October 17

Written by Bill Grandi on October 17th, 2022

One of the most amusing events in the Bible is found in a passage I read this morning-Acts 12. Every time I read it I chuckle.  For several reasons.

First, the story. Peter is put in prison when Herod “feasted on” the Jews being pleased he had James put to death. BTW: his ego gets him in deep trouble later in the same chapter-verses 20-23. Anyway, Peter is imprisoned between 2 guards. How funny is that? Those two guards were a captive audience! There were also 2 guards watching the door to the prison. Peter is suddenly awakened by an angel (he does not know it is), taken outside the prison and then realizes it was an angel who freed him. Peter then heads off to the house of Mary, the mother of John, where they were praying for him. He knocks on the door and Rhoda answers it. She is so amazed to see Peter that she leaves him standing at the door and runs in to tell the others. 🙂  Then when she tells them Peter is at the door, they don’t believe her.

Two things stand out to me:

1. Was Peter’s release not what they were praying for? And yet, they didn’t believe Rhoda. I find it amusing Rhoda left Peter standing at the door. And I also find it somewhat amusing (if that is the right word) that they did not believe Peter was at the door…when that was what they were praying for!

2. I stand convicted. How many times have I seen God answer prayer only to be amazed. Amazed is not a bad word, because God’s work is sometime amazing. Maybe a better word is surprised. And even better one…shocked.

Let me clarify: I never want to lose the amazement of God working and answering prayer. But I also should not be amazed that He does. Does that make sense?  In this story, I would rather be Rhoda-so excited over seeing an answered prayer-than the ones praying for his release and doubting it happened.

May I never lose the wonder that comes from following Jesus and seeing God work.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I think I error more often on the side of praying without expectation. Praying because I know I should… but without the faith to move a mole hill, let’s not even talk about moving a mountain. May God use even the tiniest amount of my faith to further His purpose and His will. Let me not be surprised, but let me continually be in AWE.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I think that would be true for many of us Ryan. I know I pray but don’t always expect a response. I like what you said about continually being in AWE

  2. gail says:

    Father, prayers are asking for divine authority from heaven for earthly intervention in our situations that we face. Help me to stand in awe of who You are, and to glorify who You are, but waiting with expectations for Your answered prayers. May I also praise Your Name, even if the answered pray does not fulfill my will but may Your will be done.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      That last sentence is so vital Gail. Praising Him even if the answer doesn’t come or isn’t what we want.

  3. Ed says:

    Makes sense to me. Sometimes I look back on how God completely transformed my life and still say “WOW!!!”

  4. I read this passage recently, too, Bill, and it struck me the same way. I wonder how Peter felt when Rhoda deserted him at the door? He had already been privy to the angel’s miraculous appearance and his release from jail, he must have been emotionally overwhelmed. I do love this story as it reveals the power of prayer.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I wondered the same thing also Martha. I wonder if he said, “WOW! That’s a fine how-do-you-do.” 🙂 I’m glad to hear you read that same passage and some similar thoughts.