MVMT 09: Prison break

Acts 12:1-25

Acts 12:6-11 – Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and 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 followed him. 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 the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

There was a lady who lived out in the remote area who did not have electricity and she wanted it. She called an electricity company and they made arrangements so that she could have electricity in her house. But the company noticed that after having electricity for almost six months, only one unit of electricity was used. She wanted electricity, she got electricity, yet from the data they received, hardly any of it was used. They went out to check to make sure there was no problem and they said to her, “Lady are you using your electricity?” She said, “Yes.” They said, “Well, what are you using for?” She said, “Well, when it gets dark, I turn it on long enough for me to light my kerosene lamp.” She didn’t understand the power she had. She had all the power that could keep her house bright all night long but settled for a kerosene lamp. This is the picture of many Christians who settle for kerosene lamp while God has given the power to lit up the whole house.

When we look at the book of Acts, we see the great power of God working through people who are playing part in the gospel movement. And that’s what I want for us. I want us to be the kind of people who not only come to church, listen to a sermon, being encouraged by the gospel, go home and live like the gospel is not true. I want us to be the kind of people who know that we have the unlimited power of God at our disposal to play part in the gospel movement. God has given us the Holy Spirit for us to live our daily life with the full resources of heaven. God has deposited himself into us so that we may experience his presence and his power in our lives. However, there is one trick to it. For us to experience his presence and his power, we need to pray. Tonight, we are going to talk about prayer.

The topic of prayer is a difficult one. It is difficult not because it is hard to understand but because it is very hard to do. As Christians, we know that we need to pray. It’s been said that prayer is like breathing. Just as you can’t live without breathing, you can’t function as Christians without praying. But if we can be honest, many of us struggle with prayer. D.A. Carson says that if you want to embarrass most Christians, ask them how’s their personal prayer life. And let me put my hands up. I am inconsistent in my prayer life. I love reading and studying. I can spend long hours every day to study the Bible. But praying? That’s a big struggle. How many of you are struggling in your personal prayer life? The question is, why? We know that we ought to pray but why are we struggling to pray? I think there are many reasons why we struggle to pray. But let me just zoom in on one today. And I think this is the most basic one. We struggle to pray because we do not think that prayer work. I mean, there are times that we pray, and it works. We get what we prayed for and it is exciting. But there are also many times when we pray, and nothing happens. And there are times that we do not pray for the thing that we should pray for and it happens anyway. And because of it, we are not sure if prayer actually works. Am I right? The passage for today will answer these questions for us.

Let me give you the context of this passage. In the previous chapters of Acts, we see how the gospel movement begins in Jerusalem and spread to Judea, Samaria and to the end of the earth. In Acts 11, we see how the church of Antioch is started. And this church becomes the home base for the worldwide gospel movement. But then Acts 12 tells us about a crisis that happens in Jerusalem. And it is not a small crisis but a major crisis. It tells us something about the gospel movement. The gospel movement does not come without a significant cost. There is always opposition to the gospel movement. With another word, if we play part in the gospel movement, we will certainly face troubles. 100% money-back guarantee. However, it is precisely in the times of troubles that we will witness the true power of God. For Christians, troubles are not something to be afraid of. Troubles are opportunities to witness God’s hand upon our lives. God is the number one specialist in solving impossible circumstances. This passage tells us that nothing can stop the gospel movement from advancing. It is written to encourage us as we play part in the gospel movement.

I separate this story into three sections: The crisis; The rescue; The failure. And then I will give you three lessons from this passage.

The crisis

Acts 12:1-5 – About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.

Let me give you the background to the story. There are three different Herod in the Bible. Herod the Great, Herod Antipas and Herod Agrippa I. The Herod in this story is Herod Agrippa I. In the early part of his life, Herod Agrippa did not have the favour of many political leaders. But he is a friend of emperor Caligula and Claudius. So, when Caligula came into power, Herod Agrippa was made ruler of Judea and Samaria. And this continues in the reign of Claudius as well. Because of it, Herod Agrippa works hard to please the Jews. He wants the Jews to accept him as their ruler. And he figures that since the Jewish religious leaders hate the Christians, the best way to earn their favour is to strike against Christianity. And he is very smart. When Saul tried to destroy Christians, he captured the lay Christians. But Herod knows better. In order to stop a movement, you don’t kill the followers; you kill the leaders. And that’s exactly what he does.

First, he kills James. This is not James that wrote the book of James. That is James the half brother of Jesus. This is James, the brother of John, one of the three inner circles of Jesus. So, within the twelve disciples, there are three who are considered the closest companion of Jesus. These three are Peter, John, and James. And in a matter of two verses, James is captured and beheaded by Herod. Surely this creates a massive shock to the church in Jerusalem. One of the twelve disciples of Jesus is killed. And when Herod sees that the death of James pleases the Jews, he moves on the next step. He arrests the most important figure in the church of Jerusalem, Peter. Peter is the top dog. You can’t go higher than Peter. To kill Peter is to kill the main leader of the gospel movement. Herod is determined to end Christianity once and for all by killing Peter. This is a massive crisis. Peter is about to meet the same end as James. However, Herod arrests Peter during the time of Passover. And according to Jewish laws, it is not lawful to do a public trial and execution during Passover. So, Herod decides to put Peter in prison with maximum security until he can put him on public trial and execute him. He assigns four squads of soldiers of four people each to guard Peter. Which mean, that 4 soldiers are guarding Peter at all time and these 4 soldiers are rotated every 3 hours. Herod understands how important Peter is to the church in Jerusalem. He doesn’t take any chances. He puts Peter in a prison with maximum security with four soldiers guarding him at all times. There is no possibility for Peter to escape. It is a mission impossible. Or is it?

Pay attention to what the church does. Acts 12:5 – So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. The church prays earnestly for Peter! Now, this is strange. Think about it like a boxing match. So, the announcer comes and introduces the fighter to the audience. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the fight that will decide the fate of Christianity. On my left, we have the challenger, Herod Agrippa I with a maximum-security prison cell, 4 squadrons of soldiers, the Roman authority, and the Jewish leaders. On top of that, he just killed James the brother of John. On my right, we have the church with her earnest prayer.” Who do you think will win the boxing match? It is like putting me on a boxing fight with Mike Tyson. Do you think it is a fair fight? Of course not. But let me tell you why it is not a fair fight. In life, there are many times that we are faced with impossible situations. Maybe we are diagnosed with terminal diseases. Maybe our children walk away from their Christian faith. Maybe we face bankruptcy because of Covid19. Whatever it is, we feel hopeless. It is beyond our strength and power. We might think the odd is stakes against us. And all we could do is pray. We think that the fight is unfair. And let me tell you, it is unfair. But not for the reason we might think it is. The fight is unfair because while Herod might have the might of Rome on his side, the God of the universe is on the side of prayer. We might face a huge mountain in front of us, but prayer gives us access to the one who can move a mountain. And as we know from Mission Impossible the movie, no prison is unbreakable. And the church understands that the best way to get Peter out of prison is to get God into the prison. And that’s why they pray. When the church earnestly prays to God, God sends his agent on a mission called “Prison Break.”

The rescue

Acts 12:6-11 – Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and 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 followed him. 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 the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to himself, he said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

This is remarkable. Luke does not want you to miss it. He makes sure you get it. The rescue happens “on that very night.” On the very night before Peter’s public trial and execution. With another word, the rescue happens at the last possible moment. And if you are familiar with the way God works, you know this. God often does his best works at the last possible moments. God often seems late, but he is never too late. Anyone else finds that annoying? I don’t like it. I much prefer it if God works according to my timetable and agenda. But he doesn’t. God almost never gives us the blueprint of his plan for our lives. He simply says, “I want you to do A,” but he never tells us how we are going to accomplish A. And we don’t like it. We think that if only God tells us the plan ahead of time, then we could do a better job planning and making it happen. But that is exactly why God does not tell us in advance. Because if God reveals the plan for us ahead of time, we will put our trust in the plan and not God. God does not like to reveal his plan until the last possible moments. He lets us wait so that we may learn to trust him in advance.

The situation Peter in is extremely hopeless. Peter is not only put in a prison with maximum security, but he is also chained to two different soldiers. One on his right and one on his left. So just in case Peter is trying to be Jason Bourne and take out one soldier, he is still chained to another. And another two soldiers are guarding the prison door. Luke takes time to explain it in detail so that we might understand the wonder of what happens next. Look at what Peter does the night before his execution. What would you do if you were Peter? You would be anxious. You would be stressed out. You would question God. “God, after everything I did for you, is this how you treat me?” Right? But not Peter. Peter is sleeping. And he is not only sleeping. He is sleeping very well. Look at what happens. God sends his agent with the codename “angel” to break Peter out of the prison. And when the angel shows up with all his brightness, it does not affect Peter. The angel probably says, “Pete, wake up. Pete, wake up. We have to go.” And Peter is still snoring. So, Luke writes that the angel strikes Peter to wake him up. “Kapow. Get up quickly!” And immediately the chains fall of Peter’s hands. This is amazing. It tells us that Peter is not afraid of death at all. Peter’s trust in God enables him to sleep well amid crises. No wonder Peter writes for us to cast all our anxieties on God because God cares for us. One preacher puts it this way. “Peter’s body is guarded by soldiers, but his heart is guarded by God.”

So, the angel commands Peter to put on some clothes. You don’t want to break out of prison naked. Otherwise, you might get caught again the moment you break out. And then the angel commands Peter to follow him. They walk past the prison door and the soldiers guarding the door. And the soldiers do not even realize that they are walking pass them. Peter thinks to himself, “Ah, this must be a vision.” He is not fully awake. This is like me in the morning before coffee. There was one time I went out to get a coffee in the early morning with my shirt backward. And I did not even realize it until a few hours later. I was awake but not awake. Does anyone know what I am talking about? Peter is awake but not awake. He needs coffee. So he follows the angel. And when they get to the iron gate that leads to the city, the door opens by itself. Maybe another angel hacks into the security system and overrides the code. So, they continue to walk until they get into one street and poof, the angel disappears. And Peter finally comes to himself and realises, “Oh, I am actually out of the prison.” So, he makes his way toward Mary’s house. It tells us that no matter how difficult our situation is, no matter how impossible it seems, God can deliver us anytime, anywhere, and anyplace. If we think that our situation is beyond saving, we have bad theology. Nothing is impossible for God.

The failure

Acts 12:12-17 – 12 When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, 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 brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he departed and went to another place.

Now, this is funny. You have to imagine the scene with me. Peter makes his way toward Mary’s house. This is probably one of the home bases of the church in Jerusalem. And when Peter is outside of the house, he knocks.
“Knock, knock, knock.”
And the people are praying inside the house, “Lord, please save Peter. Lord, we believe that nothing is impossible for you. Would you please save Peter?”
“Knock, knock, knock.”
“Gosh, who is interrupting our prayer time? The prayer meeting started a few hours ago. Don’t they realize that Peter is going to be killed in the morning?”
“Knock, knock, knock.”
“Rhoda, why don’t you check who it is.” So Rhoda walks to the front gate.
“Knock, knock, knock.”
“Who is it?”
“It’s Peter.”
“Peter who?”
“Rhoda, this is not a time for knock-knock joke. This is me, Simon Peter.”
Rhoda is extremely surprised. She is filled with joy and she forgets to open the gate for Peter. She runs back inside and says, “Guys, guys, guys, you would not believe who is at the front gate.”
“Rhoda, please do not disturb our prayer. Can’t you see that Peter is about to be killed in a few hours? Every second is precious. Stop disturbing us.”
“But, but, but, Peter is at the front gate.”
“Knock, knock, knock.”
“Rhoda, you are crazy. We know that you are worried about Peter but you are out of your mind. Peter is in prison. Herod is going to put him on public trial and execute him in a few hours. That’s why we gather together to pray for Peter. Stop wasting our time.”
“But it is Peter. I hear his voice. It is Peter’s voice.”
“Oh no, then it must be his angel. Herod must have killed him, and his angel comes to bid us goodbye.”
“Knock, knock, knock.”
“Wow, that is one persistent angel. He keeps on knocking.”
And while the people inside the house is arguing, Peter is outside thinking, “Gosh, it is so much easier to break out of a prison than to enter a church.”

Do you see the irony and the comedy? The people gather to pray earnestly for Peter’s deliverance and when their prayer is answered, they think that it is crazy. They pray earnestly and yet they do not really believe that God is going to deliver Peter. The answer to their prayer is knocking at the front door and they would not let him in. They are very slow to believe God’s ability and willingness to answer their prayer! Does it sound like you and me? There are many times we pray to God, but we do not really believe that God would answer our prayer. And yet God is gracious in answering our prayer. So, Peter continues to knock, they finally open the front gate and amaze at who is standing in front of them. It is the answer to their prayer. They are very excited, and they are about to scream in excitement when Peter quickly makes the hand gesture for them to keep it quiet. And he tells them how God supernaturally brought him out of the prison.

There are three important lessons that we can learn from this story. First, the sovereignty of God. When we play part in the gospel movement, do not be surprised at opposition. We must expect opposition. We should be surprised if we don’t face any opposition. And yet, we must know that God is sovereign over our lives. One of the common mistakes that Christians make when they think of God’s sovereignty is that God is in sovereign control over the good things in life but he is not in sovereign control over the bad things in life. But that is not correct. The word sovereign means that God is in absolute control over every little thing and he is free to do whatever he wants. If there is even a single molecule in the universe of which God is not in control, it means that he is not sovereign. God is either sovereign over all or he is not sovereign at all. He is either in control over both the good and the bad, or he is not in control at all.

This is very unsettling. Because it means that God is not surprised by James’ death. James, one of the three closest companions of Jesus, died just in a matter of two verses. No explanation. No commentary. Does the church not pray for James? I am sure the church in Jerusalem gathered to pray for James. Then why is he dead? But when Peter is captured and the church prayed for Peter, Peter is rescued. Why is Peter rescued? We are never told why God allowed James to die so early in his ministry and why God chose to rescue Peter. But what we know is that God is in absolute control over both the death of James and the rescue of Peter. Can you see why this is unsettling? Because you and I want to be Peter. We want to experience the supernatural rescue. But none of us wants to be James. Am I right? But for God to be sovereign means that there are times that he heals cancer and there are times that he does not heal cancer. There are times that he gives children and there are times that he withholds children. There are times that he says yes and there are times that he says no. And we might never know why he does what he does. For some of us, we might have a smooth road ahead of us. While for others, we might have a rough road ahead of us. We do not get to choose. God exercises his sovereignty both in the death of James and the rescue of Peter.

But here is what we also know. The sovereignty of God means that God does not make mistakes! There is no error in his unfolding purposes for us. There is not even a millisecond of our life that happens outside of his permission. But God’s way is not our way and God’s thought is not our thought. And his ways are wise and good. There is nothing but goodness in God even when life hurts. And he doesn’t owe us an explanation. God is always working for his glory and our good. For the Peters, God shows his power by giving them what they asked. For the Jameses, God shows his value by letting them testify that having him is better than life. At the end of the day, God is ultimately working for the glory of his own name. Sometimes he does that by giving us victory over an obstacle, other times he does that by letting us suffer to show the world that we value him above anything else on the earth. We do not know which road he has in mind for us, but we do know that he is always good in what he does. That’s the first lesson.

The second lesson is the power of prayer. I know the question you have in your mind right now. “If God is sovereign, if God is in absolute control, if what God has decided will happen anyway, why pray? Does prayer change anything?” Let me put it in the context of the gospel movement. If God is going to save Bob anyway, why pray and share the gospel to Bob? Do you feel that tension? Let me give you the answer. Let me reverse the question. If God is not sovereign, why pray? If God is not in absolute control over every little thing, it means that there is absolutely no guarantee that his promises are true. If God is not sovereign, there is no certainty for the future. Let’s say that I promise to take you to a showroom and buy you a brand-new Ferrari on your birthday in the year 2022. Few things must happen for me to keep my promise. First, I need to have the money to buy a Ferrari. If I don’t have the money, then I cannot keep my promise. Since I am a pastor, I fail already. But let’s say I do have the money. The second thing that must happen is that you and I must be alive on your birthday in 2022. If either of us is infected with covid19 and lose our life between now and then, I won’t be able to keep my promise. All it takes is a single virus to keep me from fulfilling my promise to you. Can you see where I am going with this? If God is not sovereign, what guarantee do we have that he is able to keep his promises to us? Therefore, the sovereignty of God does not weaken our prayer. It is the opposite. The absolute sovereignty of God is the hope and foundation of our prayer. Because God is sovereign, our prayer is not in vain.

But that’s not the only reason. Prayer acknowledges God’s sovereignty, but it also acknowledges human responsibility. God in his infinite wisdom has ordained that he will accomplish his will in the world through our prayer. God’s will will be done whether we pray or not, but God’s will will not be done without prayer because he has chosen prayer to be the means by which his will will be done on earth. How these two facts are true at once and how they work together is a mystery. But it is true, nevertheless. Listen to this. James 4:2 – You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. With another word, there are some things God gives only when we ask. God has determined to save Peter. But the way in which God has determined to save Peter is in response to the prayer of the church. Without the earnest prayer of the church, Peter would not have been rescued. But Peter is rescued through the prayer of the church because that is the way God had determined to save Peter. Let me put it this way. Let’s say God has five things he wants you to pray for. God has decided he is going to give you two of them whether you pray or not. But he has decided he will only give the other three if you pray and ask him for it. So, if you decide that you are not going to pray since God is sovereign, how many will you get? Two. You will not get five. You will only get the other three if you pray and ask him for it. Why? Because God has ordained not only the end but also the means to get to the end. God works in and through our prayer. With another word, get this. Prayer is not about changing what God has planned but bringing about what God has planned. My friends, do not underestimate the power of prayer. Prayer is how God exercises his power and accomplish his will in our life and the world.

The third lesson is the expectant heart. If we can be honest, we often pray with an unbelieving heart. We pray but we do not expect God to answer our prayer. And then we come up with spiritual wisdom. We say things like, “Sometimes God answers by saying no.” Or “Prayer does not change our situation; it changes us.” Those statements are true. But many times, we are using those statements to cover up our unbelief. Deep inside, we do not pray with an expectant heart. We have lost sight of who God is and we have put limitations of what God can do. And yet sometimes God is still very gracious and answer our prayer despite our unbelief. But that does not mean that it is okay. God wants us to believe and trust him like little children. Little children are not afraid to ask from their parents and they believe that their parents have what it takes to give them what they asked for.

Paul Miller in his book “Praying Life” writes that we must hold two truths together when we pray. The first truth, “not my will but Yours be done O Lord.” It keeps us humble. It keeps us on the posture of surrender. The reformed circle excels at this. The second truth, “nothing is impossible with God.” It keeps us praying. It keeps us on the posture of receiving. The charismatic circle excels at this. And we cannot choose one over the other. We need both. If we only have the first one, we will pray without expectancy. Praying is simply a ritual. But if we only have the second one, we will see God as a divine vending machine. Praying is simply a transaction. On its own both are wrong. The truth is that God is sovereign but he is also a Father. He is our Sovereign Father. Listen to what Jesus says.

Luke 11:9-13 – 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

So Jesus is inviting us to ask, seek and knock. The tense in Greek expresses continuous action. Keep on asking, seeking and knocking. You only do that if you are expecting an answer. So, God wants us to consistently bring our requests to him with an expectant heart that we will receive. No earthly fathers will give serpent and scorpion to their children when they ask for a fish and an egg. And Jesus calls those fathers evil. It does not mean that they are very bad. But in comparison to the goodness of our heavenly Father, the earthly fathers look like evil. And if the evil earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more our heavenly Father will give us what is good for us? If God does not give it to us, it can only mean that it is not good for us. I love the way Timothy Keller puts it. “God will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything he knew.” God is the good Sovereign Father who loves to give good gifts to his children who ask him. So, we must pray with an expectant heart.

But how do we know God will answer our prayer when we ask him? We know God will answer our prayer because God did not answer Jesus when he called out to God from the cross. At the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” And the heaven remained silent. There was no answer. The perfect beloved Son of God, the only one who deserved to have all his prayers answered, did not receive an answer from God. Why? Because at the cross, God treated Jesus as we deserve. All of us are sinners who deserve to have our prayers go unanswered. We deserve total separation from God because of our sins. But when we put our faith in Jesus, all the merits that Jesus deserves become ours and everything that we deserve is put on Jesus at the cross. Jesus’ prayer at the cross was rejected so that our prayers would be received by God. At the cross, Jesus got the scorpion and the snake so that we may have the confidence that God will not fail to give what is good for us. The gospel tells us that Jesus received the silence of heaven so we could receive the answer of heaven. No father is more eager to shower you with good gifts when you ask him for it than our heavenly Father. Pray to him with an expectant heart.

Let me close with this. If you read on to the end of chapter 12, you will find a reversal of story. Acts 12 opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing. But Acts 12 closes with Herod dead, Peter freed and the gospel triumphing. The word of God increases and multiplies. It tells us that the gospel movement is unstoppable. Yes, we will encounter opposition, but we have been given the means of prayer as a tool of war. Prayer gives us access to bring our petition to the Sovereign King of the universe. And unlike Herod, our King is alive, and he is unstoppable. He will accomplish his will on earth as it is in heaven through us as we pray to him.

Discussion questions:

  1. What do you find most striking from this story? Why?
  2. Why does God rarely work according to our schedule? What does this tell us about God?
  3. Explain why we find the sovereignty of God to be both unsettling and “warm blanket to our soul”
  4. What is the role of prayer in accomplishing God’s will in the world and our lives?
  5. Paul Miller writes that we have to hold two truths together when we pray. Which one do you lean toward and what needs to be changed in your prayer life?
  6. How does the gospel empower us to pray boldly?
  7. Spend time to pray with one another.
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