Surprise! (Daily Devotional for June 18)

Today’s Scripture Readings:

Psalm 135:8-14 | 1 Kings 19:1-21 | Acts 12:1-23 | Proverbs 17:14-15

Today’s Scripture Focus:  Acts 12

“Peter is standing at the door!”
“You’re out of your mind,” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally went out and opened the door, they were amazed. Acts 12:14b-16, NLT

James had already been killed.  Now Peter was in prison and a similar fate was expected.  The church called a special prayer meeting.They gathered and prayed at Mary’s house (mother of John Mark): “…the church prayed very earnestly for him.” (5)

Despite the earnest praying, they still stood amazed at the answer.  Let’s be honest, we are sometimes amazed too when God answers.

Often we pray more out of desperation than in expectation.  We pray more because we feel overwhelmed than because we are overflowing with hope.  Their disappointment at the death of James, surely weighed heavily on them. In times when we feel confused and overwhelmed by that which we don’t understand it’s sometimes hard to hold on to hope.

Still, whatever deficiency there may have been in regard to their expectation, God did answer their prayer.  Peter was awakened by an angel of the Lord.  His chains fell off and he was led to safety.  Peter went to tell the others.

He knocked on the door and the servant girl answered.  She was so amazed and overjoyed that she left Peter at the door knocking while she told the news to the others.  Despite their fervent praying, they couldn’t believe their ears.

Finally they had to see for themselves.  Opening the door, they were completely amazed to find Peter without a scratch.

God answers prayer.  Pray fervently and expectantly.  And don’t be too surprised when the answer you are seeking comes knocking at the door.

With Joy,

Pastor Jeff

Tomorrow’s Scripture Readings:
Psalm 135:15-21
1 Kings 20:1-21:29
Acts 12:24-13:15
Proverbs 17:16

Copyright 2005 by Jeffrey R. Syverson. Feel free to share but give credit where it is due.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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