“What did you expect to happen?”

 “But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.” – Acts 12:5

Question for the day:  When we pray, do we actually believe that God will answer?

When someone asks us to pray for them, I believe that most of us do so.  But why?  Is it because it is our obligation as Christians?  Is it because that is our traditional response to a need?( much like bringing a casserole to a sick friend, “It’s just what we do”)  Or do we believe that our prayers will unleash the power of God into that person’s life and bring about miraculous results?

I love this story in Acts 12 because it reminds me how ridiculous I am sometimes.  At this point, James the Apostle had been killed by King Herod.  He had also imprisoned Peter with the same intent, but was waiting until after the passover to do so.

So here is Peter, sitting in prison, awaiting execution, and the church began to pray.  And they prayed hard – for days.  The scripture doesn’t tell us what they prayed for, but I would imagine it was a miracle of deliverance.

If you read on in the story, an amazing miracle did occur.  An angel was sent to free Peter from the prison.  Hallelujah!  Immediately, he went to the house where the church was gathered to pray.  In a comical chain of events, they don’t open the door for him because they can’t believe he has been released.

Hello?? Isn’t that what you were praying for??  What did you expect to happen?

I like this story because it does point out my flaws as well.  It reminds me that when I pray, I need to do so with an expectancy.  I need to pray with faith that God will answer.  I need to anticipate a miracle.  So why am I caught off guard by the gracious move of His mighty hand? Didn’t he tell us over and over again that as believers, we would have power and effect mighty miracles?

I guess sometimes I forget who I am and why He put me here in the first place…

Heavenly Father,

You amaze me with Your continual grace and mercy.  I am humbled by the fact that You have empowered me to be Your agent in this world.  Forgive me when I forget that I am an empty vessel, but one powered by Your precious Holy Spirit.  

You call me to be a witness to Your greatness and salvation.  And You have given me this incredible gift of prayer to do so.  I am sorry that I have not used it as I should.  Please teach me how to pray.  Show me how to utilize this gift to advance Your kingdom and share Your gospel with a hurting world.  

Use me, Lord, any way You see fit.

In the name of the Lamb I pray,

Amen

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.  I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” – Mark 11:22-24

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