Prayer and God’s Word


Have you ever wished God would be more specific or clear? Have you prayed earnestly for something and were then shocked when it happened? Once, I needed a “word from God” but he was silent, and another time I was dumbstruck when my prayer was specifically answered. In this passage, an angel has just miraculously led Peter past prison guards and opened a locked door. Luke tells us that both the guards and those praying for Peter had a difficult time explaining and believing what had happened. One group lived without God “in the mix,” but the other group trusted God and learned what’s necessary to discern how he’s involved in our lives. The same holds true today.

  • Have you ever been told of something miraculous that God has done that you had trouble believing? What convinced you that it was true?


12 When he [Peter] realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!”16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was happening at Mary’s house when Peter arrived?
  2. In the passage before this, we are told that the church was praying earnestly for Peter (12:5). Why might those who were praying for Peter have had trouble believing what God had done?
  3. Why couldn’t the guards explain what had happened? What did Herod do?
  4. Why did those praying change their minds and believe? What did Peter tell those at Mary’s house to do?
  5. How does this story encourage you in your prayer life and in following Christ today? When your prayers are answered, what should you do?


When Peter realized that God had brought him out of prison, he went to Mary’s house, knocked, and identified himself. It took awhile for those in the house to believe that Peter was at the door, and they only understood what God had done when Peter told them. The guards, on the other hand, didn’t know what had happened because no one told them what God had done. When we face trials, we should take them to God in prayer, trusting that he can handle them. And when he works in our lives, we need to share that with others.

  • Take your concerns, pain, anxiety, and challenges to God in prayer.
  • Ask God to open your eyes to see his work in your life, and ask him for opportunities to share what he has done for you.