(I preached this message during our Prayer Meeting last February 29, 2012. I hope and pray you’ll be bless!!!)
Acts 12:10-17 “ When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.
And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.
And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda.
And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate.
And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.
But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place.”
Truly an answered prayer brings utmost joy to the believer and glory to God. As we ask God he will eagerly answer it. As we look at our text we can see that the Apostle peter was supernaturally rescued from imminent death. The Jerusalem church fervently prayed for this pastor. God answered their cry, send an angel and took Peter out of jail.
Before we go on I would like to suggest some important thoughts on prayer. There are two of them that will help us in our prayer life, understand God and make the most out of this lesson:
- In prayer God is the first one who reaps the benefits of an answered prayer. It is He who alone is exalted in answering our petitions. Whether we like it or not the response (which sometimes happens) it is God who gets the glory out of it. Our human view point may look at it as unanswered or non-beneficial to us but to God your gain is secondary to Him. He and He alone gets all the beautiful benefits of your answered prayer.
- Prayer is not only asking and receiving. We should remember it is also acknowledging your dependence to Him. Whatever the outcome will be, we should hold on to Him because whatever His will or purpose it is for our own good.
Now that we clarified it we now move to our lesson titled “The Right Response to an Answered Prayer”. So what is the right response when God grants us our answers to our petitions?
- Expect it. Looking at verse 12, we should definitely expect the answered prayer. The Jerusalem church prayed earnestly for the release of Peter and boy they got answered. People who didn’t prayed for Peter’s freedom would not obviously get that answer. Peter won’t go to the place that no one is praying for him and expecting God to move. I maybe praying for a lifetime partner and of course our pastor will not get my answer from God because he didn’t pray for it or need it (by the way our pastor is married). Expect an answer for your petition to our God.
2. Don’t doubt it. Turn to verses 15 and 17. The Jerusalem believers try to paint doubt over their answered prayer. They accused Rhoda of being crazy or what she saw is angel. Its human nature for us to have doubts. Doubts may show up like in situation that is “so good to be true” or surprises. Another is that we really have little faith on what we are praying. Sometimes we have a pre-conceived idea on what God should do to our petition. In any case, we should not doubt if God answers. Don’t let your doubt say “Lord I don’t think you’re answer is good”, “Lord this could not be it” or “Lord I don’t believe you will answer my prayer”. Doubt creates a wall that hinders blessings. So please don’t let doubt have its space in us.
To be continued next week…