“And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.” Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.”
Acts 12:11-16 NKJV
The shock of answered prayer
Most of us are double minded, for we often pray for things, but deep inside, lack the faith to have confidence that the Lord would actually answer our prayer. When we do get an answer, our faithlessness causes us to be surprised. Over time we come to realize that the Lord does indeed answer prayer, and develop a greater confidence and desire to pray more, for we have come to know that the Lord is faithful.
Reading Acts chapter twelve, we see Peter stuck in prison by Herod, who had just previously killed James. I am sure this was on the mind of Peter as he sat in the jail. Then the miraculous happened, as an angel of the Lord freed Peter from his chains and delivered him from the grasp of the enemy.
“Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 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. 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. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.”
Acts 12:5-9 NKJV
When Peter went to tell all that he had been freed, those who had been praying for him were astonished, for the Lord has moved in ways that were unexpected, for they were new in the faith. The would not belief initially, but once they laid eyes on Peter, the did, though they were astonished.
Many of us have had those moments when we have prayed for something, usually early in our walk and faith, and had that same astonishment when what we have asked for from God has actually been granted. But the Lord Jesus has told us in His word that the n we ask, we will received when the asking according to His will.
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
John 14:13-14 NKJV
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
I John 5:14-15 NKJV
Over time, we begin to pray for bigger and better things, and over time we learn to better pray according to the will of the Lord, for we have been able to ascertain that will as we spend more and time in His word.
The coming times will be those not unlike the season in the book of Acts, where those who dare profess publicly to be Christ followers will be persecuted. Surviving in those uncertain times will rely heavily on prayer.
We will be in prayer not only for our deliverance through the horrors to come, but we will pray also for our provision, for even as I write this, the shadow of scarcity is looming over the world. We will need to pray believing, for in the midst of the trouble, we will still be on mission, expected to take the Gospel to an unbelieving world.
Brothers and sisters, it is essential that we who call upon the name of the Lord and profess to be Christians, be about the business of constant prayer. We must not lose sight of the fact that we have the advantage of access to the throne of God, for when Jesus went to the cross, His body rent, as the veil in the temple, granting us direct access to the Holy of Holies.
Let us be those who run to the throne of grace, praying and believing, not being shocked when the Lord answers prayer. May our knowledge of the will of God be refined by our intense study and reliance on the word of God, and our obedience to the urgings of the Holy Spirit.
Peter could have remained in that jail, but he obeyed the promptings of the angel and escaped. I think the Lord will be sending many such visitations in the coming days, weeks and months.
My people, let us not be shocked at the answer of prayer, for we serve a real God, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and wholly able to keep His promises. Because of this, let us go boldly before the throne.
““Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
Matthew 7:7-11 NKJV
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One thought on “The shock of answered prayer”
Faithful and loving heavenly father, who loves to answer our prayers. I love trusting that God will answer our prayers according to his will. What a mighty God we serve! Thank you my friend