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I have a couple-three friends from south of the Mason-Dixon line and, as you know, the phrase, “Hey y’all, watch this!” is commonly associated with our beloved brothers and sisters to our south. It’s even been claimed (on more than one occasion I might add) that this phrase is invariably uttered immediately before a trip to the Emergency Room –or the untimely and early demise of said good ole boy. 


I bring this up because, at a recent Bible Study,  a group of us were delving into the first part of Acts 12. I’m not going to post all 19 verses, so allow me to crack open the Dan Jones Abridged Paraphrase:


Herod Agrippa has James (the brother of John and one of the Sons of Thunder) killed. The religious big-shots think this is great, so Herod tosses Peter in prison with plans to do the same to him. All the brothers and sisters pray “very earnestly” for him. Peter is chained to two soldiers with a total of 16 guys making sure he aint going anywhere. And then, BOOM, a bright light fills the cell and an angel smacks Peter awake. (It says “struck.” It does not say the angel taps him on the shoulder quietly.) Somehow, the soldiers don’t notice any of this and the angel tells Peter to grab his coat and shoes and get out. They do. The angel leads him through the streets past two guard posts, and the city gate magically opens for them. Peter isn’t sure if he’s dreaming or what is going on. The angel leaves him and Peter figures out this is for real, so he makes his way to John Mark’s house where a bunch of the believers are praying. He knocks on the door and a servant girl named Rhoda answers the door. She recognizes Peter’s voice, but she’s so rattled she leaves him standing at the door while she goes and tells everyone, “PETER IS AT THE DOOR!”


They don’t believe her. 


The Bible even says they thought it was his ghost.


This is the point where I’m thinking to myself, “Wait a minute boys, isn’t Peter being miraculously released from prison exactly what you had been praying for?”


And part of me can just see God in heaven chuckling (in the half-second before Peter knocks on that door) and saying to the angels, “Hey y’all, watch THIS!”


I’m like that myself. Jesus tells us if we abide in Him, we can ask for anything we want in prayer and He will do it! (John 15:7) Yet, when He does it, we all find it surprising. 


He said He would do it!


If you really think about it, what this means is that we need to be careful what we ask for because He’s going to do it! (Remember in Acts 16 when Paul casts a demon out of a female slave because it annoyed him and he got a whole bunch of people all riled up at him?) 


Now, this doesn’t mean that God is going to do things against His will, and it most surely doesn’t mean you get a brand-new bass boat just because you want one, but what it does mean is that we far too often put God in a box and forget all that is possible for Him.


Kinship Radio exists because some people got together and asked God in prayer for a Christian radio station when, by the reckonings of any reasonable human, it just wasn’t possible. 


But God said, “Hey y’all, watch THIS!”



Today’s Praise

Numbers 11:23

The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” (NIV)

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Katie Grev says:

    Dan, I throughly enjoy your paraphrases.
    On to the topic, a few friends and I were fervently praying for a man with aggressive cancer. Maybe not so fervently because the outcome looked grim, hopeless almost. What a surprise we had when tests came back with no sign of cancer. Why were we so surprised?!
    Chances of the cancer returning are high but we WILL be praying fervently now that we’ve seen what God can do.

  • Linda Prince says:

    That was soooo good! Simple. Precise. To the point, with full impact being made.
    IF you believe, understand God’s perfection, pray earnestly, God can and will answer, with full power, force, and I agree with you….a “Hey you all, watch this event in your life. I’ve seen it, experienced it ! We serve an awesome Father ! AMEN !

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