Rhoda's story is a great one -- we'll meet people who are earnest about their prayer life, a man who is released from prison, people who just can't get their heads around the power and might of our God, and a young slave girl who is right in the middle of things!
The story is rather lengthy for our study post, but I just think it's amazing, and put the whole thing here for you:
Let's dive right in!
We see that Peter is in prison . . . he has about as much chance of being set free as the proverbial snowball's chance of staying icy in Satan's domain! This King Herod is just the latest in a line of horrible Herods who ruled over the Jews. This one is the grandson of the Herod that killed all those precious babes when Jesus was born in Bethlehem -- he is the nephew of the Herod who killed John the Baptist -- and he's got blood on his own hands, since he put James (the brother of John) to death with the sword.
Oy vey. What a family.
Then he saw that he could please the Jewish leaders by imprisoning Peter, so in he goes.
Let's peek in the window of the jail, shall we?
There's Peter, chained to two guards, with more at the door, standing guard. I guess he will definitely be executed tomorrow morning.
Peek in again.
Is he sitting up, praying?
Is he wringing his hands, for work not yet completed?
He's asleep. He is taking his own advice:
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (I Peter 5:7)What a lesson for me, and for you. Those of us who stay up at night, worrying about things, should follow his example, right?
There seems to be nothing that can be done for him.
Over in another portion of the city, in a house filled with believers, there's a lot going on. Let's peek in that window, shall we?
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. (Acts 12:5)Now, they've got the right idea! One dictionary I consulted said that "earnest" conveyed a thought of "sincere and intense conviction." They are sincere, and they have the conviction, the determination, the firmly-held belief that this is what will help.
Back in prison, Peter is sleeping so soundly that when an angel appears with a bright light, he has to strike Peter to wake him up! And he doesn't just shake the apostle gently -- this is the same word used in the Garden when Peter whacked off the ear of that servant.
The chains fall off and Peter is so groggy that the angel has to remind him to get dressed, or he would have followed him without his outer garments! (In fact, he is so groggy that he thinks he is dreaming.)
Once outside in the street, he realizes it is not a dream. It's a miracle. Wide awake now, he rushes to where the believers are praying. Wow! This is going to be an exciting finish to the prayer meeting, right?
He has to convince them to open the door!
We'll meet Rhoda tomorrow and see what happens!