“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” (Acts 12:5)
Peter said in verse 11, when he was come to himself, “…Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” He knew that, not only did Herod love the confidence that he would kill Peter, but the Jews also were looking forward to it.
Believe it or not, there are people who are actually praying that you fail, be hindered, fall; and some are even praying for your death. This is because you stand in the way of them having their own way. Even Jesus came unto His own, “and his own received Him not” (John 1:11).
“For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting (stumbling or faltering), saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.” (Jeremiah 20:10)
Therefore, it is not only important that we (the Church) should be praying, but we should be praying with expectation. We should be praying in Faith, nothing wavering. We should not be astonished or amazed when our God delivers. If, or since, we have Faith that God is able to deliver us from spiritual death; then we should also have Faith that He will answer our prayers and deliver us from some of the things that we face in this life, here and now.
Because God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts; we should never think that we have God figured out. This could sometimes make us become “religious.” We can easily get caught up in just going through the motions.
God answers prayers according to His Will and His Purpose. And that should be our expectation out of prayer: That above all, His Will be done!!
Jesus instructed us to pray for the Father’s will to be done:
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-10)
And Jesus prayed that the Father’s Will to be done Himself:
“He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)
I have learned to accept the truth that in all things we need God’s help. He lets us know that this is true even in our prayer life:
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)
“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)
With the confidence that the Spirit lives in me, it is my expectation that the Lord’s Will be done when I pray!!