4 希律拿了彼得，收在監裡，交付四班兵丁看守，每班四個人，意思要在逾越節後把他提出來，當著百姓辦他。 5 於是彼得被囚在監裡；教會卻為他切切的禱告神。
6 希律將要提他出來的前一夜，彼得被兩條鐵鍊鎖著，睡在兩個兵丁當中；看守的人也在門外看守。 7 忽然，有主的一個使者站在旁邊，屋裡有光照耀，天使拍彼得的肋旁，拍醒了他，說：快快起來！那鐵鍊就從他手上脫落下來。
8 天使對他說：束上帶子，穿上鞋。他就那樣做。天使又說：披上外衣，跟著我來。 9 彼得就出來跟著他，不知道天使所做是真的，只當見了異象。 10 過了第一層第二層監牢，就來到臨街的鐵門，那門自己開了。他們出來，走過一條街，天使便離開他去了。
11 彼得醒悟過來，說：我現在真知道主差遣他的使者，救我脫離希律的手和猶太百姓一切所盼望的。 12 想了一想，就往那稱呼馬可的約翰、他母親馬利亞家去，在那裡有好些人聚集禱告。 13 彼得敲外門，有一個使女，名叫羅大，出來探聽， 14 聽得是彼得的聲音，就歡喜的顧不得開門，跑進去告訴眾人說：彼得站在門外。
15 他們說：你是瘋了！使女極力的說：真是他！他們說：必是他的天使！ 16 彼得不住的敲門。他們開了門，看見他，就甚驚奇。 17 彼得擺手，不要他們作聲，就告訴他們主怎樣領他出監；又說：你們把這事告訴雅各和眾弟兄。於是出去，往別處去了。
4After 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. 5So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. 6The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7Suddenly 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. 8Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. 9Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10They 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. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him. 11Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating.” 12When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” 15“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” 16But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the brothers about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.
Does getting an answer to prayer depend on firm belief? The gathered church certainly hoped that God would save Peter but they didn’t even believe it when Peter stood outside knocking!
How often do I pray for God to work and, when he does, react with shock or disbelief? What does this reveal about my faith?
What can I pray that God will do – and wholeheartedly believe that he will answer? Pray for that today, and continue to do so, with bold confidence and hope, knowing that God is powerful and is listening to my prayer.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
God did a miracle in getting Peter out of the prison. What has God done to you and your family? Encourage everyone to share. Pass the Family Devotional Journal for each to write or draw the sharing. Thank God for His goodness and care.