Summary: Message deals with God's answer to our prayer of revival and change. He does it His way. When we pray yet crisis happens we need to hear from God.
When God Answers Prayer
Theme: To help us understand God does not always answer prayers the way we expect.
Text: Acts 12:1 - 19
Act 12:1-19 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. (2) Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. (3) And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. (4) So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, (So James was killed for the faith, while Peter was put in prison. That there is a mouth full in God’s plan. We may not understand but we trust God) and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him (he had 4 soldiers guarding him at all times, they would rotate 4 shifts), intending to bring him before the people after Passover. (5) Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant (Greek word here is ek-ten-ace'
Which means fervent, without ceasing) prayer (there was a consistent prayer without ceasing, as we are told in 1 Thes 5:17) was offered to God for him by the church. (This is what happened when they went under persecution, they began to have intense prayer meetings, 24hr prayer meetings)
(6) And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. (7) Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. (8) Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." (9) So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. (In other words Peter was resting in prison, that is a whole nother message, but you can rest in your storm or prison when you know God is in control. You don’t have to let fear keep you awake. We read the passage last week and I know you have heard it a lot through out this ordeal 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power (to control your mind and thoughts and pray in the name of Jesus), love (don’t miss the opportunity) and a sound mind. (self-control, moderation. What better advice to make it through this ordeal, practice self-control and moderation of negativity) (10) When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. (This is probably about the time that Peter is getting his senses about him) (11) And when Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people." (12) So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. (This is what we need from the church right now, many gathered together and praying) (13) And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. (14) When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. (This is the first humors part, Peter is knocking, she know it is Peter yet does not open the door) (15) But they said to her, "You are beside yourself!" (other translations KJV “You are mad”, MSG You’re crazy” NLT “You’re out of your mind”) Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, "It is his angel." (16) Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. (Peter kept knocking, consistently. They let him in and are astonished, knocked back as the Greek says) (17) But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison
I guess what got me the most about this story and it makes me chuckle is God had done the very thing they had asked Him to do and they were amazed. I know they had been praying for God’s deliverance. For a miracle. For God to intervene.