Herod Agrippa was the fourth Roman-appointed king in his family to rule in Jerusalem. He was also a smooth politician who found an opportunity to gain approval from the Jewish leaders by jumping on the Christian persecution bandwagon—ordering the death of the Apostle James and the arrest of Peter.
Can you imagine how Peter must have felt? He had denied knowing Jesus out of fear. Jesus had forgiven him and appointed him to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17). And foretold that his future would include suffering and death…
“When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.”John 21:18b
He was in prison and the church prayed.
While Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.Acts 12:5
And God miraculously sent an angel to free him.
Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. [The angel awakened him] and said, “Quick! Get up!” So, Peter left the cell, following the angel.Acts 12:7, 9a
And I love the next part…
[Peter] knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”Acts 12:13–15
“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
Don’t you love it! They prayed. God answered. And, they didn’t believe it!
It would be almost funny if I didn’t see myself in the sandals of the believers.
I’m ashamed to admit there are times when I pray and don’t sincerely believe God will answer.
I know I should pray with faith and confidence every time. I know God hears and answers my prayers and I believe He answers each plea in a way that is eternally best for me. But there can still be a weak part of me that doubts.
It’s why so often I add the following to my intercessions…
“Lord, I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.” because I know “anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23 and 24)
It’s easy for you and me to go to God with a plan already in mind . . . a plan that is simply asking God to “get on board” and fulfill our expectations.
But His plan is always best!
May we surrender ourselves to God’s infinite wisdom and faithfully remain alert for His sovereign answers to our prayers. Answers that will always be perfect and loving but just might be something new or unexpected.
Praying to Trust God’s Answer to Our Prayers
Father, please forgive me for the times I have doubted Your love because of the way You’ve answered a prayer. This sinful world is abundant with pain and problems. And bad things happen. James was executed and Peter was in prison. It’s easy to understand why the church was “earnestly” praying. I’m sure they trusted in You but I imagine they may have wondered if they would actually receive the answer they wanted.
But praying in faith is not believing that I will receive the answer I want. It’s believing that I will receive the answer that You know is best for my eternal future. It’s easy for us to question “why” when your answer is unexpected. We don’t see what You see. We don’t know what You know.
Please help me. I love and trust You. I believe Your promises that You love me. I trust in Your care and provision. With Your Spirit’s help, I will pray with faith. I will trust You to give me the strength I need through whatever You allow. And I ask that my life might give You glory.
Thank you for always being with me and for faithfully hearing and answering my prayers. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
It’s a wonderful blessing to know that God answers our prayers when we earnestly go to Him. His answers may be something new or unexpected but they will always be what’s best!
On today’s note write:
God answers my prayers with His best!
May the Lord bless you today as you take every need to Him in prayer and anticipate His loving “best.”
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