Peter followed him (an angel of the Lord) out of the prison…They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. Acts 12:9-10 (NIV)
The story of Peter’s miraculous release from prison is a magnificent account of the power of God Who literally breaks through the physical limitations of earth, unhindered by Peter’s chains, stalwart guards, and sentries.
And an iron gate.
All this for a guy who’d previously denied he even knew Jesus when questioned–three times–and was far more concerned about his own comfort as he stood by a fire to warm himself outside the courtyard of the high priest (John 18:15-17, 25-27).
But the Peter of the book of Acts had long since been transformed by the power of the grace of God and, in present circumstances (chained between two guards), his faith sustained him.
Arrested and imprisoned under orders by King Herod, Peter was sure to face the same fate of James, the brother of John, who’d been put to death with the sword.
Yeah, Peter. It’s likely you’re up next, sir.
They were earnestly praying to God for him. (vs 5)
I want to be the Church that is earnestly praying for those who are imprisoned by any number of things… cancer, loneliness, fear, addiction, false beliefs, sexual immorality, marital strife, bitterness, pride.
I want to keep that iron gate in my cross hairs, knowing those I care about are being held prisoner within the city walls of a fallen world, and pray that thing wide open.
I want to be undaunted by the solid mass of iron, a gate capable of keeping others out and restraining those within.
And what if I’m the one who’s been captured behind the iron gate?
Who’s out there praying in earnest for my release? Are there any prayers being offered up?
May it never be said I wasn’t among those who prayed for the iron gate of captivity to be opened so another could be set free.
Who in your life is counting on you to persist in prayer for the iron gate to open on their behalf? Who might not know their sins have put them in prison and need the power of prayer to work a miracle? And…who’s praying for you to walk through the iron gate that’s held you captive?
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