King Herod was killing Christians. He had John’s brother, James run through with the sword. And now he had Peter in prison. What was going to happen next? Were we all to suffer such a fate? Is this what it had come to?
We had now gathered day after day praying for Peter’s safe release. What we now referred to as Good Friday had come and gone and tomorrow would be the resurrection morning celebration, just ten short years since Jesus arose from the grave. Reports came that King Herod had assigned sixteen solders to guard Peter and we had heard rumors that he would bring Peter to trial immediately after Easter. IF God didn’t move…IF a miracle didn’t happen, certainly he would be the next martyr. How could all this be happening?
My mistress had hosted the last Passover meal Jesus had had with his disciples. It was also here that Jesus had appeared three long-drawn-out days later on Resurrection morning. So much had happened since that time and now she was hosting the prayer room for all to gather and pray for the release of Peter. Around-the-clock, believers came and went. IF God didn’t show up, Peter’s days were sure to be short; but it seemed that was the fate of most followers of Christ these days. I found myself wondering if that’s what was in store for me?
I had been given the responsibilities of performing the practical tasks of hosting this around-the-clock prayer room. So, not only did I have to keep fresh water drawn and clean linens laid out to wash the feet of the believers, I was also charged with keeping unleavened bread and wine readily available for remembrance communion, just as the disciples had done that very last night of Jesus’ life in this house. I had also been given the duty to keep a watch at the locked gate and rightfully so, these simply weren’t safe times for followers of Christ.
There was a house full of believers worshiping and petitioning God for Peter’s safe release. As I was busy doing my chores, I heard yet another knock at the gate. Hopefully it was only a latecomer here to pray. I peaked through the night to the gate and to my surprise, I heard none other than Peter himself. How could this be? It was Peter! I had to let the others know God had answered our prayers!
I quickly ran to my mistress, unable to hold in my excitement, I burst out with, “Peter is here! Peter is here!”
“Have you lost your mind girl? Peter is in prison!” were the words of all those gathered to pray, like I had forgotten. They shooed me away as if I were dreaming on the job or something. But I knew what I had seen. “Peter is at the gate!” I exclaimed.
I must have carried on something fierce. Because I was so adamant and mostly to get me to be quiet down; they tried to persuade me that I must have seen an angel. Everyone knew Peter was in jail. Then faintly came another rap at the gate from Peter, as not to arouse the neighbors to his whereabouts. See, I wasn’t dreaming! It was Peter!
Peter left us that evening after he told how an angel had awoken him from between the guards and lead him out to freedom before disappearing. We rejoiced! God is still in the miracle business… and this one on the eve of Easter.
My name is Rhoda and I am a Christian.
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Your Turn: Has God ever answered your prayers of faith, even when you couldn’t believe it? Share what happened in Leave a Reply below. ~ Cindy