Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
Acts 12:5 (NLT)
5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
Prayer matters. But, why is it so hard to remember that sometimes? Do you pray with expectation or doubt? If I’m really honest with myself, I know I have prayed handfuls of prayer with doubt attached. Because we are not God, we can’t imagine moving the heavens and the earth. Situations seem impossible and hopeless through human eyes. But, when doubt is attached to prayer like a footnote, our prayers lack a posture of expectation. Doubt keeps us from praise. Acts 12 is such a wonderful reminder that we can pray with expectation.
God hears every prayer from the most articulate to the wordless sigh, but we sometimes forget the magnitude of just who it is we are talking to (Isaiah 65:24). It’s not that God needs our prayers, but He invites us to participate with Him in His great work. When we pray, we are communicating with the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present God. Why then are we surprised to see God move in a situation or stir a heart? We pray to a Living God and as Jesus taught us to pray–may God’s will be done on earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
Acts 12 tells of Peter who was imprisoned by King Herod Agrippa. But, while he was in prison, the church had gathered for a time of intentional, focused, and sincere prayer. And the night before Peter was to be placed on trial something miraculous happened:
“7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists…11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”12 When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.”
What happens next is a bit comical, but perhaps we can all relate. Peter is met at the door by a servant girl named Rhoda who is overjoyed to see him. But when sweet little Rhoda interrupts prayer time to tell them that Peter is at the door, they think she’s crazy! Meanwhile, Peter keeps knocking. When they finally opened the door, they of course are all amazed!
When we pray with a posture of expectation, we submit to God’s will and that means that we trust His how, when, and why. We trust in His “yes,” “no,” or “wait.” Whether God reveals to us the miraculous, or leaves His answer unseen, God answers our prayers (1 John 5:14-15).
How is your prayer life today? How can you live out Acts 12:5 with a posture of expectation? Maybe you struggle to trust God’s answers or the assurance that He is listening. Practice today. Who or what situation do you need to earnestly pray for?
- “But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.”
- “But while name an impossible/hopeless situation, name(s) of who is praying prayed very earnestly for him/her.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, Thank you for hearing my prayers. Teach me to pray with a posture of expectation that Your will be done in my life and in the situations and lives that I pray for. Help me to wait and to trust Your perfect answer and Your perfect timing! In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”