pray believing

Challies has a great essay up about Acts 12 and you should go read it.

I particularly liked this part because it so accurately reflects the common human experience.

Despite the miraculous (Peter being rescued, Herod being struck down) there is such a human element to it. We see the church in prayer, undoubtedly begging God for the life of their friend and pastor Peter. Yet when God answers their earnest prayers, they refuse to believe it. “You are out of your mind,” they told Rhoda when she tried to tell them that God had answered them. Two thousand years later we laugh at them, wondering why they would bother praying if they did not think God would bother to answer. And then we realize that we do little better; we realize how much effort we put into pleading for God to act and how little effort we put into seeking answers to those prayers. I trust the lesson was not lost on the early church. I trust they learned from it that God’s miraculous rescue of Peter was not in any way separate from their prayers. Those prayers, offered as they were even with little faithful expectation of an answer, were undoubtedly instrumental in God rescuing Peter from his imprisonment. God answers prayer, even when we ask with little faith.

here it is in the Bible:

12When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

15″You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

16But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

so, they are praying for it. Rhoda tells them that there prayers were answered. They were still astonished to see Peter when they opened the door.

How very much like us that is.

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