Expecting the Unexpected – by Chantal Klingbeil

It is Passover time in Jerusalem (Act 12:1). Peter is arrested and thrown into jail. As can be expected, the Christian community is in shock. They are still trying to come to terms with the execution of James, and now what will happen to Peter?

The clock is ticking. What are the Christians doing? They are doing exactly what we expect believers to do. They are praying.

A group has come together at the house of Mary for an all night prayer vigil. Their prayers are focused and intense. They are praying for Peter, praying for the survival of this fledgling movement, praying for their own survival. They are doing exactly what we would expect them to do.

And then God does the unexpected.

Peter wakes up to find an angel shaking him by the shoulder. For Peter, it’s all so unexpected and surreal that he comes to the conclusion that it must be a dream or a vision that he is having. So the angel must prompt Peter to put on his shoes and coat.

Once Peter is dressed, the angel swings the locked cell door open. Peter quietly follows the angel. Then suddenly the angel vanishes. Angels do that — that can be expected. Peter finds himself alone on a side street in the middle of the night. He is free!

Peter sets of for the house of Mary. He has to tell them that God has done the unexpected. He knocks as loudly as he dares on the outer door. Silence. Then a frightened female voice whispers, “Who is there?”

“It’s Peter! Is that you Rhoda? Let me in.”


“Who?” she asks again?


Peter presses his ear against the door in time to hear someone running away. Rhoda the servant girl does something very unexpected. She interrupts the prayer meeting with the announcement that their prayers have been answered. Peter is outside.

People prayed and God answered — and surprised them by answering in a way quite unexpected.

God still likes to do the unexpected today. The problem is, often we like to tell Him how He should answer and when. Let’s keep praying! But instead of giving God directions, let’s wait for the unexpected as God answers in His own time and way.

Chantal Klingbeil is Associate Director of the Ellen G. White Estate.

Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!

To download & print this blog, practical application, & prayer requests, click here!

Practical Application: 

Are you praying that God will do something unexpected in your life? Are you praying for Him to remove some difficult mountain, or make a way through a cold dark wilderness? God specializes in the impossible and unexpected. But He’s asking that we look to Him in faith.

Considering the following thought from Inspiration:

“Throughout the history of God’s people great mountains of difficulty, apparently insurmountable, have loomed up before those who were trying to carry out the purposes of Heaven. Such obstacles are permitted by the Lord as a test of faith. When we are hedged about on every side, this is the time above all others to trust in God and in the power of His Spirit. The exercise of a living faith means an increase of spiritual strength and the development of an unfaltering trust. It is thus that the soul becomes a conquering power. Before the demand of faith, the obstacles placed by Satan across the pathway of the Christian will disappear; for the powers of heaven will come to his aid. “Nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matthew 17:20.”  (Prophets and Kings, p. 594)

Dear Heavenly Father, we cling to You in faith. We don’t have the strength, but we cling to You, because You do have the strength. You do have the power. Please work in our lives for Your glory. Please deliver us from Satan’s power and help us to be victorious in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Promise to Claim: Mark 10:27



Share on Facebook3.1kTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Email this to someone
  • Zanthia L. Elikplim

    God has a design-pattern to answer every petition. These patterns differ from one another, and all He expects from His earthly children is for them to open wide & wild their eyes of faith and press hard in the labour of prayer. The result is simple: He answers when we least expect Him to. Bless you Chantal Klingbeil.

  • Cindi

    Wonderful very encouraging a word in season. God bless you.

  • Mavhoro Tawona

    Amen and Amen. He says in Isaiah 65.24 ” It shall come to pass that before they call I will answer and while they are still speaking l will hear.

  • Victoria

    Thank You Father God for this great reminder; may we expect the unexpected according to Your will and glory, as we wait on You, thanking You for continuing to do beyond what we can ask or imagine. Amen

  • Victoria

    Amen. Glory to God

  • Rosalia

    Amen, we serve a God of impossibilities. His mercies are new every morning. So many things He has done for me /us. Let’s keep the faith. Blessings friends

  • Wojtek Janiuk


  • Kamly meguerditchian

    Amen! Dear lord let you will be DONE!

  • Ros Farrell

    Amen Chantal. “But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father”. (John 15:7,8, NLT). Let it be so in our lives Lord, that Your name may be glorified in Jesus name. Amen

  • Pat Henry

    Can we by searching find out God? Absolutely not. He is God, and no other. I marvel just to know He really loves me and answer my prayers in so many ways that all I can do is smile and say “God, you are not easy.” Can’t help but love Him.

    • Evelyn Walcott

      That is so true Pat Henry He is oh so AWESOME i love Him

  • Evelyn Walcott

    Amen Praise the Lord for the reassurance lm clinging to Him

  • Karlene Johnson

    So very grateful to You Heavenly Father that You are at work in our situation long before we pray, but thank You Lord that You move even more mightily for us when we do pray.

  • Heather Krick

    Yes, this hits the nail on the head. Instead of only asking God for what I want, I want to pray, “Lord, what do you want to do in this situation?” and see what He does. What an adventure with Him as we wait for Him to do what He wants to do.

    • Eunice Downer

      Wonderful idea Sis. Heather to ask God what He wants us to do and wait to see what he does! I honestly want to be apart of this adventure with Him. Thanks sis. Have a great week!

  • Judith

    Amen. My prayer request for this year is God to give me a husband he prepared for me and pass my exams.

    • Kayreen kufa

      Amen and amen

    • tsholofelo

      Will pray for you Judith.

  • Sunny N. Nwoko


  • Justina

    Thank you so much for this reminder. Before we ask God knows and while we are asking He answers. Thank You Heavenly Father for Your awesomeness, for Your wondrous works toward men. Help me/us to always remember that You are the same miracle working God that made an escape for Peter. Believing that You remain the same sends a much needed reminder that You are working things out based upon our requests that are presently before You. Please increase our faith and remind us that You change not. I send an advanced praise to You Almighty God thanking You for answering our prayers today in Jesus Mighty Name amen.

  • Robert Sikawa

    Amen.Amen.Amen. Its true that we mostly are inclined on certain ways that we want God to answer us forgetting that ours is to ask and trust and wait upon His perfect will for us. He surely never disappoints us. Its our duty to trust Him for all the answers we get in all the forms that He chooses to use to deliver those answers.

  • Letty Kaltonga

    Amazing and Powerful how God is. Awesome in all. We are shortsighted in all our situations but He knows and He is there for us in all. The part I like every time in all my situations is He is teaching us in all ways to let go, leave it to Him, trust Him, He knows the best and will deliver us the way He knows is best for us. The Nos and the opposite of what we don’t expect is the hardest for us to accept but in moments like that we come before Him most beyond our limit earnestly seeking Him for power and strength accepting His ways. Only then we always have peace and comfort going through this suffering and painful experience but overall in the end we are so blessed. Thank You Father for continuing to teach us more and more every day. We embrace in Your Love and Your leading through out this day. May Your will be done not us but You Christ. Thank You Holy Spirit that You will work wonders in our life again today and Thank You Holy angels that You will be protecting us again today and Thank You God the Father that we will in commune with You throughout today no matter what, in LORD Jesus name we pray. Amen

  • tsholofelo

    Thank you Chantal for reminding us that our duty is to pray in faith and trust the Lord to answer in His own way and do the impossible. May ws trust Him enough to recognise the answers he renders to our prayers.

  • Nomphakama

    Please pray for my brother in law Dave, he has been in a coma for 11 days

  • Gina geertsma

    Thank you dear Heavenly Father for your grace. For the greatest love that whenever we call upon you, you will answer us. Amen

  • Dike Emmanuel

    Our God is good and a prayer answering God. Sometimes if not most times our prayers are answered but we are still praying. Let us learn to listen to the still small voice and hear God tell us to wear our shoes and walk out of whereever we are to where He wants us to be.
    Direct my paths O’ Lord.

  • Pearl

    Lord I know you will hear my prayers and save my family from the attack of the devil

  • Juiness

    Please pray for my family. Husband has a hard heart and is divorcing me as well as seeking other women. He is a Christian and is studying in the ministry but feels justified in his course. Pray for my faith and wisdom to move forward. TIA!

  • Mervin

    Amen.please pray for me for Immigration to grant me the green card so that I can start working

  • Susan

    Amen and Amen.Dear brothers and sisters, please in your prayers remember me.Am praying for a breakthru.l need God to talk direct to me and i want to hear His voice,i need to work for Him thru His Divine guidiance in Literature Ministry.He must lead the way and i must follow.l want to be filled by the Holy Spirit and need to feel His wonder working power working over me.May we all have a Spirit filled day.Amen.

  • Nontando

    Please pray for me to be strengthened in being a mother. Indeed being a mother involves more than l imagined