King Herod liked being popular and the more he persecuted the Christians, the more the Jews liked him. James, John’s brother, had already been put to death with the sword. God’s people held their breath as they continued reaching out and living for Christ, even as the dark clouds of persecution covered the land. The bad news came with swiftness as they learned that Peter had been arrested and given a death sentence.
There’s power in Act 12:5 when it says, “…but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” There’s a great testimony to the power of God in a praying church.
While they were praying, God was answering. Peter was led by an angel out of the jail and he made his way to Mary’s house. The Bible says, “…many people had gathered and were praying…” (Acts 12:12).
An unsuspecting servant girl stepped into the pages of history as she asked who was at the door before she opened it. Hearing Peter’s voice, she was filled with excitement and joy and ran to tell the others that he was at the door (leaving him outside). Rhoda didn’t find a receptive audience to her message. In fact, they were so resistant to the message that they surmised that it was his angel outside, and not Peter himself!
Thankfully, Peter kept on knocking and when they finally let him they were astonished! He told them what had happened and he crept away into the night.
The lesson is plain, but awfully challenging. Expect God to answer! Ask Him for what you think you need. Beseech Him on the behalf of others. Never doubt for a minute that He is going to answer. In fact, look for it. Don’t leave the door closed on your blessing, let it in! Thank God for it.
Perhaps what we need are a few more Rhodas among us to provoke us into believing in a God who rescues prisoners and listens to the petitions of His people. Expect an answer!