“but” | The Institute for Creation Research
“but”

“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5).

Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great (who was in power at the birth of Jesus) was well acquainted with the law. In his desire to please the Jews, he vexed the Christians by killing James, the son of Zebedee, and imprisoning Peter. Peter was taken captive at the time of the Feast of the Passover and was to be held until the celebration was over, when he would be turned over to the Jews. But prayer was made for him by the church with miraculous results.

Peter had experienced many “buts” in his Christian life. Shortly before this prison episode, he was confronted by the Lord in a vision and commanded to kill and eat unclean animals (Acts 10:11–13). “But I said, Not so, Lord: . . . But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” (Acts 11:8,9). God used the vision to prepare Peter to go to the Gentiles in Caesarea, and he obeyed. Later, the Jerusalem Christians contended with him that he had eaten with uncircumcised Gentiles. “But Peter rehearsed the matter” (Acts 11:4) admitting his own resistance. “But God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean” (Acts 10:28).

Prayer unto God our Father took care of the “therefores” and the “buts.” In God’s plan for our lives, there are many routes we’d rather not take, or don’t expect. Peter, in our text, didn’t want to be put in jail; neither did he expect to be miraculously freed from the same jail. Once in jail, Mary, John Mark, Rhoda, and the others didn’t expect their prayers would avail so spectacularly. “But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished” (v.16). Are the “buts” in our lives expressions of resistance to God’s will or revelations of what God is doing in them? He is able (Romans 4:21). KBC

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