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The Power of Prayer (Acts 12)

Jul 4, 2021
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The Power of Prayer (Acts 12)
The events of Acts 12 happen around 43-44 AD. Herod, grandson to Herod the Great, is trying to make things very difficult for the early church. It is Passover season, which is all about the deliverance from bondage. in this season of celebration, Herod kills James, the brother of John, and arrests Peter with the plan to behead him as soon as Passover is completed. He throws Peter in prison, and surrounds him with 16 guards so he can’t escape…again.
Verse 5 says, “So Peter was kept in prison but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” The word earnest means “to stretch out”, “like the stretching of a muscle.” It is the word used when it speaks of Jesus praying in the garden and sweating drops of blood. The church is doing some intense praying for Peter.
In verses 6-8, we see that an angel miraculously frees Peter and he goes to “the house of Mary, the mother of John”. He knocks and a servant girl, Rhoda, recognizes his voice! She goes to tell the others, but they don’t believe her and tell her, “You are out of your mind.” She kept insisting, but they kept saying, “it is his angel”. Peter keeps knocking, and they finally opened the door. “They saw him and were amazed.” They had to see him to believe.
To Discuss Today:
1. Who do you think had the most faith in this story? The Romans (who had to guard Peter with 16 guards), the people earnestly praying, or Peter? Why?
2. How do you pray like you believe God (your Father) can do anything?
3. When have you “earnestly” prayed for something? What were the circumstances? How did God answer?
4. When life doesn’t make sense, do you rest (trust) in God’s sovereignty and providence? How does your prayer life align with that?