We have walked alongside Peter from a small fishing village to a mountain top to his fearless preaching in the Temple. We have seen one who denied and yet was restored that he may lead the church in its beginning stages. We relate so much to Peter for his faltering steps are much like ours and our hearts yearn to meet him in glory! We have seen his impulsiveness and say, that is me. We see his denial and we say I have done the same once or twice. We see his love for Jesus when he said “if you are the Master, tell me come to you on the water.” And now in this chapter Dr. Luke will give us one more glimpse of his last days in Jerusalem with the exception of Acts 15. We find Peter in prison having earned the ire of Herod. And once again and as he has done before, Peter falls fast asleep. Peter it seems never has a problem with insomnia! He slept while Jesus prayed and He slept while Moses and Enoch talked with Jesus on the mountain. He just closes his eyes and falls asleep! This time, to be sure that Peter does not escape, Herod has him chained to guards in his prison. But man’s chains are no match for the saints’ prayers!
God is pleased with the saints’ prayers and often as he bends his ear to our words his heart is open to receive and answer as we beg. We must be like the Canaanite woman unwilling to give up but to seek an answer. When a brother or sister is imprisoned in some way, do we earnestly beg God for their deliverance according to His will or if truth be known is our mind here and there scattered with many thoughts or do we like Peter fall asleep on the watch? We would do well to take a lesson from these early believers whose very lives surrounded a lengthy time in earnest prayer. We remember what James wrote: “The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness.” Would that we be like the early church who pounded the doors of heaven for God to answer and deliver.
When Peter is released by an angelic visitor who had to shake him awake and lead him like a child outside the prison walls, we find him knocking at the door of where the believers were sequestered. He might have muttered: it was easier getting out of prison than getting into Mary’s house! Continuously knocking and finally gaining entrance the believers were astonished to see how God answered! Beloved, trust in the G.A.P. method…God Answers Prayers.