#Oh What A Night Devotional
Daily Reading: (Acts 12:1-5):
“It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”
Why did King Herod arrest Peter during the Festival of Unleaven Bread? He chose this period to demonstrate even more his purpose to oppose all false religions, and to maintain the existing establishments of the nation.
We live well after this event and we have the headline of the news, “Peter’s miraculous escape from prison”. The church did not and yet the church believed and prayed for the impossible, a miracle, despite the fact that already one of the 12 was killed by the same man (Acts 12:5). The church did something, the only thing they could do, they prayed earnestly. Ektenōs means intensely, earnestly and we see this Greek word only used three times. One time it was used when “Jesus being in anguish, prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Another time was in Hebrews 5:7: “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.” So what this means is that the church prayed in the same way that Jesus prayed to be saved from death that Peter might be saved from death too. They prayed like his life dependent on it.
Peter who experience the earnest prayers firsthand would then write using the last time this Greek word is used in 1 Peter 1:22 from personal experience Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
The kind of love that I experienced with everyone praying for me while I was in prison about to be executed (Acts 12:5), love each other in that way (1 Peter 1:22).
“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.” There will be times in your life when the miracle will appear but you need to have the faith to move on your miracle (Acts 12:7). “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.” You see there might be something in our lives that has got us chained up when we have already been set free in Jesus. Move with the Spirit’s direction and watch the chains fall off.