There are things that sound too good to be true. There are also things that we have to see in order to believe. And then there are the kinds of events that go beyond both of those standards–Acts 12 being one of them. Peter is imprisoned, sleeping between two soldiers and bound with chains, with more guards at the doors. James has just been killed, and now Peter is securely imprisoned. Things were not looking good for the advance of the gospel and the growth of the early church. And yet, the church kept praying for Peter. They held out hope that Peter would be spared, even though every indication was that things were headed in the wrong direction.
That’s when an angel of the Lord appears with Peter in the cell, wakes him up, releases his chains, and says, “Follow me.” Peter followed, but we’re told he didn’t know if this was really happening or just some sort of vision. But by the time he walked past the guards and through the gate, which opened all by itself, Peter had reached a conclusion–the Lord had sent his angel to rescue him. Spurred on by this epiphany, he headed for the house of Mary where the church was gathered in prayer, pleading for exactly what had just happened to take place. When he knocked on the door and Rhoda recognized his voice, she was so excited she forgot to open the door. That’s understandable, and so is the response of the rest of the church. What was their reaction upon hearing that their prayer had been answered? Well, it sounded too good to be true. They would need to see it to believe it, but once they finally did, they were amazed!
When have you seen God answer prayers in ways that seemed too good to be true? As the early church prayed persistently for Peter, let’s take time to pray for believers around the world today who find themselves in similarly hopeless situations.