Acts 12

As the story unfolds in this chapter we find that Peter is also arrested and the plan was to have him executed after the feast. Luke notes how the church gathered and began to pray earnestly that God intervene and help Peter. God answered their prayer and sent an angel to release Peter from prison. This wonderful story of Peter’s rescue leaves a question on the table. Why did God save Peter and not James? Of course as always we don’t know why – God rarely answers the why question. I feel confident that the church was also praying for James, or at least the other apostles were praying for him. Yet God chose not to save him! So we are left with the reality that God hears our prayers but how they get answered might be very different from what we had hoped. One might ask why bother to pray if God is going to do what He wants to do? Well Peter was saved and the text seems to suggest strongly that his release was in connection to the prayers of the church, for James did tell us that we do not have because we do not ask (James 4:2). So what are we to do – PRAY!!  If we get the answer we were looking for – praise God and if we don’t get the answer we were looking for, place your trust in God and praise God! For true trust in God requires us to accept the answers we get, knowing all things will work together for good! God proclaims to James: “well done good and faithful servant come share in your Mater’s happiness!”  God proclaims to Peter: “You have more to do for Me and the kingdom, continue to serve!” Who received the better answer?


  • missliz

    I struggled with understanding this question for years after my father died at age 43. He was a good christian man and the family left behind was broken in many ways. I was never angry , just hurt that the situation would be so. I do know and believe that all things work together for good but I do not believe that each singular event in our lives can always be described as good. There is nothing “good ” about cancer or a heart attack or an untimely death, etc. We do still live in broken world and it is Satan’s domain at least for now. In the end, all things do work for good in the greater picture.

    As for my answered prayers, I just remind myself that I love a sovereign Lord whose being is outside of my complete understanding. The answer may be yes or no but I do know that God is never indifferent to the situation. I have to leave it there.

  • Jerry

    We pray … God answers … & when His answer does not match my desires I am reminded of CS Lewis’s quote, ” if I find within myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

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