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question on prayer

April 30, 2007

The past couple of Wednesday nights have touched on the bit in Acts 12 that recounts Peter’s being freed from prison by an angel. Pastor talked about it in regard to angels; Dennis talked about it in regard to prayer. I have this nagging question about it, though, that maybe someone can answer.

Why was Peter freed from prison?

The immediate answer is, “Because the other disciples were praying for him.” The monkey wrench for me is that they didn’t seem to believe that their prayers were going to be answered. Even when Peter knocked on the door of the house where they were gathered they didn’t believe it was him.

Dennis talked last Wenesday about how unbelief is probably the biggest hinderance to the manifestation of our prayers. When he brought up Acts 12 I thought my question would finally be answered, but it was only emphasized. If unbelief hinders the power of prayer – and we know it does because the disciples couldn’t heal the boy in Matthew 17 – why was the disciples’ prayer for Peter’s release effective?

Heretofore, my only answer was that God just had a plan that did not involve Peter’s being in prison, and despite prayers of unbelief He wanted Peter out of prison and He’s sovereign. That just doesn’t do it for me, though, because why wouldn’t He then send angels to all of His people who are or have been in prison for their faith? Because He shows no favoritism.

In typing this it occured to me that maybe one person in the place believed the prayer would be answered – maybe it was Rhoda – and that was all it took. I like that.

If anyone has a little revelation on this, or an idea, or an argument … I’d like to get to the bottom of it.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. I Ravish His Heart permalink
    May 1, 2007 1:46 pm

    another interesting thing to think about. Jeff told me this and it is very interesting. You know the woman in Matthew 4 that had 5 husbands and the one she was living with was her brother. She is always portrayed as a harlot, but she could be just a widow. Her Husbands could have died and now she is living with her brother. Another interesting thing about Jewish culture was the woman would lay with their husbands at noon everyday. She was drawing water around that time. Why because he wasn’t her husband.

  2. Lex permalink
    May 1, 2007 2:02 pm

    Okay that’s totally off topic, but you mean John 4. I don’t think her being out at noon means she’s living with her brother. We know whoever this guy is, it’s not her husband, because Jesus said it. So if she’s having an affair, of course she wouldn’t be laying with him at noon … because he’s not her husband.

  3. Tami permalink
    May 1, 2007 3:07 pm

    what on earth is connor talking about? and if he got it from jeff, what on earth is jeff talking about? in the NKJ, Jesus’s words are, “you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband”. in the NIV, it says, “”You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” The NLT puts it this way: “for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now.” if it were her brother and Jesus was getting this Word of Knowledge about her, i think he would’ve phrased it a bit differently. there’s more, but i digress.

    i’ve been reading in acts over the past several weeks, and just came to this part about the big prison break, lex. you pose some interesting questions. i do have some thoughts on this, but too much to comment on here. let’s chat sometime. :)

  4. Lex permalink
    May 1, 2007 3:36 pm

    I think the idea is that “have had five husbands” means they’ve all died, which makes this woman either very old or very unfortunate. Also true, though, that Jesus probably would have known about the brother and said as much.

  5. Tami permalink
    May 2, 2007 1:56 am

    also it strikes me as funny that she would say “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.”

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