When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. 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.”
I love this story because it reminds me how easy it is to get caught up in the routine of prayer and lose sight of the power of prayer. This wasn't your typical Wednesday night service or fellowship dinner that just happened to include a little prayer time. They were up late at night; perhaps well past midnight, and they had gathered to "pray very earnestly for him" (Acts 12:5). They were praying with purpose, and that purpose was Peter!
This wasn't a group of casual Christians; they would have already been in bed. This was a group of devout Christians. They loved the Lord and had seen Him do miracles. However, somewhere in this spiritual battle they got so caught up in their need that they lost focus of their Provider.
They prayed all night for Peter, so why didn't they believe when God answered their prayer and hand delivered him to their doorstep? When Rhoda told them, "Peter is standing at the door," they told her, "you are out of your mind" (Acts 12:15). I kept asking myself, "Why would someone stay up all night praying for something they never believed they would receive?" My first thought was that they really were out of their minds. But the more I reflected on it, I began to realize their lack of faith wasn't in who God is, but rather it was their believe in what He would do.
Perhaps everyone there was praying that Peter would be spared, but Rhoda was standing close to the door because she had been praying that Peter would be hand delivered. Why else would she be "so overjoyed" while everyone else was so full of doubt (Acts 12:14)? The words of Jesus came to mind when He said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" (Matthew 19:14). A little faith, in a little girl, can move a really big mountain! Perhaps, like this little servant girl, when our time with Him accompanies our faith in Him, we too will hear the answer to our prayer knocking at the door.
Father, thank You for teaching us, training us, and the privilege to boldly enter into Your presence with thanksgiving and prayer. Help us to never loose sight that You hear us, You love us, and You move mountains when we come to You with a mustard seed of faith and prayer.