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Praying Through Your Midnight Hour, Part 1 (Praying Through the Bible #227)

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TEXT: Acts 16:16-25

16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. Continue Reading…

Dealing with Satanic Distractions in Prayer (Praying Through the Bible #226)

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TEXT: Acts 16:16-18

Once again, we find Paul, Silas, and Luke on their way to prayer. A few verses prior to this, we saw them at the riverside praying with and sharing the Gospel with the God-fearing women of the city of Philippi. Now, they are staying at the house of one of those women, Lydia.

As these three are on their way to prayer, perhaps by the riverside once again, they are accosted by a young woman who “possesses a spirit of divination” and who “brought her masters much gain by soothsaying” or fortune-telling. This woman was like the psychics or palm-readers that we have today who claim they can tell things about a person or about their future by reading their palms or looking at a set of cards. Of course, all of these individuals are frauds, and all have tapped in to demonic powers, and that is what is going on here.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 5 (Praying Through the Bible #224)

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TEXT: Acts 12:11-17

From the miraculous story of Peter’s deliverance from prison, from the hand of Herod, and from the ill intent of the Jews, we began looking at what this apostle did after he received his answer to prayer. The Bible tells us that “many” had gathered at Mary’s house to pray collectively for his deliverance. Their prayers had been answered, but Peter was the only one who knew it.

The first thing Peter did was he acknowledged God as the miracle-worker. He stopped to express thanks and gratitude to God for working on his behalf. And when we get our answers to prayer, we ought to do the same.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 4 (Praying Through the Bible #223)

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TEXT: Acts 12:11-17

At the beginning of our passage, Peter has just been miraculously delivered from prison. Herod had him locked up and chained to two guards, with two more watching the door. Herod planned to have Peter publicly executed in order to please the Jews. But none of Herod’s plans were able to stop God from delivering Peter. While Herod was plotting, God’s people were praying without ceasing. In the middle of the night, an angel entered the prison, awoke Peter, broke his chains, told him to get dressed, and led him out of the prison. The city gates opened for them of their own accord, and the angel departed from Peter. It was at this point that Peter realized that he had really been delivered. Previously, he thought he must have been dreaming or receiving some kind of vision.

The Power of the Collective Prayer of the Church in the Face of Impossible Situations, Part 3 (Praying Through the Bible #222)

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TEXT: Acts 12:5-11

Today, we continue looking at the story of the early church during a time of great persecution. Peter, one of the church’s most prominent leaders, has been arrested, thrown in prison, and scheduled to be executed after the Passover. Another disciple, James, had already been killed. The church’s response to these events was earnest prayer to God — “prayer made without ceasing.”

From Acts 12, we see that God indeed answered their prayers. He sent an angel to free Peter from Herod’s prison.

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