Acts + Letters Lesson 8 Day 4

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Acts 12:12-17


The church offered constant prayer for Peter.

The word constant also has the idea of earnest; literally, the word pictures someone stretching out all they can for something. “The verb ektenos is related to ektenes, a medical term describing the stretching of a muscle to its limits.” (MacArthur)

8. The church didn’t give up. They kept praying for Peter’s release.

They prayed earnestly because they cared deeply about Peter.

In Luke 22:44, Luke used the same Greek word ektenos for Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. — “Being in [intense] agony he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. (WEB)

Ektenos is also translated fervently, passionately, earnestly and intently.

Earnest prayer has power not because it in itself persuades a reluctant God. Instead, it demonstrates that our heart cares passionately about the things God cares about, fulfilling Jesus’ promise If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you (John 15:7). (David Guzik)

Our enemies may have government and prisons on their side, but we have access to heaven’s unlimited power through prayer.

9. a. The power of fervent prayer

God dwells in a flame; the Holy Spirit descends in fire. To be absorbed in God’s will, to be so greatly in earnest about doing it that our whole being takes fire, is the qualifying condition of the man who would engage in effectual prayer. (E. M. Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer, 1929, public domain)

b. Pray about what is on my heart.

First, pray that the things that God cares about will deeply touch my heart, too.

Seek to know his will in the situations and ask him how to pray about it.

Pray fervently about those things.

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My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 8 Day 4