Speaking to the Soul – July 8


When she recognised 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!” “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” Acts 12:14–15

What do you expect to happen when you pray? Does it occur to you that God might dramatically and immediately answer your prayer? Clearly, that thought hadn’t occurred to this fervently praying group! Peter, the leader of the church, had been imprisoned by King Herod and the church was understandably scared. It is not surprising that they met together to pray passionately for Peter’s release. But when Peter turned up at their front door, they were quite sure that it couldn’t possibly be him. Rhoda, the servant girl who had answered his knock at the door, clearly grasped the situation and was so overjoyed that she forgot to open the door! When she informed the praying friends, they were, at first, incredibly rude to her, suggesting that she must have taken leave of her senses. And when she insisted that it really was Peter, they tried to find a spiritual explanation as to why it had only appeared to gullible Rhoda that it was him. They suggested that it must be an angel. Poor Peter had to keep bashing at the door until they finally gave in and let him in. We read that “they were amazed” (v16)! The embarrassment of that moment must have lived with them for the rest of their lives. Much as they loved the Lord, they didn’t seem to believe that he might answer their prayers.

When we pray, we are opening our lives to God and we need to be ready for any response. He always hears our prayers and that should give us confidence as we ask him to do things. We only ever understand a tiny part of the situation and so we should never tell God what to do. As we pray we are showing God our willingness to co-operate with whatever he chooses to do, however amazing and miraculous.

How confident are you that God will answer your prayers?

Loving God, help my confidence in you to grow as I pray. Amen