About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church.
He had the apostle James (John's brother) killed with a sword.
When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish leaders, he arrested Peter during the Passover celebration
and imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod's intention was to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.
But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, chained between two soldiers, with others standing guard at the prison gate.
Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel tapped him on the side to awaken him and said, "Quick! Get up!" And the chains fell off his wrists.
Then the angel told him, "Get dressed and put on your sandals." And he did. "Now put on your coat and follow me," the angel ordered.
So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn't realize it was really happening.
They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate to the street, and this opened to them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.