Today’s lesson begins with the church under persecution from Herod. James, the brother of John, has already been killed. (Acts 12:2) Peter had been taken and put in prison. How did the church address this situation according to Acts 12:5? Think of some situations in your life where you’ve witnessed the power of prayer.
EXPLORING THE TEXT
Peter was imprisoned. What was Herod’s ultimate plan for Peter? (Acts 12:3-4) What did the believers do when they learned of this? (Acts 12:5)
What happened as a result of their prayers? How did the angel assist in Peter’s escape? What did Peter think was happening? (Acts 12:7-11)
In Acts 13:1-5, what did the Holy Spirit lead the elders to do? After this, where did Paul and Barnabas go first? In verses 13:8-11, Paul and Barnabas encountered Sergious Paulus, a Roman official who wanted to hear the Gospel. Bar-Jesus, a false prophet, opposed the inquiry. What do you suppose was the reason for his opposition? What happened to him because of his opposition? (Acts 13:8-11)
In Acts 13:42-51, Paul and Barnabas were preaching in Antioch of Pisidia (modern day Turkey). How did the Jews react to Paul’s preaching? How did the Gentiles react? In verse 45, how did the Jews feel? What did they do? In verse 48, how did the Gentiles respond to hearing the Word of the Lord?
In Acts 14:8-9, Paul and Barnabas healed a crippled man. How did the people react in verses 11-13? The people offered Paul and Barnabas gifts and sacrifices. How did Paul and Barnabas react? How did they instruct the people? (Acts 14:14-18)
Today’s lesson shows the power of prayer in several areas…
Chapter 12 — Peter was rescued from prison by an angel, because of the prayers of the church.
Chapter 13 — The Holy Spirit spoke to the believers. What instructions did the Spirit give to the early church? In Acts 13:46, how did Paul explain to the Jewish people, in Antioch of Pisidia, his reasoning for sharing the Gospel with the Gentiles?
Chapter 14 — Paul and Barnabas healed a crippled man. They were idolized and given sacrifices, but corrected the crowd’s idolatry. In Acts 14:19, what happened to Paul when the Jews from Antioch in Pisidia and Iconium arrive in the town of Lystra?
APPLYING THE MESSAGE & REFLECTING ON THE MEANING
Think about how you deal with people who try to interfere with your sharing of the Gospel.
The early church relied on the power of prayer…sometimes in impossible situations.
David Jeremiah says, “Sometimes we don’t see the power of God in our lives, because we’re living in a ‘safe zone’. If we never face impossible situations, we never get to see the full power of God.”
Thank you for joining, We’ll be studying Acts 15 & 16 next week — The Church in Conflict.
— Pastor John