At dawn [after the angel freed Peter from prison,] there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter. Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn't be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.
— Acts 12:18-19 NLT
Don't you just love the way Luke expresses the results of Peter's deliverance from the Roman soldiers — at least the description before the guards were sentenced to death: "There was a great commotion among the soldiers..." How did Peter escape such high security while being heavily guarded in prison? We know, don't we? The power of the living God who raised Jesus from the dead and removed him from the imprisonment of the tomb also delivered Peter from prison and anticipated execution! If the liberation of Peter was amazing and bewildering for Peter and the disciples, it was terrifying, mystifying, and deadly for the soldiers guarding him. They knew their lives were on the line if Peter escaped. The point, however, is simple: No power can hold those whom God wants free. This truth must give us confidence, even in the face of threats, oppression, and persecution.
O, Father, my heart intercedes for my brothers and sisters enduring persecution and opposition of all kinds. I ask, O Almighty, that you intervene for the sake of your imprisoned and abused servants facing persecution in different parts of the world. Awaken me from my self-serving focus and renew my passion for my persecuted family all over the world. I believe, dear Father, that you are Deliverer and Savior. I ask you to rescue my brothers and sisters who are under oppression, O God, in Jesus' name. Amen.