”He [Peter] went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.” But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Acts 12:12-16
Heavenly Father, thank you for chronicling the events of this comical, and all-to-common, prayer meeting. As much as it exposes our unbelief, in a far greater way it highlights your faithful commitment to do exceedingly beyond all we can ask or imagine. This story describes the kind of praying I’m way too familiar with. I dutifully pray, but I faithlessly doubt. Forgive my unbelief; override my unbelief; let me behold the salvation of the Lord.
There are many things I’m praying about right now for which I want to hear “Peter knocking at the door.” I have no need to be considered a great prayer warrior. I’m not looking for wonderful stories to tell others as a testimony to my faith. I simply want you to bring a whole lot of glory to Jesus. Astonish us, Father; astonish me with your mercy and might.
Father, I pray for marriages barely holding on and the ones needing a full-bore resurrection; for self-absorbed men who need a redemptive kick in their hind quarters; for spoiled children who need to learn gratitude and how to work; for elders who would rather win votes than win the lost; for pastors who keep defaulting from gospel preaching to law preaching; for my own heart—for greater freedom, joy and spontaneity in putting others first.
Father, I also pray for those in the persecuted church and for their leaders. Strengthen them, encourage them, and grant miracles of provision and deliverance. Cause the gospel to spread like wildfire. Give them so much joy, peace, and love that their persecutors will be convicted and fall down and worship you.
Father, I pray for the courageous men and women who are laboring in the dark world of human trafficking. Bring justice to bear; deliver women and children from the evil of slavery in every form. Protect the rescuers and provide good aftercare for those rescued.
Father, I pray for an outpouring of your Holy Spirit on church families in our area. Let us have done with “lesser things” that we might more fully give ourselves to the things that matter the most to you. We’re spoiled; we’re dull; we’re bored and we’re boring. The main vision we need is a renewed vision of Jesus gathering his bride from the nations and making all things new. Free us from ourselves for yourself. Undo us, Father; humble and gladden us, as you override our unbelief and write stories of great redemption. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ exalted and glorious name.