WHAT A NIGHT TO BE SLEEPING!
ACTS 12:5-7 NKJ 5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands.
The early church was persecuted not only by the Jews but by Roman rulers. Herod had just executed one of the twelve apostles, James, and that went over well with the Jews. So Herod arrested Peter and planned to kill him also. Politics at its worst.
But the church was praying for Peter, seriously praying. The night before his execution, Peter is sleeping. He has a guard on either side and guards in front of the door. If anything looked impossible, it would be Peter's situation. Yet Peter is sleeping. In fact, he is sleeping so soundly the angel has to hit him on the side to wake him up. How was Peter able to sleep knowing he was about to die? We don't have insight into what Peter was thinking but we can absolutely conclude he was not fretting, worrying, or writing his last letters to loved ones.
And in the middle of this well-guarded prison, God busts Peter out.
We don't know if Peter had a special word from the Lord that enabled him to sleep so soundly. But we know he was believing something good, and we know the church was praying. I typically fall asleep fast, and if I am up and can't sleep, my thoughts are running in a negative vein. In Isaiah 26:3, the prophet writes that God will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on God because he trusts God.
Peter trusted God and was able to lie down and sleep instead of being overcome with fear.
Dear Father, my trust is in You. Teach me to keep my mind on You instead of all the things keeping me up at night. Thank You for sweet sleep.