When you ask God to move in a situation, what do you expect to happen? Do expect to be disappointed? Do you think He even hears you?
Prayer is important. If it wasn’t, Jesus wouldn’t have done it. Yet, He prayed and He prayed often. He prayed early in the morning (Mark 1:35). He prayed over meals (Matthew 26:26). And He prayed in crisis situations when He needed a miracle to happen (John 11:41-43).
Jesus knew when He prayed, the Father heard Him. He trusted the Father to do what was best for everyone in any given situation. He encouraged His disciples to do the same in Mark 11:24,
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
This morning I read Acts 12, the story of Peter being rescued from jail. King Herod wasn’t happy with what the followers of Christ were doing, so he plotted to take them out, one at a time if necessary. He killed James by the sword but Peter he arrested with plans to put him on trial publicly after the Passover.
Now if you’ve read this chapter, you might ask, “Why did God rescue Peter and allow James to get murdered?” The short answer is, I don’t know. I don’t begin to understand why God does what He does. He’s God. I know that I am going to pray for those who need prayer and trust God with the rest. I have to. He knows things I don’t know [Isaiah 55:8].
I find Peter interesting. It was the night before his public trial, which would most likely lead to his execution and he was snoozing. It was a deep sleep too, because the angel of the Lord had to jab him in the side to wake him up (Acts 12:6-7). I don’t know about you, but the night before a big test, medical results or an important meeting, I have been known to have trouble sleeping. Peter; however, was walking in the Shalom of God. He experienced that peace that surpasses understanding Jesus promised us (Philippians 4:7).
The prayer warriors weren’t sleeping. In fact, they were pulling an all nighter (Acts 12:12). They understood what Peter faced. After what happened to James, the knew how important it was to bang on the gates of heaven. Peter was a blessed man to have a group of people praying for him with such passion. I’m blessed to have an amazing group of women, my prayer shield, who pray for me like this. When you storm the gates of hell, you need backup. No one can do it alone.
When Peter arrives where the prayer warriors were gathered, their response is almost humorous (Acts 12:13-15). The servant girl who answered the door immediately recognized Peter’s voice so she runs to tell the gang Peter’s arrived and they tell her she’s nuts.
You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
Why did they respond that way? Didn’t they think God could do what He did? After all, they had been crying out to Him for hours, asking for this very thing, yet when it happened, they didn’t believe it.
Belief is critical. Numerous times, when someone came to Jesus for healing, He said their faith healed them (Matthew 9:22, Matthew 15:28, Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, and Luke 18:42).
What do you need to see Jesus do in your life or the life of a loved one? Is it healing you need? Or maybe a job? A restored relationship? Pray AND BELIEVE!
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