Things didn’t look too good for Peter. Herod arrested him and put him in a Jerusalem prison. There he was secured with two chains and surrounded by 16 soldiers (Acts 12:4-6). Everyone expected him to be executed. How hopeless can things get?! But there was a power at work that would surprise everybody.
The church called an emergency meeting and they prayed well into the night. God promptly dispatched an angel to guide him safely out into the streets, and freedom. He immediately went to see the brethren – still praying – to present himself alive and well. Their concentration, sorrow and anxiety prevented them from believing it was really Peter knocking on their door! How many times have answered prayers come knocking at your door and you didn’t recognize it?
The results of prayer can often be startling. Jesus said, “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened” (Mt.7:8). Prayer opens the door to God, but do we spot his answers when they come knocking on ours? Even Peter himself didn’t understand God’s rescue at first; but soon he woke up and said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent for His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod” (v11). Later on in life Peter would say, “Watch and pray” (1 Peter 4:7).
Prayer is an amazing thing. God works in our lives when we ask Him to. Watch His answer. Then pray again with humble thanks.
– Tim Johnson