Act 12:2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
Act 12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
Act 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Prayer was made without ceasing - The Greek word εκτενης signifies both fervor and earnestness, as well as perseverance. These prayers of the Church produced that miraculous interference mentioned below, and without which Peter could not have thus escaped from the hands of this ruthless king.
prayer was made without ceasing — rather, “instant,” “earnest,” “urgent
Act 12:6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.
Act 12:7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.
Act 12:8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.
Act 12:9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
Act 12:10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
Act 12:11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
Act 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
Act 12:13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
Act 12:14 And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
Act 12:15 And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel.
Act 12:16 But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
Continual prayer was made for him - Yet when their prayer was answered, they could scarce believe it, Act_12:15. But why had they not prayed for St. James also? Because he was put to death as soon as apprehended.
They said, Thou art mad - As we say, Sure you are not in your senses to talk so. It is his angel - It was a common opinion among the Jews, that every man had his particular guardian angel, who frequently assumed both his shape and voice. But this is a point on which the Scriptures are silent.
The true since, aside from the superstitions that Wesley brought out is better stated by JFB, Peters Ghost.
that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel — his disembodied spirit, his ghost; anything, in fact, rather than himself. Though this had been the burden of their fervent prayers during all the days of unleavened bread, they dispute themselves out of it as a thing incredible. Still, it is but the unbelief of the disciples who “believed not for joy and wondered” at the tidings of their Lord’s resurrection. How often do we pray for what we can hardly credit the bestowment of, when it comes in answer to our prayers! This, however, argues not so much hard unbelief as that kind of it incident to the best in this land of shadows, which perceives not so clearly as it might how very near heaven and earth, the Lord and His praying people, are to each other.
JFB is the crux of this message Peters Ghost, no matter how hard, earnest, long or loud, many times we are praying with no faith, it is odd, one would think such a Holy Ghost prayer filled meeting would have made them know it was a done deal, the lord would hear, yet, they did not believe as when Jesus showed up at the resurrection they wondered at it in unbelief, these men and women, like us, are all people of like passions, as Elijah prayed and the rain stopped being a man of like passions, meaning a normal man like anyone else, his call and miracles mighty, were all the lords doing, In James ch 5 we read this if any are sick , call the elders and pray the prayer of Faith anointing with oil and they shall be healed.
Mountain moving faith starts with mustard seed faith, Jesus said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, once planted grows to be the biggest herb in the garden, so large that birds fly into them for rest and find shade shade, our faith is like this, we must start somewhere, a mustard seed is still faith and will grow to mountain moving faith.
These leaders should have known better, one would think, but they to were people like me and you of like passions, at times praying so hard and not honestly believing anything will happen.
We are all guilty of this at times. The disciples were constantly rebuke by Christ, he even marveled at their unbelief and lack of faith, they were seeing Jesus do mighty miracles first handed, eye witnesses, and they still had a lack of faith, that was before ACT 2 when they were filled wit the spirit, one would think, they, now spirit filled and now people of Faith would believe their earnest long prayers continuing on through the night would have a result.
The prayers indeed helped Peter, but not them the ones in prayer, they simply could not believe their prayer was answered and Peter stood at the door alive, all but the girl, a young women Rhoda, only she truly had faith, young people sometimes are like this, child like faith produces expectation it manifests in pray answered and things happen, as God is, we do not have faith in faith we are told to have faith in God.
This is why we are told to have child like faith, this and having a heavenly perspective are a must for all esp. SR saints. We in our maturity start to strain gnats and swallow camels. Somewhere along the line we lost the simplicity of Christ, His teachings, we may have been let down, or have not gotten an answer to prayers and so, one brick at a time our wall comes down and we are left as a prayer-less, faithless people, going through the Actions of faithfulness in the word and prayer, we forget to every action, there is a reaction.
We are often guilty of praying and honestly not believing our prayer will be answered, this unbelief must be repented of, dealt with, so we can get back on track, praying in fervent humble prayer and like a child, simply expecting our loving heavenly Father to give us our requests, ye have not, because ye ask not, or you ask and you expect to see your Peters Ghost of unbelief and not your Peter of expectation and answered prayer.
Hay! I hear a knock at the door, I thinks its my Peter, I have to go. LOL.