It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. 3 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. 4 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.
5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
6 The 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. 7 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.
8 Then 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. 9 Peter 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. 10 They 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.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
Sometimes we find ourselves like Peter, bound with chains; however our chains are not of steel but metaphorical chains binding us and restraining us from completing our goals.
Have you ever felt bound by unseen chains?
Are you one of those fortunate that through faith have been set free from those chains?
Do you recognize the chains that bind you and pray that God will set you free? Remember sometimes the first step is to realize the true nature of that which holds you back. Sometime tha chain that bonds us is our own ego and unwillingness to submit to Gods grace.
Say this prayer or one of your own
who brings the abandoned to live in your house
and grants happiness to the captive,
look upon my affliction,
and come to my help,
Defeat the iniquitous enemy ,
so that, once the presence of the adversary has been overcome,
my freedom will reach its rest,
and once the serene devotion has been restored
I may be able to proclaim that You are admirable
and have granted Your strength to your people.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Go out into the world in peace;
hold on to what is good;
return no one evil for evil;
strengthen the fainthearted;
support the weak; help the suffering;
honor everyone; love and serve God;
rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit!