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A Tale of Two Apostolic Breakthroughs

In Acts 12 and 16, Peter and Paul were variously jailed for preaching the name of Jesus Christ and for healing in His name. But we also see God’s power deliver them both miraculously. Looking closer at these two breakthroughs, we learn some useful lessons. First, what these two incidents share in common:

Trial is no respecter of persons: Peter was the spokesperson for the Church in Jerusalem, yet he landed in jail. Paul was the sent one to the gentile world; still he ended up in jail. Trials and difficulties come to all of us, irrespective of our position in life. Although the circumstances may differ, but the challenges we face today are not entirely unique to us. 1 Corinthians 10:11-13.

Prayer is important: Prayers were offered in both instances for the deliverance of these men. For Peter, the Church prayed earnestly; but Paul and Silas had to pray for themselves. In both cases, God heard their prayers, and brought them salvation. The earnest, heart-felt prayer of a righteous person avails much. James 5:13-18.

God is a deliverer: Yes, Peter and Paul were jailed, but then God did deliver them supernaturally. God can always be counted on to deliver His people in times of difficulty. As long as God has a purpose over your life, He will not allow you to be broken by any circumstance. 1 Corinthians 10:11-13; Romans 8: 28-39.

Two Different Interventions
Both men were delivered by God, but the nature of their deliverance was so different. Here are a few salient points of difference:

Prayer or Praise: The church prayed for Peter, while he slept. Paul and Silas prayed in their “midnight’, but they also sang praises to God. Oh, it seems that their praise made a huge difference. Psalm 50:23.

God’s Angel or God Himself: Peter prayed, and God sent His angel to deliver Peter. Paul and Silas praised and God showed up in their midst. Yes, how God chooses to manifest His victory is His prerogative, but it is important to remember that God inhabits and dwells in the praises of His people. Psalm 22:3 Psalm 114:1-8.

Two Different “endings”: When Peter was delivered; the repercussion was that the guards charged with his safe-keeping were killed by Herod. When Paul was delivered, the result was the salvation of the prison guard charged to keep him, and an added apology from the city council. Proverbs 10:22.

Praise made all the difference
It seems that the only thing that made such a big difference was Praise. Yes, praise unleashes divine grace and power in a very deep way. It’s a divine weapon at our disposal. Psalm 149:1-9.

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