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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bible Lesson: Intercessory Prayer: The Church Prays For Peter's Deliverance From Prison.

Bible Lesson: Intercessory Prayer: The Church Prays For Peter's Deliverance From Prison.

Bible Text:

Acts 12:1-19 NLT
(James Is Killed and Peter Is Imprisoned)

1 About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church.
2 He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword.
3 When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.
4 Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.
5 But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.

Acts 12:5 KJV
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

(Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison)

6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate.
7 Suddenly, there was a bright Light in the cell, and an Angel Of The Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists.
8 Then The Angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow Me,” The Angel ordered.
9 So Peter left the cell, following The Angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening.
10 They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then
The Angel suddenly left him.
11 Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent His Angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”
12 When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.
13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.
14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.”
16 Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed.
17 He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how The Lord had led him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.
18 At dawn there was a great commotion among the soldiers about what had happened to Peter.
19 Herod Agrippa ordered a thorough search for him. When he couldn’t be found, Herod interrogated the guards and sentenced them to death. Afterward Herod left Judea to stay in Caesarea for a while.

This is now Peter's 2nd escape from jail.

Acts 5:17-21 NLT (The Apostles Meet Opposition)
17 The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.
18 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.
19 But an Angel Of The Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then He told them,
20 “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!”
21 So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching.

Herod, to please the Jews, killed James, the brother of John, and imprisoned Peter, with intent to do the same to him, and would have were it not for one thing, the praying church!

Peter was chained between two soldiers (probably due to his earlier escape), while two soldiers watched over him.

The praying church, this is why the Apostle Paul said....

Hebrews 10:25 KJV
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

We need to pray collectively, for the victory of the church of Jesus Christ, and we need to pray for each other, this we do in the church.

Chains of imprisonment, enemy sentries, forces of evil, with iron doors of confinement, will all melt away as the church begins to pray.

God hears, and is with us:

Genesis 28:15 NLT God's promise to His people.
"...I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go...I will not leave you..."

Exodus 33:14 KJV
And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Deuteronomy 20:1 KJV God's promise to His people.
"... The Lord thy God is with thee..."

Isaiah 43:1-3 KJV God's promise to His people.
1 But now thus saith The Lord that created thee, ...and He that formed thee,...Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.
2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3 For I am The Lord thy God, The Holy One Of Israel, thy Savior..."

Matthew 18:20 KJV
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matthew 28:20 KJV
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

John 14:16-18 KJV
16 And I will pray The Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;
17 Even The Spirit Of Truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Romans 8:15 KJV
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
The Spirit Of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 3:26 NLT
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:6,7 NLT
6 And because we are His children, God has sent The Spirit Of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”
7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, God has made you His heir.

Dear Christian, feeling alone, in a dark stormy world, hear again our Savior's voice.

Matthew 14:27 KJV
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

John 16:33 KJV
These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Ephesians 4:1 NLT Apostle Paul
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving The Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

We have been called to be intercessors:

Job 16:21 NLT (Job's prayer)
21 I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends.
22 For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.

Joel 2:17 NLT
Let the priests, who minister in The Lord’s presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, “Spare your people, Lord!.."

Romans 1:9 KJV
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Ephesians 1:15,16 KJV
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in The Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Ephesians 3:14-19 NLT
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,
15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
16 I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.
17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 6:18 NLT
Pray in The Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Philippians 1:3,4 KJV
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,

Colossians 1:3 KJV
We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 4:12,13 KJV
12 Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God.
13 I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.

I Thessalonians 1:2,3 KJV
2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.
3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Timothy 2:1 KJV
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

James 5:16 KJV
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Dear friend, keep praying!