The Lessons Behind Peter Escaped From Prison
KEY SCRIPTURES: Acts 12:1-24; Matthew 19:26
Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
King Herod was persecuting the Christians, he took James, the brother of John and killed him. When he saw that what he did was pleasing to the people, he took Peter, arrested him and imprisoned him too during the feast of the Unleavened bread called the Passover and planned to kill him after the feast. The Jewish Christian, who were gathered for the feast of the Passover, got to know about the arrest of Peter and knew what would become of him if actions were not taken immediately. The church gathered and began to intercede on behalf of Peter. Though there were individual prayers, it was common to gather in a place to pray together and most times, they usually do that at the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark and relative of Barnabas.
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Peter was heavily guarded, and escape would have been impossible since he was sleeping between two guards and bound with two chains. Sentries were even guarding the door, but God is certainly the God of the impossible who did what no man can do. When the angel appears, he patiently guides Peter in getting up and getting dressed and then leads him past all the guards, through the city gates (which opened on their own) and down a street before disappearing as quickly as he had appeared. At first, Peter thought he was in a vision but when the angle disappeared, he knew the event happened. Upon realizing this his first thought was to go to Mary’s house. This must have been a common place for Christians to meet.
When Peter got to Mary’s place, the lady that opened the door for him called Rhoda, out of excitement, she closed the door and ran to inform others that Peter was at the door, they didn’t believe her but when Peter continued knocking on the door, they went and opened the door and were astonished. Peter beckoned on them to be quiet and told them what happened. Peter instructed them to relate the present happenings to James and other brethren and went into hiding in another place. When King Herod asked them to bring forth Peter after the feast and couldn’t find him, he instructed the keepers to be put to death and because of the shame and embarrassed of not being able to produce Peter for trial in front of the people, he traveled to Judea and Caesarea, and stay there. At one point King Herod dressed in all his royal robes and addressed the people. This audience needed to make peace with Herod so that their trade in food would not be cut off. They began to shout praises to him and began calling him a god instead of a man. After the humiliation in Jerusalem being called God must have sounded wonderful to him. Sometimes the sin is in what we do and sometimes it is in what we choose not to do. Herod listened to the praise and chose not to give the praise to God. Judgment was immediate and an angel of the Lord struck him down. He was eaten by worms and died. Herod’s attempt to stop the word of God failed. The church only continued to grow more after this. There were lessons to be learnt from the story of Peter escaping from prison and, in this article, some of the lessons will be mentioned.
- GOD HAS POWER OVER EVERYTHING: 1 Chronicles 29:11
One of the important lessons to learn from Peter’s escape from prison is that God has power over everything, and nothing can stop His plans. Peter was one of the apostles prepared for great works by Jesus Christ to make disciples and if He was killed, this might discourage the new disciples and cause fear in their heart which might set back God’s plans, but God is powerful and there is nothing too difficult for Him to do. As Christians, we should learn to trust in the supernatural powers of God and the confidence that nothing is bigger than God. He will step in at the right time.
2. PRAYER IS EVERYTHING: Philippians 4:6-7
No matter what is happening or situation, prayer is everything and the only thing that can bring deliverance and that is another important lesson from the story of Peter’s escape from prison. The Christians gathered to pray in one accord and God honored their gathering and performed a speedy miracle that they couldn’t comprehend after they saw it. As believers, we should make praying over everything or situation the priority, God is not a man that overlooks prayer but when we gather to pray to Him in one accord regarding a situation, God will always honor the prayer and step in to do wonders.
3. PRAYER SHOULD BE PART OF A BELIEVER’S LIFESTYLE: 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Prayers should be part of a believer’s lifestyle which is another lesson learnt from the story of Peter’s escape from prison. The Christian that gathered believed that God can set Peter free from the prison and that is what they did. They were not scattered or weary, but they know that prayer is the key to unlock greatness and supernatural miracles and their beliefs worked for them as individuals and as a church. We also as believers should cultivate the habit of presenting all matters to God for guidance in all areas of life. We should learn to solely believe in God without doubting his supernatural power to save and deliver.
4. A PRAYING CHURCH IS A GROWING CHURCH
The church that cultivates the habit of praying regularly will reap the dividend of prayers. The church was known to gather in Mary’s house for praying and fellowshipping together and this worked for them at the crucial time in Peter’s life. The prayer of the church caused God to send an angel to rescue him. After Peter was saved by the angel, the church continued to grow. All churches should learn a lesson from this that it is only church that involves God in their business that will reap the dividend only God has to offer. Involving God means praying to Him regularly to change the heart of men in all the service rendered to God so that the church can grow in all areas needed for it to grow.
5. GENUINE PRAYERS BACKED WITH FAITH CAUSES MARVELOPE THINGS TO HAPPEN
The genuine prayer of the church backed with faith caused marvelous things to happen that even Peter thought he was seeing vision and the church were astonished at how fast God answered their prayers when they were still praying. Genuine prayer backed with faith moves God to do the supernatural and direct the way in doing things. As believers, we should practice praying genuine prayers with faith and believe God for the supernatural, we should be patient until our joy is full.
6. BELIEVERS SHOULD PRACTICE GENUINE LOVE AND BE INTERCESSORS
When the church heard about Peter’s arrest and imprisonment, they moved quickly to gather and pray for him, and God honored their genuine love and great intercession spirit and answered them promptly. As a Christian belonging to a body of Christ, you should develop genuine love and empathy for other brethren and be a great intercessor for other brethren going through one challenge or the other.
Your life as a believer should center on prayer and faith. Never exercise faith without prayer and remember that prayer must be a daily lifestyle not an occasional activity. Prayer through Christ Jesus is the answer to all situations. Pray for everything and without ceasing. Prayer is a gateway to God’s directions and responses. Prayers open closed doors and protect open doors too. God is moved to work when genuine prayers backed with faith are offered to Him.