Thursday 17 November 2022

When the Answer to Your Prayer Seems Like an Impossible Dream

“You’re out of your mind!”


That’s what they told Rhoda when she blurted out the miraculous news – the prisoner they had been earnestly praying for, the one who had been arrested by King Herod, was being guarded by four squads of soldiers, and faced imminent death, that same prisoner, Peter, was standing outside their gate in the middle of the night, as a free man.


Rhoda had been so astounded when she heard Peter’s voice that instead of letting him in, she darted to tell the others. But the others, the very same ones who had been praying for Peter, didn’t believe her. Rhoda, the servant girl didn’t even have to see him to believe the miracle, but they did.


If you’re not familiar with the story found in Acts 12: 1-17, take a moment and read through it; there’s just too much encouragement there to miss. Here is an excerpt for you:



I often wonder what they were praying for exactly.


Were they praying for his comfort and peace while in prison, for Herod and the Jewish people to be lenient on him, or perhaps that he wouldn’t suffer for long? I wonder if they prayed for him to be set free.


And if they did, why were they so incredulous? Why were they so slow to believe when the answer to their prayers was standing outside their door? 

Even Peter thought he was dreaming when the angel woke him up and led him out of the prison.


Perhaps it all felt too good to be true.


But isn’t that just like God? Able and willing to blow our minds.


I’ve been thinking a lot about Peter’s miraculous escape, the prayers of the believers, and their response to God’s out-of-this-world answer to prayer. I think that God has been nudging me to remember critical truths that sometimes get lost in the craziness of life, and I’d like to share them with you because maybe you just might need to remember them, too.


Believe in the God of the Possible


Yes, it may seem like the answer to your prayer is an impossible dream, but don’t ever forget who you are praying to. Our Father in heaven can do abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine. Abundantly more. Even to opening prison doors and leading prisoners out. All in answer to prayer. 

Sometimes, we don’t believe that what we pray for is even possible. And equally sad, often we don’t even dare ask for the miracle. Yet, the same God who created the world and upholds it by the Word of His power is able and willing to answer bold, audacious prayers in miraculous ways. All for His glory and our good. 

So, let us lean close to God, listen to and obey His guidance, and don’t give up praying and believing. Who knows? Our miracles just might come knocking in the middle of the night.


There’s Power in Community


Peter didn’t live in isolation. He was a key part of the community of believers, others who shared his faith, who knew him well enough to know when he was in trouble and needed help. He was involved in their lives as they were in his. So, when his life was in danger, his community rose to the task, gathered together, and sought the help of their heavenly Father on his behalf. It was the best and most they could do, and they did it. And the results were miraculous! It helps to have others praying for you!


In the Middle of the Mess, Rest in God


I’m not sure if I would have been able to sleep. Bound by chains between soldiers in a high-security prison on the very night I was to face my death sentence, my mind and nerves would have been all tangled up. Yet, the Scriptures tell us that Peter was asleep when the angel woke him up.  Asleep. Resting. Trusting God’s plan of rescue. Oh, if only I could rest like Peter did. When there seems to be no way out of the mess, I want that kind of rest. Reading Scriptures like this helps to remind me of who God is and leads me back to that peaceful place of resting in His sovereignty.  


Open the Door to Your Miracle


Sometimes, our prayers aren’t answered in the way or timing that we expect. And often, we don’t recognize the answers when they appear. We become so fixed on our version of how things should work out that we miss where God is working. We miss the opportunity to celebrate how He is showing up in our lives and to bless Him with our praise. 

I’ve been surprised so many times by God, yet still, when I sense the miracle knocking at my door, I hesitate, and doubt trickles in. To be honest, sometimes it floods in. And at that moment, I know what I must do. I must remember who God is. He is miracle-working, forever-loving, always-rescuing, personal, and close to the broken-hearted. 

As I meditate on who He is, I’m reminded that He can do anything He pleases, and nothing can stand in His way. I’m reminded that I can trust His heart and His plans. And he grants me the courage and the boldness to crank that door open and let my miracle in.



What about you?

Has God ever answered your prayer in a way that blew your mind?

When the miracle you had been praying for knocks on your door, do you let it in? Do you believe it’s fully here even before you fully see it? How willing are you to accept God’s answer to your prayer as the miracle it really is?


Also, in the middle of the mess, while you’re earnestly praying for your miracle, are you able to rest in our rescuing God?

And finally, what about community? Do others know enough about you to lift you up in prayer in times of trouble? Do you know enough about them?


Just a few things to ponder as we wait on our miracle-working God.


May grace and peace be multiplied to you,



Encouragement to 'Believe For It' from CeCe Winans


  1. Carli, this was such an encouraging post! It is so true, sometimes we miss the answer to our prayer because we are holding onto our version of the answer! I needed to hear these words today as I am still praying an impossible prayer for many years now.

    1. Thank you, Donna. Let us keep on praying and believing that our God is able to answer in miraculous ways even as we surrender to His will for our lives. May God grant us His favour to do so.

  2. I love this, Carli! What a great reminder to keep praying and to not be surprised when God answers! Yes, the miracle of prayer has knocked on my door...and yes, I have let it in! I need to always look back with thanks at answered prayers so as I lift up new prayers my faith will be strong! Blessings, Jo

  3. I think I accidentally posted as "anonymous"! Sorry! I'm Jo from Hope Secure :)

    1. Thank you, Jo. I think that is the key - to look back on God's faithfulness and the miracles of answered prayer as we walk new roads of waiting. Thanks for visiting and for your thoughtful comment.

  4. Carrie, I appreciate this blessed message. So wonderfully spoken.
    Visiting today from G&T

    1. Thank you, Paula. So glad you visited today.

  5. Thank you so much for this Carla 🍒 thank you!

    1. You're welcome, Shaunelle; I hope it was an encouragement to you.

  6. I absolutely love how you started this post! So attention-grabbing, bringing this Bible story to life. Thank you for this encouragement today! - Jennifer

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Somehow, that line stood out to me. I guess it reminds me of how slow I am to believe sometimes. I'm glad it was an encouragement to you.

  7. This is so so beautiful! Yes, our God can do anything he please!

  8. Carlie, we so need to be reminded of these powerful truths which at times can so get lost in the craziness of the world. May we be like Rhoda and pray, but then tell others of the answers we have received so they then also believe. Grateful for the nudge this morning!

  9. Carlie, this is such a lovely article. I'm sharing tomorrow on Grace and Truth. Thanks for linking up!


If this post speaks to you, please feel free to leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you. You can log-in using one of the pull-down options or comment as anonymous.