The Jerusalem Church — Prayer While Persecuted


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ACTS 12:1-17

Peter’s Arrest and Deliverance

12 Now about that time [a]Herod the king laid hands on some who belonged to the church in order to mistreat them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now [b]it was during the days of Unleavened Bread. When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four [c]squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people. So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.

On [d]the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, “Get up quickly.” And his chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and [e]put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he *said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” And he went out and continued to follow, and he did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel departed from him. 11 When Peter came [f]to himself, he said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord has sent forth His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all [g]that the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 And when he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gate, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel.” 16 But Peter continued knocking; and when they had opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to [h]James and the brethren.” Then he left and went to another place.


Discussion Questions

May 12th, 2019

1.) This passage (verses 1-17) speaks much about the prayer life of Christians. Look carefully at verse 5 and see how it describes the way the early church in Jerusalem prayed for Peter. WHICH ASPECT OF THE WAY THEY PRAYED SPEAKS STRONGLY TO YOU? WHY?

2.) WHAT ELSE ABOUT PRAYER DOES VERSE 17 INDICATE? Compare with I Thessalonians 5:17 and I Timothy 2:1-2. HOW COULD WE APPLY THIS TODAY?

3.) Today is Mother's Day ... MOTHERS, HOW DO YOU PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN? Compare I Samuel 1:27-28. OTHERS, HOW COULD YOU ENCOURAGE THE MOTHERS AROUND YOU TO PRAY FOR THEIR CHILDREN?