Lord Teach Us to Pray – Part 6
Sunday we finished our series on prayer dealing with – Do You Believe God Will Answer Your Prayers? I totally stole this lesson from Perry Nobel’s “Supernatural or Superstitious” lesson. It was part of his series on Christian Atheist.
In Acts 12 we see that James the Apostle was killed by Herod. This must have been devastating for the church. This was the James of the legendary Peter, James, and John. This isn’t some obscure apostle like Bartholomew, this was James. If God wouldn’t save one of Jesus’ best friends then who would he save? I am sure the church was praying for James and I imagine that when he was killed this threw them for a loop. Then to everyone’s horror Peter is arrested and the plans to kill him were in place. So what is the church to do? They have a prayer meeting. God answers their prayer and while they are “earnestly praying” Peter shows up. Rhoda hears Peter and is so excited that God answered their prayer she doesn’t open the door but runs to tell everyone. They don’t believe her.
Why didn’t they believe her when she says that Peter is at the door? I believe it is because they had their hearts crushed when James was killed and didn’t believe God would answer this prayer. When Rhoda insist that she heard Peter at the door they assume it was his angel. They were basically saying, “Peter must have been killed”. So as they are praying for God to deliver Peter never once do they believe that God could have delivered Peter.
So do we believe that God will answer our prayers? Do we sometimes pray for things without really believing that God will answer them? Do you ever begin to provide loopholes in your prayers so that when God doesn’t answer them you aren’t shocked or hurt? Do you ever pray for God to do something but in a way that you don’t ask God to directly impact the situation?
I know I have done all these things. I think that we are like the church in Acts 12 in that we sometimes pray for God to do something miraculous but don’t really expect him to because he didn’t that one or two other times. The hard thing is to not allow the times when God says no to jade us so that we begin to think that God will never say yes. We need to pray with boldness and confidence that God can and will say yes. When he says no we will be heartbroken. But when he says yes our minds will be blown like the church in Acts 12 when Peter is delivered.