As chief of police of one of the largest cities in America, I see people in bad situations every day. Some suffer because of what they have done, but too many suffer because of what has been done to them or their loved ones. I am also no stranger to arrests and incarceration. In many cases, the alleged perpetrator, though presumed innocent, may not be.
This was not so in Peter’s case. He was arrested for doing what we who follow Christ are compelled to do. I cannot imagine how Peter felt in the depths of the prison, chained and surrounded by sixteen soldiers! He found himself in a terrible situation that only seemed to be heading in a worse direction. There is no doubt that he had heard of the death of his dear friend James by the hand of Herod, a hostile ruler who promised to publicly try him after the Passover.
No doubt, Herod had only one expectation of the trial—that Peter’s fate would be similar to James’. However, a key factor was at play. The church was in prayer for Peter’s release. They prayed not once or twice, but according to Acts chapter 12, constantly. God heard and answered their prayers. Peter was liberated from a hopeless situation when God intervened by sending an angel to escort him out of his prison cell!
Peter’s miraculous encounter should encourage us to trust in God’s power to protect and deliver his people out of trouble. We can be confident that God hears his people when we pray and God’s hand of protection is there for each of us, regardless of the circumstances we are in.
Take a moment to think about instances when God delivered you from imminent doom. How do these moments give you the confidence to live out your Christian life courageously? With this confidence and courage, what is one thing you can do today to live in righteous boldness?