered him through his angel.
There was confusion about the escape of Peter. They began to search, after the search, the King decreed that all the guards should be killed.
What do we learn from these?
The escape of Peter teaches Christians not to relent in prayer for individuals, homes, societies, and our nations. In any problem, prayer can pave way for deliverance. Act 12:5b
There is also a need for churches in our nations to unite together to pray as a body of Christ and avoid unnecessary discrimination of denomination.