Acts 12 Lesson

The Power Of Prayer!


Do you sometimes wonder if:

  1. God hears your prayers?
  2. Your prayers can help others?
  3. The prayers of others can help you?

The answer to all three questions is yes!

With one important qualifier. 

Our focus verse for today’s lesson comes from the Book of James:

  • “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much.” – James 5:16.

Notice the word “righteous” in the above scripture. 

James does not say that any prayer can accomplish much.

He says that the prayer of a righteous person can accomplish much.

That is the qualifier!

For our prayers to have the most impact, we need to make sure that we are right with God. 

Consider the following two scriptures:

  1. “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” - 1 John 5:14,
  2. “We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.” - John 9:31,


So, what does it mean to be right with God? 

After all, we are all sinners. 

Surely, James 5:16 cannot be saying that we need to be perfect with God for our prayers to be heard, can he? 

If that were true, that would mean that all of our prayers are useless, because none of us are perfect, and we all sin.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans: 

  • “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” –  Romans 3:23

John also wrote about this in his first epistle:

  • “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” – 1 John 1:8.

What James is saying is that we need to be redeemed by the blood of Christ in order for our prayers to be effective.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionarydefines redemption as:

  • “The act of saving people from sin and evil.”

As Christians, we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus when we do two things:

  1. Repent of our sins,
  2. Are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins.

Because of the redemption that occurs when we repent of our sins and are baptized in the name of Jesus, our prayers can accomplish great things!


In Acts Chapter 12, we read about the relentless persecution of Christians that was occurring during the reign of King Herod. 

Herod had John’s brother, James, killed.  And when he saw that this pleased the blood-thirsty crowd, Herod had Peter arrested and planned to kill him also.

Luke writes that shortly before Peter was going to be martyred, an angel of the Lord visited him in prison. (Acts 12)

As you read Acts 12, remember the following two characteristics of Luke’s writing:

  1. Luke’s writings are the most detailed of all the biblical writers,
  2. Luke always wrote in chronological order (Luke 1:3). 

Pay special attention to what Luke said happened immediately before the angel of the Lord appeared to Peter. 

  • “But prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.” – Acts 12:5.  

Immediately after documenting the prayers of the Church that were being made for Peter, Luke wrote:

  • “On the very night when Herod was about to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and guards in front of the door were watching over the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and woke him up, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ And his chains fell off his hands.” – Acts 12:6-7.

We see two things from this sequence of writing:

  1. First came the prayers of the church,
  2. Then came Peter’s miraculous release from prison.  


There are numerous verses in the Bible that talk about the power of prayer. 

For today’s lesson, we have highlighted the following five:

  1. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” - James 5:16,
  2. “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” - John 14:13-14,
  3. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7,
  4. “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” - John 15:7,
  5. “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” - 1 John 3:22.


Jesus tells us that when faithful Christians pray, anything is possible! 

We should never underestimate the power of our prayers to help others, and for their prayers to help us.

Just as the prayers of the early church helped Peter, our prayers can help others, and their prayers can help us!

As Christians, we need to demonstrate our belief in the power of prayer by praying for others and asking them to pray for us.

Combined with the redeeming blood of Jesus, our prayers will accomplish great things for the Lord if we believe and do not doubt!

We will end today’s lesson with the following scripture about the power of prayer:

  • “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.” - Mark 11:23.


Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


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Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?


Virtual Bible Study

Does anybody have a story about the power of prayer they would like to share?

Virtual Bible Study

God provided the perfect job at the perfect time for me. In fact, it was for a position that I did not even remember applying for. I had been praying for the right job to surface. Praise God for this answered prayer. It has made life a lot better for me and my family, and has allowed me to do some more things relative to my faith.

Virtual Bible Study

My son Joseph was born prematurely. He had fluid in his brain and problems with his lungs. My entire family prayed for him. My mother told a coworker about him and he asked if his prayer group could pray for him, obviously she said yes. Today he is a healthy 25 year old man. I feel the the prayers said for him helped him to get through the first months of is life.


That is a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing Eduardo. God bless!