When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
“You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” Acts 12:14-15
The relative peace the church enjoyed while Saul was away learning from the Lord in the Arabian desert came to an abrupt halt when King Herod Agrippa decided to entertain the Jews by stepping up the persecution of the Christians, so he had the Apostle James run through with a sword, and since that pleased everybody so much, arrested Peter to stand on public trial. With the Jewish authorities being judge and jury, and Peter still making them responsible for the death of Jesus, Peter didn’t stand much of a chance, especially with a sword still bloody from James. Things were finally going to be set straight according to the Jewish leaders.
Except that when they went the next morning to the jail to bring Peter out for his trial, he wasn’t anywhere to be found. That’s after placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each — chained to two of them and two by the door. (Peter’s reputation for busting out of prison was common knowledge by then.) In the night, an angel of the Lord had put the poor guards to sleep, released Peter’s chains, and walked him out of prison. And Peter thought he was dreaming all this, until he suddenly found himself standing alone in the middle of the street where the angel had left him.
Overjoyed that he didn’t have to stand trial that day and face what the Jews had prepared for him, which was most likely his death, Peter went to the home of Mary, mother of John Mark, where a group of believers had gathered to pray for him. Then a very humorous and terribly human thing happened. Peter knocked on the door to the gate of the house while people were inside praying fervently, and a servant girl went to the door and asked who it was. As soon as she heard Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she ran back to tell everyone “Peter is standing at the door!” No one believed her. “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they only said, “It must be his angel.” Meanwhile, Peter was still knocking at the door. While they were refuting the ridiculous notion that he could possibly be outside the door, Peter continued to knock.
Something about this seems all too familiar. We pray fervently for something, but when God sends the answer to our prayers, whether it’s that we don’t believe our prayers, or it’s not quite the answer we were expecting (it’s better!) we miss it. We leave the answer outside knocking at the door while we try and talk ourselves out of believing it. If you pray for a miracle, it helps to expect a miracle.
Our Prayer Warriors expect miracles. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be warriors. And I’m sure that because they are human, they have doubts like the rest of us. But it would be good to make sure that when we all pray, we expect that one of the possible answers God might send us might just be to send a miracle. Whatever you do, don’t try to explain God away when He’s outside knocking on the door. Let Him in!