One of the most powerful phrases in the New Testament is found in Acts chapter 12… “but prayer was made.” James was martyred, killed with the sword, and Peter was thrown in prison, “but prayer was made without ceasing by the church of God for him.”
The result? Freedom for Peter. Imagine how some of the church’s powerlessness might be remedied if we followed every difficulty with “but prayer was made.”
So they pray and Peter gets out of jail. That’s powerful! Then the story gets a little funny. Peter shows up at the house where the believers were praying for his release. A servant girl named Rhoda answered the door, saw Peter, and left him standing there to run back and tell the others. Poor lonely Peter – where ever did she go? Why didn’t she let him in?
When she reports to the others that Peter is at the door, for whom they had been praying for a release, they tell her she’s nuts. “You’re out of your mind!” (NIV) She kept insisting she was telling the truth (while Peter is still standing at the door wondering where Rhoda went) and the believers decide it must be a ghost of Peter. In other words… he’s dead, right?
Why would the believers think such a thing? God answered their prayers, but He did so too quickly and powerfully. Surely there’s some natural, more believable explanation. Certainly God wouldn’t work a miracle in our midst!
Do you ever receive God’s miracles with this kind of attitude? I do. I pray and ask and beg. God answers. I either miss that He answered or I try to explain in my mind the natural, believable reason why I received the desired outcome. God is patient… thankfully!
Here’s a simple challenge – expect God to answer prayer, look for His answers, and give Him credit when it happens.