I am preaching on Acts 12:12-17 tomorrow and on the church’s failure to believe that God had answered their prayer. In looking for illustrations, I came across this wonderful quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
When I was a senior in high school, I can remember Solzhenitsyn being exiled from the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn was a Nobel Prize winning novelist, dramatist and historian. I was able to read a couple of his works, but his massive Gulag Archipelago always stymied me. Solzhenitsyn died two weeks ago tomorrow, Aug. 3, after returning to Russia in 1994.
In Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Ivan endures all the horrors of a Soviet prison camp. One day, he is praying with his eyes closed when a fellow prisoner notices him and says with ridicule, "Prayers won’t help you get out of here any faster." Opening his eyes, Ivan answers, "I do not pray to get out of prison, but to do the will of God."