There are times in my life when I know that prayer is important, so I do it because it is the right thing to do. There are other times that I am driven to prayer because there is no other option. Prayer becomes the air I breathe, the source of my existence. I pray because I must, because not doing so is unthinkable.
Acts 12 tells one of my favorite Bible stories. (I have a great many favorites.) Peter has been jailed because a violent and needy Herod Agrippa wanted to garner favor with the Jews. The Christian community is rocked. And so they take to prayer.
v Herod has just killed James, and Peter is likely next on the list. So these people are praying, seriously praying. And there is a God listening to their prayers. And that God sends an angel to open prison doors, put the guards to sleep, and unlock Peter’s chains. That God does something impossible.
Here’s my favorite part of the story. When Peter shows up at the prayer meeting, the girl answering the door gets so excited that she leaves him outside. When she reports his presence, the praying congregation tells her she must be crazy. And I quote, “You are out of your mind!” (Acts 12:15).
So they continue to pray while the answer to their prayers stands out on the doorstep. And when Peter is finally able to get them to let him in, the believers “saw him and were amazed” (v.16).
I am driven to prayer right now. There are some things I long to see God do. There are ways in which I desperately want Him to make His name great.
My prayer after reading this story: Father, please amaze me! Please answer in such a mighty way that it takes me a few minutes to believe it. Let the answer be all about You. Let those who see it fall on their knees and proclaim, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!”
Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.