Pray and Watch

This morning I was reading the following text in scripture:

Acts 12:5-15



So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.


6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.


8 Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. 9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.


11 Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."


12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, "Peter is at the door!"


15 "You're out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel." NIV

It is interesting to me that that the text begins with the statement that Peter was in prison, but the church was "earnestly praying for him".  Undoubtedly, they were praying for his safety and his release.  The word "earnestly" is translated in the King James Version as "fervantly".   It is persistent prayer with intention and intensity. 
 
What is interesting is the response of the church.  The prayer is answered in a miraculous way.  When Peter shows up, the idea that their prayer was answered was not even considered. 
 
I wonder how many times that God has answered our sincere prayers and we missed His blessing due to doubt and lack of vigilence.
 
We are commanded in scripture to:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Col 4:2)

What are you praying for?  Are you being watchful for its fulfillment?  Are you being thankful that God is acting upon your prayers, even before they are fulfilled?

Of course, our prayers should be consistent with desired will of God.  Sincere prayers are not necessarily effective prayers if the object of that prayer is outside of the desired will of God for his people as revealed in His Word (I John 5:14). 

I challenge you today to begin a devout prayer life that is based upon the Word of God. Check your requests against God's Word. Document your requests and develop a intentional process each evening of reviewing the day, and looking for evidence of God's faithfulness in your life.

Lets allow God to amaze us!

God bless,

Pastor M Traylor