Have you ever heard of Rhoda? Noooo, not the one from The Mary Tyler Moore television sitcom. Although the way Rhoda acted, it could have been a Biblical sitcom. I’m talking about the Rhoda is from scripture. We can find her in Acts 12.
“He knocked at the door of the outer gate, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer.” Acts 12:13 CSB
Rhoda was with a group of believers at the house of Mary, John Mark’s mom. They were having a fervent prayer meeting, specifically to pray for Peter’s release from prison. As they were praying, an angel of the Lord went to the jail and rescued Peter. His chains fell off and he was free!
Peter then made his way to Mary’s house, where he knocked on the outer gate and Rhoda came to answer.
But get this: Rhoda didn’t let him in!!
She recognized Peter’s voice, and because of her joy, she did not open the gate but ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the outer gate. Acts 12:14 CSB
I’m sure Rhoda was pretty embarrassed by her comedic performance. But in her joy at Peter’s deliverance and the answer to their prayers, she left him standing outside the gate. I’ve gotta tell you, I would have looked at Rhoda and said “You left the Apostle Peter outside the gate?? Why didn’t you let him in??”
Notice the reaction of her friends. It was in stark contrast to her joy. They couldn’t believe their prayers had been answered so quickly and specifically.
“You’re out of your mind!” they told her. But she kept insisting that it was true, and they said, “It’s his angel.” Acts 12:15 CSB
Honestly, I’d like to condemn them for their unbelief. But don’t we sometimes do the same?
We slam the door on answered prayer.
When our answered prayers show up at the gate, we leave them there. Maybe it’s unbelief. Or maybe they haven’t been answered the way we wanted. Perhaps the answer involves work that we don’t want to do. Whatever the reason, we close the door to the answer.
“Lord, I see how you answered my prayer. I do need Your help. But what You’re asking me to do is much too hard. I can’t…”
“This can’t possibly be God’s answer! No way!”
“This has got to be a coincidence. I can’t imagine that the Lord would answer my little piddly prayers immediately and specifically.”
But, what if we prayed with great anticipation and expectation? What if we began looking for God’s answers? And then, what if we squealed with joy and excitement over the answers? What if we couldn’t wait to run and tell others that our prayers had been answered, giving glory to God?
“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 ESV
Grace be with you,