Acts Devotionals

Answers to Prayer

Answers to prayer do not always come the way we would like or reason. Some of the beloved in Jesus feel that at times God does not answer their prayers. Others might tend to feel God is unfair in the way He provides answers. We need to remember that God has the sovereign right to answer prayers according to His will. He knows best for His children. He is a loving, caring parent. All prayers of believers are answered for our very best and for the requirements of the Church and even society. When you feel your prayer is not answered, then:

Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

It is God’s delight when we His children persist in prayer because it teaches us dependence and brings God glory as we cast ourselves upon Him in total trust. We dealt with the first part of the answer to prayer where God delivered Peter from the prison in the most amazing and miraculous way. Now we come to the second part of His answer to their prayers.

Ac 12:19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.

Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.

21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

24 But the word of God continued to increase and spread.

25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

1) There is no such thing as “human supremacy”. Herod thought he was invincible. The crowds played to his tune for their personal safety … but all he was, was a human being, like you and I are! Did he think executing innocent soldiers would not be noticed by God? Did he think his prideful arrogance desiring the praise of man would be overlooked by God? Did he think God did not hear the cries of the people … “This is the voice of a god, not of a man”?

O, my beloved in Christ … God does not miss a thing. Not a falling bird, not a falling leaf, not a falling human, not the robbing God of rightful praise … goes without being seen or heard. God observes everything.

There is a man a 70 year old man named Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who was an intelligence officer who rose to become the president of Russia. He served as such from 2000 to 2008 and now since 2012. He cannot get over the disbandment of the old USSR. As one of his citizens that I met recently says … “he is crazy!” He thinks he is invincible. Look at what he has and is doing to the Ukraine. Does he think God does not see or hear or feel the pleas of the Ukrainian people?

2) There is no such thing as false diplomacy. To gain support and favor Herod visited Caesarea. There was a problem between him and the people of Tyre and Sidon. One of Herod’s counselors named Blastus seems to have been the intermediary between these two main cities and the king. We are not told what the problem was but he seemed to have cut off the much needed supply of food to that region. His motive for the meeting was to regain popularity and praise. The crowds attending the meeting were encouraged to adore the king to regain his favor … and food basket! Maybe much of international, national as well as local negotiations are laced with motives to suit a specific party. Often such meetings start off with one side declaring certain non-negotiable points. Pray for the day that diplomacy and negotiating will be for the benefit of both sides. The people seem to be the losers all the time!

3) There is no such thing as the glory of man. Herod dressed up in his impressive, royal garments. Humanly, he must have looked rather spectacular. One wonders whether his throne was transported for him on his journeys. There he was on public display … showing off himself to draw homage as he displayed power and authority. Where respect is due, veneration of any humans, especially kings, presidents, leaders, including clergy is wicked and sinful. Only God must be the object of our delight and honor, for He alone is worthy. They even went on to declare:

Ac 12:22 “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”

Naturally, they did not mean it. They themselves had wrong motives … honor the king and receive food supplies! Never forget that the only voice for us is God speaking through the Bible. All other voices are either of man or of demons!

4) There is no such thing as mocking God and getting away with it. God declares:

Ro 12:19 “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

To show man that Herod was nothing but human and that the God of the Christian Church is Divinely Supreme, we find:

Ac 12:23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

This was the second part of God’s answer to the prayers of the Church. God has His way and His timing in removing those who try to be invincible. Never forget:

Heb 10:31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

True praying is powerful because God hear and answers such praying in Jesus’ name.

5) There is no such thing as blocking the progress of God’s Church. Many have tried and they have all failed. They might kill the body, destroy the brick and mortar and force the Church underground but they cannot stop what God started when He brought Jesus back to life!

Ac 12:24 But the word of God continued to increase and spread.

Grow your Church, Lord, and use us as Your instruments. Our Father, how mighty You are. Thank You for answering our prayers. Amen.

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