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In Acts chapter 12 we see that Peter thrown into prison. James had just been put to death and King Herod was out to stop the movement. He had Peter arrested and intended to hold a public trial.
While awaiting trial and in prison we see in Acts 12:5b “but the church was earnestly praying to God for him” (NIV). Now the church members are gathered in Mary’s house and in deep prayer for Peter.
During the night an angel appeared to Peter and rescued him. There were two guards sleeping on either side of Peter, and two more at two different gates, and I don’t think these were ordinary soldiers. Herod had assigned four squads of four guards each to ensure that Peter remained in prison.
Yet this angel led Peter right past them and even more amazing, the gate unlocked itself to let him out. How cool is that? As you read the account in Acts 12, you will see that the next morning the guards were interrogated and eventually executed by Herod.
So Peter is free, and once he realizes it, for he initially thought he was seeing a vision, he headed to Mary’s house where the church was gathered. He knocks on the outside gate and the servant Rhoda goes to the gate and recognizing his voice, ……… she opens the gate? No recognizing his voice she is so excited and overwhelmed that she rushes into the house to tell the others Peter is outside.
So now we have this fugitive standing on the street, and he has to be wondering what in the world is going on. Inside the house the church hears Rhoda’s story, …… and they run to the gate to let Peter in? No, they tell her she is out of their mind. I can just hear it, “you are dreaming girl.” Leave us alone – we are busy praying for Peter’s safety. I just love it and can so picture the scene.
Eventually they hear Peter knocking, and being a fugitive he tells them to be quiet and calm down and tells them how he came to be released. He eventually goes to “another place” and is able to continue his ministry.
How often do we miss the knock on the gate because we are so busy praying, and praying and praying, but never slow down to let God get a word in edge-wise.
How often does someone we deem insignificant, like the slave Rhoda, tell us something and we dismiss it because we deem them to be out of their mind?
Pray unceasingly, but while praying take the time to listen.
Take time in life to listen to those people that God puts in our path, even if we think they are beneath us.
The major players in the bible all came from meager beginnings, as did we, whether we realize it or not. I pray God opens our hearts and our ears to the answers He provides us