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From the book of Acts, we read that there was a time when Herod moved to persecute certain members of those who were preaching Jesus as the Christ and as the only Savior for man.

“Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. (Acts 12:1-3)

Herod imprisoned Peter with the intent to bring him before the people and to be able to find their support in fulfilling his desire to put another member of the church to death.  But while in prison God sent an angel to free Peter from his chains and deliver him from his guards and ultimately, from Herod and the Jews, who, being pleased with the death of James, seemed to be looking forward to Peter’s execution.

It is my intent to point out in this text that the church, the believers, were praying for Peter’s deliverance.

“So, when he [Peter] had considered this [that the Lord had delivered him from the hand of Herod and the Jews – V-11] he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.” (Acts 12:12)

But as “Peter . . . came to the house,” as he made his appearance at the front gate, and as it was made known that he was free, the response of those praying was an odd one indeed.

“. . . a girl named Rhoda . . . ran in and announced (to those who were praying for his release)  that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, ‘You are beside yourself!'” (Acts 12:13-15)

Praying for something . . . but not believing it will come to pass; sound familiar? I fear it is all too often evident in the prayers of God’s people.

A Lesson for Us

This should catch our attention. When we pray for something, we need to believe that it can come to pass. Maybe not as we might think it should, but we should pray with the conviction that our God can and will answer our prayers.

I’m not talking about that type of prayer that the charlatans promote; whatever you pray for God has to do, or your prayer will always bring the answer you want. No, I’m just expounding on this text from Scripture that sharply reminds us that, again, we pray with the conviction that our God can and will answer our prayers. And when He does . . . well, our response shouldn’t be one of surprise.

It is just interesting to note from this portion of Scripture that the believers seemed to be praying but not actually thinking what they were praying for would actually take place. I’m of the mind that their response to Peter’s appearance should have been, “I think our prayer just got answered!”

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