The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate. Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, "Quick! Get up!" And the chains fell off his wrists.
— Acts 12:6-7 NLT
As Luke shared the details about Herod's arrest, imprisonment, and planned execution of the apostle Peter, he emphasized human restraints aligned against Jesus' servant to keep him confined. Peter was put in prison with 16 guards (Acts 12:4) and was chained to two of them, with others guarding the prison gate. However, none of these precautions could withstand the power and will of God. Throughout the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, Roman officials generally were tolerant, even open, to the truth about Jesus. Still, Jesus' adversaries had to have Roman approval to crucify him, and Pilate granted them that right. For some politicians, political might often trumps what is spiritually right. However, the Scriptures remind us that all those who have misused their political authority to harass, oppose, manipulate, exploit, persecute, and kill Jesus' followers will have to face judgment.* In the end, Jesus' spiritual power always trumps human military and political might. That is one reason we pray with passion!
Loving Father, my prayer today is focused on one concern: Please protect, strengthen, and deliver all of your servants detained and persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord. I ask this in the name of my Savior. Amen.