So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists. (Acts 12:5-7)
Can you imagine being on death row with maximum security? It is your last night before being beheaded at the whim of a king. You are bound with chains to two soldiers staring at you, ready to pounce if you move by mistake. Would you be whining about your unfair situation? Would you be able to sleep? Peter slept so soundly that the angel’s light didn’t awaken him. The angel had to strike Peter to get him up.
According to this Scripture, four things happen through our own and others’ prayers. 1) We come to trust God and, therefore, don’t worry. We are able to sleep. 2) Our chains fall off. We are freed from sin, negative emotions, and the whims of our enemies. 3) We are rescued, sometimes by the Holy Spirit, angels, or strangers but more often by family and friends. 4) Miracles happen, most often with the earnest prayers of many people.
Father God, I praise you for always being available to talk. I thank you for answered prayer and miracles that build my faith. Help me love and encourage others today so they will know Your unconditional love that frees us from chains. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.