Empty Cross Ministries
Daily Devotional in Acts 12
January 24, 2021
Peter’s future did not look too promising as he lay in a dark, dank prison cell. Acts 12 describes his unpleasant position further by detailing that he was chained to guards on either side of him, was unclothed, was locked in a prison with security outside his chamber, and was facing a death sentence from Herod. No one would ever have suspected he was leaving that jail alive. Then a hopeful word came into the story. It is a word that usually indicates that things are going to change. The word is “but” (Acts 12:5), and Peter’s situation did change.
Things changed for Peter’s imprisonment because prayers got God involved. The impossible was made possible. Guards were not disturbed; however, Peter’s shackles fell off, an angel got involved, and prison doors flung open on their “own” account. Out Peter walked, a free man!
Just as things were changed for Peter when others started praying, things can change today when God’s people start praying. God’s answering prayer has cured sick people. Fearful, dangerous situations have been changed to peaceable ones when petitions were sent to our heavenly Father. Drunken, runaway parents have had their lives changed and salvaged when prayed for by their loved ones. Continuous supplications have gotten God involved in putting marriages back together. Prayer prompted God to do miracles at jobs, help financial situations, mend relationships, and countless other “hopeless” situations.
For the Christian, calling on God in prayer can change any situation. It should be our first line of offense in battling the troubles we face in this life. There is always hope when God is involved. There is nothing God cannot do when a Christian’s heavenly Father is summoned to help!
“Child of God — please call home. Your Father is waiting!” — Author Unknown
Words to Understand:
Oration: a speech: discussion
Quaternion: four soldiers
Surety: for sure
Unleavened: unraised, as flatbread without yeast
1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
5 ¶ Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
14 And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
17 But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.
18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.
19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.
20 ¶ And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country.
21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.
22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.
23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.
25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.