COMMENTARY

Answered prayers

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We busted out of quarantine on Monday. 

             
After two weeks of home incarceration due to COVID, my beloved and I were thrilled to breathe the cold air of freedom.  (It was below freezing.)

             
The church had been praying.  Actually, it was more than just our flock.  News had gone out on social media.  (My beloved calls it “the interweb”.)  So oodles were praying!

             
After some sick time that was quite scary, I’m so thankful for what the Lord has done, I could write a Psalm right here, right now.

             
The thrill of answered prayers reminds me of an intriguing and humorous story in Acts 12.

             
King Herold had arrested some who belonged to the church.  Trying to please the Jews, he also seized Simon Peter, who was handed over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. 

             
While Peter was in prison, the church was praying.  The NIV states that they were praying “earnestly” (KJV:  “without ceasing”).

             
The night before Peter was to be brought out for public trial, he was sleeping between two guards.  Acts 12:6 tells us he was bound with not one, but two chains, between two soldiers while sentries stood guard at the door.  Delivery did not seem to be coming.  His friends had been persecuted and some had died.  Yet in spite of all this, he slept.  He.  Trusted.  His.  Savior.  Clearly, he held firmly to words written by David: “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety,” (Psalm 4:8).  So sleep he did. 

             
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell.  He was sleeping so soundly, the angel had to punch Peter to wake him up-gospel truth.  “Quick!  Get up!” the angel declared and the chains fell off.  Peter took time to get his coat and shoes before leaving-per the angel’s instructions.

             
Leading Peter past the first and second guards, the angel took him straight to the city gate, which opened by itself.   The angel disappeared and Peter realized he hadn’t been dreaming after all.  He went to the home of Mary, the mom of John Mark, where people had gone to pray.

             
When Peter knocked on the door, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer.  When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so excited that she ran to tell the others without opening the door!  “Peter is here!” she yelled to everyone.

             
 “You’re out of your mind,” they all told her (NIV).  The KJV says, “And they said unto her, ‘Thou are mad…’”  That gets me tickled every time!  Meanwhile, Peter is still knocking at the door.

             
They were shocked that God had answered so quickly!

             
Peter shushed the stunned prayer warriors, told them to share the story with the other believers and then headed out.

              Lessons I can learn from this fun story…

  • Like Peter, when troubles of this world wrap around me like chains, I need to rest and trust in God, my Rock.

  • Like the people in the church, I need to pray without ceasing.

  • Like Rhoda, I need to get excited when God answers prayer.


Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at preacherswife7@yahoo.com  

             

             

             

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