Daily Word

Jail break! | Acts 12:6-11 (NLT)

6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. 7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered.

9 So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. 10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.

11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders[c] had planned to do to me!”

Acts 12:6-11 (NLT) 中文

Peter persecuted

Herod Agrippa I the king of the Jews was persecuting the new church. He had James, brother of John, killed with a sword (12:2).  Peter was next. He was captured and thrown into prison with the intent to kill him at the end of the Passover celebration.


It’s almost humorous as we read this. First, Peter, a lowly fisherman turned preacher, miracle-worker and leader of this disjointed band of followers of a dead man was not likely to break out of prison. But yet they had 4 squads of 4 armed guards on him. In addition, he was handcuffed between two of the guards with the other two guarding the doors. 

Then, Peter is asleep! Knowing he would probably die in the morning, he’s sleeping. Was he dog-tired?  I’d attribute it to Philippians 4:7 – he had a peace that passes all understanding. And, the angel has to kick him to wake him up! He was so out of it, the angel needed to tell him to put his clothes on and grab his coat. 

But God…

So God had other plans for Peter. He arranged the jail-break! It wasn’t until they were outside the jail walking along a road to the city that Peter realized it wasn’t a dream. He had had visions before – like regarding Cornelius of Caescarea (Acts 10:9-16). He realized that God sent the angel with a “get out jail free” Monopoly card to throw a wrench into Herod and the Jewish leader’s plans.

Power of prayer

How could this happen? One key is in the previous passage. Acts 12:5 tells us that the church was making “fervent and persistent prayer for him”. These guys knew their leader was about to get the ax (or sword) and that it may not stop with him. But they knew the birth of the Church was God’s doing and only He could keep it going.


  • Is there a situation you are facing right now, or one a family or friend is facing that is dire? It’s beyond all hope. Or is it? Has the Spirit been prompting you to pray? Not just to pray, but pray with fervent and persistent prayer? Let’s do it. Get down on your knees now. Talk to God about your failure to pray up to now, talk about the situation, praise Him for who He is. Then make your request, in faith. And keep at it.
  • Maybe you’re the one in “prison”. Are you putting Philippians 4:6-8 into practice? Do you have that peace that passes all understanding? It’s available. God has promised it. Do your part.
Roman prison cell. Image from ephesusschool.org *

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