The Acts of the Apostles

Chapter 1 (1 - 5)

Dear Friend of God, in my first book (the Gospel of Luke) I wrote about everything Jesus did until the day he was taken up to heaven

For 40 days after his death, he appeared to his apostles many times, and taught them about the kingdom of God

He told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for what the Father had promised: "You will soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit"

Jesus, please baptize me with the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit,  increase your influence in my life

 


Chapter 1 (6 - 11)

On the day he was taken up to heaven, Jesus said to his apostles "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Then you will be my witnesses in every part of the world"

As he said this, he was lifted up while they watched.
A cloud took him from their sight

Then two angels appeared to them and said "Jesus who has been taken up from you, will come back some day in the same way as you have seen him leave"

Jesus, help me be your witness by the way I think and speak and live

 


Chapter 1 (12 - 14)

After Jesus went up to heaven from the Mount of Olives, the apostles went back down to Jerusalem, a walk of about half a kilometer

They gathered in an upstairs room which they used as a meeting place. The 11 apostles were Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon and Jude

They spent a long time praying. With them were several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and also Jesus' brothers

Jesus, your apostles' group spent special time in prayer preparing for the coming of the Holy Spirit. I now ask them in heaven to pray that the Holy Spirit will increase his influence in my life

 


Chapter 1 (15 - 26)

During these days, Peter spoke to a group of about 120 disciples:
"As you know, Judas hanged himself after betraying Jesus. We must now choose someone to take Judas' place, someone who has been with us since the time when John was baptizing"

Two men were nominated, Joseph and Matthias. After prayer was offered, Matthias was chosen. He was listed as one of the 12 apostles

Jesus, please protect your church from betrayal and disloyalty

 


Chapter 2 (1 - 4)

About ten days after Jesus' ascension to heaven was the Feast of Pentecost. Jesus' 12 apostles, his mother, several other women, and his brothers were together in one room

Suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind. Tongues of fire appeared and came to rest on the head of each of them

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages

Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on me. Fall afresh on our world

 


Chapter 2 (11 - 18)

When  people heard the apostles' group speaking in many different languages, some said the apostles were drunk

Peter stood up with the Eleven and said to the crowd:
These people are not drunk. It's only 9am....too early to drink.
What is happening is what God said through the prophet Joel:

'I, the Lord, will pour out my spirit on all peoples. They will prophesy and see visions. I will pour out my spirit on everyone'

Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on all peoples, all nations

 


Chapter 2 (22 - 36)

Peter said to the crowd "You know that Jesus of Nazareth was a man from God. You know all about the miracles he worked

This same Jesus has been raised from the dead by God. There are many witnesses to his resurrection

Jesus has been taken up to God's right hand. He has received the Holy Spirit from the Father. He has poured out the Holy Spirit on us

Know for sure that Jesus whom you crucified is the Messiah and he is Lord"

Jesus, Messiah Lord, please pour your Holy Spirit into my heart

 


Chapter 2 (37 - 47)

The crowd was deeply moved by Peter's words, and asked "What should we do?"   Peter replied "You must repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then you too will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit". That day about 3,000 people were baptized

These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to a life of sharing and caring, to the Breaking of Bread, and to prayer

Many miracles were worked by the apostles, and this made a deep impression on everyone. Each day the Lord added new members to their group

Jesus, please help me remain faithful to the Christian way of life

 


Chapter 3 (1 - 10)

One afternoon about 3pm, Peter and John went to the Temple for prayer. A beggar asked them for money. He was crippled from birth

Peter said to him "I don't have any silver or gold. But I do have something to give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!"

Peter then took him by the hand and helped him to stand up. Immediately, his feet and ankles became firm and he could walk.
He was so happy he started jumping around. He went into the Temple, praising God

Jesus, there are so many crippled people in the world. Please heal them

 


Chapter 3 (9 - 16)

When people saw the former crippled man walking, they couldn't believe their eyes. So Peter said to them "Why are you so surprised? Do you think John and I made this cripple walk?

It is by our faith in Jesus that this man has been restored to health.

Jesus is the Holy One, the Just One, the Prince of Life whom you handed over to Pilate for crucifixion. But God raised him from the dead

Jesus, Prince of Life, please increase my faith in you. Please give me a faith that can bring your  healing to handicapped people

 


Chapter 4 (1 - 12)

While Peter was talking to the crowd, some religious leaders and soldiers came and arrested Peter and John

The next day the leaders held a meeting and asked the prisoners: "By what power and by whose name did you heal the crippled beggar?"

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, replied "The cripple is able to stand up perfectly healthy because he was healed by Jesus the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead

Salvation comes no other way. Only by the name of Jesus can we be saved"

Jesus, your name means "God saves", 
you are indeed the
Saviour of the world

 


Chapter 4 (13 - 22)

The religious leaders were astonished that two uneducated men like Peter and John could speak so confidently. The leaders also realized that a miracle had taken place: the crippled man was standing next to  Peter and John

The leaders gave Peter and John a formal legal warning not to speak in future about Jesus

Peter and John replied "Which is right? To obey you, or obey God? We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard"

The leaders released the two apostles. They were afraid to punish them since all the people were giving glory to God for the miracle that had happened

Jesus, please help me obey you always

 


Chapter 4 (23 - 31)

When Peter and John were released, they went to a gathering of apostles and friends and told them everything that had happened

The group then prayed "Master, it is you who made heaven and earth and sea. Please protect us from leaders who threaten us. Help us to proclaim your message with great boldness. Bless us to heal and work miracles through the name of your holy servant Jesus"

As they prayed, the building rocked. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God boldly

Jesus, by the grace of your Holy Spirit, please help me to proclaim your message boldly

 


Chapter 4 (32 - 37)

The apostles continued to witness to the resurrection
of the Lord Jesus with great power

The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul. They willingly shared everything they had with people who were in need

Joseph was a Temple minister who had been born in Cyprus. He sold a field he owned, and gave the proceeds to the apostles. The apostles called him "Barnabas" ("Son of Encouragement")

Jesus, help me to be more caring and sharing

 


Chapter 5 (12 - 16)

All the believers used to meet regularly in an area of the Temple. Their numbers kept on increasing

So many miracles kept happening that sick people were laid on beds on the street,  in the hope that at least Peter's shadow would cover them as he walked past

People came from the towns near Jerusalem, bringing their sick,
and all of the sick were healed

Jesus, let more healings take place in our day

 


Chapter 5 (17 - 21)

The religious leaders were jealous of the apostles.
The leaders had the apostles arrested and put in prison

But that night an angel of the Lord opened the prison gates
and led them out of the prison, saying to them:

"Go and stand in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life"

The apostles went to the Temple at dawn and continued preaching

Jesus, please help more and more people know about the new Life

 


Chapter 5 (21 - 33)

When the leaders had their big meeting later that same morning, they sent for the apostles to be brought from prison

The police went to the prison, then came back and reported to the leaders "We found that the prison was properly locked, and the guards were on duty. But when we unlocked the door, there was no one inside"

Then a man arrived at the meeting with the news "At this very moment, the men you imprisoned are now in the Temple preaching to the people"

The police again arrested the apostles and brought them to the meeting

When the main religious leader reminded them of his previous warning not to preach, Peter and the apostles replied "Obedience to God comes before obedience to men. God  raised Jesus up to be the Savior. We are witnesses to this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God gives to those who obey him"

This made the leaders so angry that they wanted to kill the apostles

Jesus, please help me put obedience to you before all other obediences

 


Chapter 5 (34 - 42)

One religious leader at the meeting, Gamaliel, asked that the apostles be removed from the room. Then he spoke to the other leaders:

"Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people. If this movement of theirs is of human origin, it will die out of its own accord. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy it. You might even find yourselves fighting against God"

His advice was accepted. The apostles were warned, flogged and released

They left the meeting glad to have had the honor of suffering humiliation for the sake of Jesus. They resumed their daily preaching, in the Temple and in private homes

Jesus, thank you for times of suffering for you

 


Chapter 6 (1 - 7)

About this time as the number of disciples kept growing, the twelve apostles decided to give other men the job of daily food distribution

The apostles said to the whole group of believers  "It is not right for us to neglect the service of the word. Therefore you should choose seven men of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom. We give them the food  distribution job, so that we can devote ourselves to prayer and the service of the word"

The whole assembly approved of this idea. They chose seven men and presented them to the apostles who prayed over them with the laying on of hands

The word of the Lord continued to spread. Even a large number of priests became believers

Jesus, please bless all deacons. Fill them with the courage and wisdom of the first seven deacons

 


Chapter 6 (8 - 15)

One of the seven deacons, Stephen, was filled with grace and power.
He began to do many miracles

A group of Jews tried to beat Stephen in a debate. But they could not win, because the Holy Spirit was guiding Stephen in his speech

The group then got some men to falsely accuse Stephen of being disloyal to Moses and to God

The group had Stephen arrested and brought before a meeting of the religious leaders. At the meeting, false witnesses accused Stephen of speaking against Moses and the Law

Jesus, please protect people who are accused by false witnesses

 


Chapter 7 (1 - 54)

The meeting of religious leaders had falsely accused Stephen of being disloyal to Moses

So Stephen gave a long speech, full of loyalty to Moses. Then he made a stinging attack on the leaders: "You stubborn people, with your pagan hearts and pagan ears. You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors did.

Your ancestors killed the prophets who foretold the coming of the Just One. You have gone further: you have killed the Just One himself"

When the leaders heard these words, they were very angry and wanted to kill Stephen

Jesus, Just One from heaven, please don't let me resist the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit of God, please increase your influence in my life

 


Chapter 7.55 - 8.3

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand

"I can see heaven thrown open", he said, "and Jesus standing at the right hand of God"

At this, the religious leaders at the meeting covered their ears with their hands. They sent Stephen out of the city and stoned him. The false witnesses (who were required to throw the first stones) put down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Paul

As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit". Then he knelt down and prayed "Lord, do not hold this sin against them". Then he died. Paul entirely approved of the killing

That day a bitter persecution started against the church in Jerusalem
and everyone except the apostles fled to the countryside

Paul  began working for the destruction of the church. He went from house to house arresting men and women and sending them to prison

Jesus, thank you for the example of Stephen who, like yourself, forgave those who were killing him

 


Chapter 8 (4 - 8)

The believers who escaped from Jerusalem went from place to place spreading the Good News

One of these believers was Philip. 
He preached about Jesus in a Samaritan town

The Samaritans welcomed Philip's message because of the miracles he worked

Unclean spirits came out of many possessed people,
and a number of handicapped people were cured

Such miracles caused great rejoicing in that town

Jesus, let there be more miracles in our day, especially the healing of handicapped people

 


Chapter 8 (14 - 17)

The apostles in Jerusalem heard that people in Samaria had accepted the word of God. Peter and John went to Samaria to pray for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit.

So far the Samaritans had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Holy Spirit had not come down on them

When Peter and John prayed over them with the laying on of hands, the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit. Come down on me. Please help me understand the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation

 


Chapter 9 (1 - 19)

Paul kept up his campaign against the Lord's disciples.
He got the ok to arrest followers of the Way in Damascus

But on his way to Damascus, a light from heaven surrounded him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying "Paul, Paul, why are you persecuting me?"

He said "Who are you, Lord?"
The voice replied "I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me.
Go into Damascus and you will be told what to do"

Paul's eyes were open, but for more than a day he was without his sight, and he ate and drank nothing

The Lord got Ananias, a disciple in Damascus, to visit Paul and pray for him. The Lord said to Ananias "Paul  is my chosen instrument to bring my name to non-Jews and Jews. He will suffer much for me"

Ananias went to Paul and prayed for him with the laying on of hands.
Straight away, Paul could see again. Then Ananias baptized him

Jesus, please help me understand
how unkindness to others is unkindness to you

 


Chapter 9 (20 -31)

After a few days, Paul began preaching in the prayer halls that Jesus is the Son of God. People were amazed at Paul's conversion

As time passed, the Jews planned to kill Paul. Paul heard of this and decided to leave the city. The Jews kept watch at the city gates to stop him leaving

Then one night he was able to escape: some disciples lowered him in a basket from the city wall

He went to Jerusalem and began preaching boldly in the name of the Lord

Soon another plot was made to kill him. Therefore the disciples sent him to Tarsus

After this the churches throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria were left in peace. They steadily grew, strengthened by the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, please strengthen me, as you strengthened Paul and the first believers

 


Chapter 9 (32 - 35)

Peter visited churches in many areas. When he went to Lydda,
he saw a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bed-ridden for 8 years

Peter said to him "Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you.
Get up and fold up your sleeping mat"

Aeneas got up immediately. The people of that area who saw him, were converted to the Lord

Jesus, let there be more miracles of healing,
so that more people will believe in you

 


Chapter 10 (1 - 48)

Cornelius was a Roman centurion stationed in the town of Caesarea.
He and his household prayed, loved God, and helped the local people

One morning Cornelius had a vision that Peter would visit him.
In another town, Peter was instructed by the Lord to visit Cornelius

Peter preached God's message to Cornelius and his household.
While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners

Jewish believers  who had accompanied Peter were astonished
that the Holy Spirit would come down on non-Jewish people

Holy Spirit, please come down on all peoples everywhere!

 


Chapter 11 (19 - 26)

Some believers went to Antioch in Syria where they preached the Good News
of the Lord Jesus to non-Jewish people. Many non-Jewish people became believers

Barnabas, a good man filled with the Holy Spirit, was sent to Antioch in Syria to encourage the new believers to remain faithful to the Lord

Barnabas brought Paul from Tarsus to Antioch. They stayed in Antioch one year, instructing a large number of people

It was at Antioch that the believers were first called "Christians"

Jesus, please help me be a good Christian

 


Chapter 12 (1 - 17)

About this time, King Herod began persecuting the church. He beheaded the apostle James, brother of John. He arrested Peter during Passover time. He put Peter in prison and planned to have him put on trial and killed after Passover

Each day Peter was in prison, the believers stormed heaven praying for him. On the night before he was to be put on trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with chains, with more soldiers at the prison entrance

Suddenly Peter's cell was filled with light, and an angel told him to get up. The chains fell from his hands. The angel led Peter out of the prison, without the guards knowing what was happening

Peter then left for another place. Herod was unable to find him

Jesus, please help Christians who are in prison for their faith

 


Chapter 12 (20 - 23)

Wearing his robes of state and sitting on a throne, King Herod made a speech to the leaders of Tyre and Sidon. People acclaimed him saying "It is a god speaking, not a man!"

At that moment, the angel of the Lord struck him down, because he had not given the glory to God. He was eaten away with worms and died

Jesus, please help us remember that all our talents are a gift from you. "Not to us, Lord, but to your name be the glory"

 


Chapter 13 (1 - 3)

In the church at Antioch in Syria, the following were prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen and Paul

One day while they were offering worship to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said "I want Barnabas and Paul set apart for the work to which I have called them"

After fasting and prayer, the leaders prayed for Barnabas and Paul with the laying on of hands and sent them off on a missionary journey

Holy Spirit, help me be attentive to your guidance

 


Chapter 13 (13 - 52)

Paul and Barnabas went to another Antioch, Antioch in Pisidia.
Out of jealousy, the local Jewish leaders there stopped Paul from preaching to the Jewish community

Paul and Barnabas then turned their attention to non-Jewish people, and so the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside

But the Jewish leaders kept up their campaign, and had Paul and Barnabas expelled from Pisidia

Jesus, please don't let Gospel workers be expelled

 


Chapter 14 (1 - 7)

Paul and Barnabas went to another city, Iconium. As usual, their first stop was the local Jewish prayer hall. Many Jews became believers, as did many non-Jewish people

During their stay in Iconium, Paul and Barnabas preached fearlessly for the Lord. And the Lord supported them by allowing miracles to be worked by them

But their success again aroused opposition, and they were in danger of being stoned. So they went to Lycaonia and preached the Good News there

Jesus, please help Gospel workers by allowing miracles to be worked by them

 


Chapter 14 (8 - 18)

In Lycaonia, there was a man who had never walked in his life, because his feet were crippled from birth

As he listened to Paul preaching, Paul noticed him and saw that he had the faith to be cured

Paul said in a loud voice "Get to your feet! Stand up!"
The crippled man jumped up and began to walk

The local people thought that Paul and Barnabas must be gods, so Paul said to them "We are only human beings like you. We have come with Good News to help you turn from empty idols to the living God who made heaven and earth. It is he who sends you rain and who makes your crops grow"

Jesus,  help people turn away from idol worship

 


Chapter 14 (19 - 27)

Some Jewish leaders arrived from Pisidian Antioch and Iconium.
They turned the people of Lycaonia against Paul and Barnabas

The people stoned Paul and, thinking he was dead, dragged him outside the town

The disciples gathered around Paul's body. As they did so, he stood up. The next day he and Barnabas went to the town of Derbe

After Derbe, they went back to Pisidian Antioch via Lystra and Iconium.  In each place they encouraged the believers to persevere in the faith, especially during difficult times in their lives

In each place they also appointed elders to be church leaders

Eventually Paul and Barnabas arrived back in Syrian Antioch, where they gave an account of how God had opened the door of faith to non-Jewish people

Jesus, please help me persevere in the faith, like Paul and Barnabas

 


Chapter 15 (1 - 29)

Some Jewish Christians came to Syrian Antioch from Judea and said that non-Jewish Christians should be circumcised. Paul and Barnabas argued against such an idea, and decided to go to Jerusalem to discuss this issue with the apostles there

During a long meeting, Peter reminded everyone how the Holy Spirit had been poured out on non-circumcised people.

James  spoke of how all peoples are meant to be consecrated to the Lord

James then issued a teaching for non-Jewish believers:
"All we ask you to do is to abstain 
- from food sacrificed to idols
- from blood from the meat of strangled animals
- from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right"

Jesus, please don't let me make unreasonable demands on other people

 


Chapter 15 (36 - 40)

Some time after this, Paul said to Barnabas "Let's revisit the towns where we preached the word of the Lord".

Barnabas suggested taking John Mark with them, but Paul opposed this, since John Mark had deserted them on the previous trip when the situation became dangerous

After a violent argument, Paul and Barnabas split up. Barnabas went with John Mark to Cyprus. Silas joined Paul for his next journey

Jesus, at your Last Supper  you prayed  for the unity of your followers.  Help us avoid arguments

 


Chapter 16 (1 - 10)

In the town of Lystra,  Paul recruited Timothy, whose mother was a Jewish Christian and whose father was Greek

As they visited one town after another, they announced the decisions taken in Jerusalem about what Jewish practices to follow

The local churches continued to grow strong in faith as well as grow in numbers

One night Paul had a vision: a Macedonian appeared and said "Come across to Macedonia and help us". We immediately crossed the sea to Macedonia (Luke was now with Paul)

Jesus, if someone asks me for help, may I say yes

 


Chapter 16 (11 -15)

We went to a number of towns in Macedonia. In Philippi, the Jews had no prayer hall. They met on the river bank. We went there one Sabbath and preached to the women who were meeting there

One of these women was Lydia. The Lord opened her heart to what Paul was saying. She and her whole household were baptized

Jesus, open the hearts of more people to accept your word

 


Chapter  16 (16 - 24)

One day we met a slave girl  who made a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. The girl followed us each day shouting "These are the servants of God"

Paul said to the spirit possessing her "I order you, in the name of Jesus Christ, to leave her". The spirit immediately left her, but her owners were angry that she could no longer tell fortunes.

The owners seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to court, saying to the magistrate "These people are causing a disturbance in our city". A crowd supported the owners in calling for their punishment.

They were given many lashes and put into prison with their feet in irons

Jesus, please help Christians who are suffering in prison
because they announced your message

 


Chapter 16 (25 - 37)

Late that night in prison, Paul and Silas were praying and singing God's praises, while the other prisoners listened to them

Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison.
All the doors opened, and the chains fell from all the prisoners

The main jailer drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking the prisoners had escaped

But Paul shouted to him "Don't hurt yourself. We are all still here"

Trembling, the jailer threw himself at the feet of Paul and Silas. Then he escorted them out of the prison asking "What must I do to be saved?"

They said "Become a believer in the Lord Jesus, and both you and your household will be saved"

They explained the word of God to him and his family. He washed their wounds and then they "washed his wounds" by baptizing him and all his household

They had a meal together in the jailer's home, to celebrate the family's conversion to belief in God

Jesus, let more people know the joy of conversion

 


Chapter 17 (1 - 9)

Paul and his friends next went to the town of Thessalonika. On three Sabbaths,  Paul spoke at the local prayer hall, explaining how Jesus is the Anointed One

Some Jewish listeners and many non-Jewish people became believers.
But the religious leaders, out of jealousy, stirred up a gang from the market place

The gang dragged some believers to the city council. The leaders shouted "The people who have been turning the whole world upside down, have come to our town. They claim there is another emperor, Jesus"

The believers were eventually allowed to go on bail

Jesus, please don't let jealous people stop anyone from becoming a Christian

 


Chapter 17 (10 -12)

That night Paul and Silas left for the town of Beroea. At the local prayer hall, the Jews were very open-minded and they warmly welcomed the word of the Lord

Every day they studied the Scriptures to check that Paul's words were true. Many Jews and many non-Jewish people became believers

Jesus, please help people be open-minded when hearing your message

 


Chapter 17 (16 - 28)

In Athens, Paul was sad see so much idol worship.
Each day he talked to as many people as he could about Jesus

He was invited to a meeting of intellectuals. He said to them "The Creator of the world does not make his home in shrines made by human hands

He wants everyone to know him as the living God.
It is in him that we live and move and have life"

In its mother's womb, a baby lives and moves and has life. The universe is like a giant womb, God's womb, in which we live and move and have life. Jesus, please help me understand Paul's words

c.f. The Universe - God's Womb

 


Chapter 17 (29 - 34)

Paul continued speaking to the intellectuals: "We have no excuse for thinking that the Creator looks like something carved in gold, silver or stone

God overlooked that sort of thing when we were ignorant. But now he is telling everyone to repent and believe in Jesus raised from the dead"

Some intellectuals laughed at Paul. A few became believers

Jesus, please give intellectuals the humility to believe in you

 


Chapter 18 (1 - 4)

Paul left Athens and went to the city of Corinth. He met a Jewish couple who had recently left Italy when the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome

The couple were tentmakers, like Paul himself.
Paul stayed with them and they worked together

Each Sabbath Paul preached in the prayer halls,
trying to convert Jews as well as non-Jewish people

Jesus, thank you for the example of Paul who worked to support himself and didn't live off others

 


Chapter 18 (5 - 11)

In Corinth, Paul was rejected by the Jews, so he spent his time preaching to non-Jewish people. Many Corinthians became believers and were baptized

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid to speak out, nor allow yourself to be silenced. I am with you"

So Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months preaching the word of God 

Jesus, give Christians more courage to speak your message

 


Chapter 19 (1 - 7)

Paul left Corinth and went to the city of Ephesus where he found a dozen men who had been baptized by John the Baptist

He asked them "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?"

They replied "We have not been taught about the Holy Spirit"

When Paul explained Jesus to them, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Paul then prayed with them using the laying on of hands, and the Holy Spirit came down on them. They began to speak in tongues and to prophesy

Holy Spirit, please fall afresh on me
and  increase your influence in my life

 


Chapter 19 (8 - 10)

For three months, Paul went to the Jewish prayer hall in Ephesus, speaking boldly about the kingdom of God

When some Jews strongly attacked the Way, he stopped going to the prayer hall, and began daily discussions in a lecture room

He kept doing this for two years, with the result that people from many places, both Jews and non-Jews, were able to hear the word of God

Jesus, please give more and more people
the opportunity to hear your word

 


Chapter 19 (11 - 20)

So remarkable were the miracles worked by God through Paul, that even handkerchiefs which had touched him, were taken to the sick, and they were healed and evil spirits came out of them

Some believers admitted how they had practised magic. They collected their expensive books on magic and burnt them in public

Things like these helped the word of the Lord to continue spreading

Jesus, what can I do to help your message spread?

 


Chapter 19.23 - 20. 1

In Ephesus there was a silversmith who employed many craftsmen making shrines of the local idol, Diana. The silversmith called a meeting of the city's silversmiths and said to them "Not just here in Ephesus, but in many parts of the region, this man Paul has converted many people with his argument that gods made by hand are not gods at all. This is a threat to our trade"

A mob was formed and dragged two of Paul's companions to a local theatre. The town clerk eventually calmed the mob and dismissed them

By now Paul had decided to leave Ephesus. He went to Greece and spent three months there

Jesus, please help people give up the worship of idols made by human hands

 


Chapter 20 (7 - 12)

In the city of Troas Paul and his group joined the local believers for the Breaking of Bread one Saturday night

Paul's sermon went on till the middle of the night. As Paul went on and on, a young man who was sitting on the window-sill, went to sleep and fell to the ground three floors below

He was dead when they picked him up. Paul went down to the boy and prayed over him. The boy came back to life.

Paul kept on talking till dawn. That same day he left Troas

Jesus, is it ok if I pray that someone who has died
will come back to life?

 


Chapter 20 (17 - 21)

Paul's journey took him to Meletus where he met the elders of the church from Ephesus. He said to them

"You know what my way of life has been from the first day I arrived among you. I have served the Lord in all humility, facing all the sorrows and trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews

I have not hesitated to do anything that would be helpful to you.
I have preached to you and instructed you, both in public and in your homes, urging everyone to believe in our Lord Jesus"

Jesus, please help me be a bit more like Saint Paul

 


Chapter 20 (22 - 24)

Paul continued "Now you see me a prisoner already in spirit. I am on my way to Jerusalem, and have no idea what will happen to me there.
The Holy Spirit has made it clear that imprisonment and persecution await me there

But life to me is not a thing to waste words on. What matters is that when I finish my race, I have carried out the mission the Lord Jesus gave me - to bear witness to the Good News of God's grace"

Jesus, please help me live a worthwhile life

 


Chapter 20 (28 - 38)

Paul continued "You elders are the leaders of the Church of God.
Be on your guard against bad leaders trying to mislead people

Remember my example. I never asked anyone for money or clothes. You know how my work as a tentmaker earned enough to support my companions and me

Remember Jesus' words There is more happiness in giving than in receiving"

When he finished speaking, he knelt down with them and prayed. Then they took him to the ship

Jesus, please help Gospel workers imitate Paul

 


Chapter 21 (1 - 14)

Our sea voyage took us to the city of Caesarea. A prophet there took Paul's belt and used it to tie up his own feet and hands,
as a sign of what would happen to Paul in Jerusalem

Everyone implored Paul not to go to Jerusalem.
Paul replied "I am ready not only to be tied up,
but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus"

And so we packed up and headed for Jerusalem

Jesus, please give me a bit of Paul's courage

 


Chapter 21 (15 -40)

In Jerusalem Paul gave a report to James and other Christian leaders of all that God had done for non-Jews through his ministry

But Paul was soon seen by Jews from where he had traveled. He was dragged out of the Temple and beaten by a wild crowd

The beating was stopped by a Roman captain who had Paul bound with chains. The crowd was calling out for Paul to be killed

Paul asked for permission to speak to the crowd and the captain  agreed. Paul then spoke to the crowd in Hebrew

Jesus, please protect Christians who live in dangerous places

 


Chapter 22 (1 - 23)

Paul said to the crowd "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus. I was brought up here in Jerusalem. I studied under Gamaliel. I fully observed the Law of our ancestors. I even persecuted this Way to the death, and sent many people to prison

But once when I was on my way to Damascus to arrest followers of the Way, Jesus appeared to me and said 'I am Jesus the Nazarene, and you are persecuting me'. 
Then a believer in Damascus told me I was to be Jesus' witness in many places"

Up to now, the crowd had listened quietly to Paul, but when he said that Jesus was sending him to non-Jews in far away places, the crowd shouted "Rid the earth of this man! He's not fit to live!"

Jesus, please help Jewish people accept you as the Anointed One

 


Chapter 22 (24 -29)

Paul was taken into the soldiers' barracks. The captain ordered Paul to be tortured to find out the truth about his situation

But when they tied him down, Paul said "Is it legal for you to flog a  Roman citizen?

The captain said "It cost me a lot of money to acquire Roman citizenship".  Paul replied "I was born a Roman citizen"

Paul was untied without being flogged

Jesus, help people who are being tortured today

 


Chapter 22.30 - 23. 11

To find out why the Jews were attacking Paul, the captain arranged a meeting of the religious leaders, and allowed Paul to speak to them.

Paul realized that the leaders had two groups: Sadducees (who didn't believe in angels or an after-life) and Pharisees (who did believe in angels and an after-life)

So Paul called out "I am a Pharisee. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial". This caused the Pharisees and Sadducees to begin a violent argument that put Paul's life in danger

The captain ordered Paul to be taken back into the barracks. The next night, the Lord appeared to him and said "Courage! You have born witness for me in Jerusalem. Now you must do the same in Rome"

Jesus, please give courage to Christians who live in dangerous places

 


Chapter 23 (12 - 22)

The next day about 40 Jews held a meeting. They decided not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. They asked the religious leaders to arrange another meeting so that they could attack Paul

But the son of Paul's sister heard of the plot. He got into the barracks and told Paul. Paul got the boy to tell the captain. The captain immediately arranged for a large group of soldiers to take Paul to Caesarea to be tried by Felix the governor

Felix said "I will wait till your accusers come here too, then I will hear your case"

Jesus, please help people who are in danger of being murdered

 


Chapter 24 (1 - 26)

When the religious leaders arrived, they put their case to Felix.
They summed up their accusations by saying "The plain truth is that we find this man to be a perfect pest.
He stirs up trouble among Jews everywhere, and is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect"

Paul replied "In regard to the Way, which they malign as a sect,
I serve and worship the very same God worshipped by our ancestors. I live in hope that God will raise the dead. If that's my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am"

Felix postponed a decision. He met with Paul many  times, hoping  Paul would offer him a bribe

Jesus, please help judges to avoid bribery

 


Chapter 24.27 - 25.12

After two years, Felix was succeeded by Festus.
Festus arranged a new trial for Paul

The religious leaders repeated their accusations. Paul repeated his innocence

Festus wanted to gain favor with the leaders so he said to Paul
"Are you willing to go to Jerusalem for a trial with the full council of religious leaders, at which I would preside?"

Paul knew his rights, and stood his ground, not wanting to go to a kangaroo court in Jerusalem. So he invoked his right as a Roman citizen: "I appeal to Caesar"

Festus replied "You have appealed to Caesar;
to Caesar (Rome) you shall go"

Jesus, please give us courage to stand up for our rights

 


Chapter 27 (1 - 8)

For the journey to Rome, Paul and some other prisoners were put in the custody of a soldier named Julius.

After sailing for one day, we arrived at the city of Sidon, where Julius kindly allowed Paul to meet with some friends

Then we sailed past Cyprus and reached the city of Myra in Lycia, where we changed to a ship bound for Italy

The wind was against us near Crete. We struggled along the coast to a place called Fair Havens

Jesus, help prison guards to be kind like Julius

 


Chapter 27 (9 - 20)

Navigation at that time of the year was dangerous, since winter was starting. But the ship's captain set sail hoping to reach Phoenix, a harbor in Crete

Suddenly a fierce storm began and the ship could not be turned head-on to the wind. We had to let ourselves be driven by the wind

The ship was badly damaged by the storm. On the second day, the cargo was dumped overboard

For several days both sun stars were invisible as  the storm raged.  We lost all hope of surviving

Jesus, help sailors who are in danger at sea today

 


Chapter 27 (21 - 37)

Paul then spoke to everyone: Don't despair. There will be no loss of life. Last night an angel of God said to me: "Do not be afraid, Paul. You are destined to go to Rome. Therefore God grants you the safety of all who are sailing with you"

On the 14th day, Paul took some bread, gave thanks to God in front of them all, broke it and  gave it to everyone to eat. This gave them courage. There were 276 of them on the ship

Jesus, thank you for the courage that Communion gives us

 


Chapter 27 (39 - 44)

The next day they could see land: a bay with a beach. They tried to reach the beach, but the ship ran aground on a reef and began to break up

The soldiers wanted to kill the prisoners to stop them from escaping, but Julius would not allow this

Some people swam. Some used pieces of wreckage. All of them got to shore safely

Jesus,  help people in danger of ship-wreck today

 


Chapter 28 (1 - 10)

We were on the island of Malta. The local people were really kind to us. They made us welcome. They lit a huge fire because the weather was cold and rain was falling.

Paul collected a bundle of sticks and was putting them on the fire, when a snake bit his hand and held on. The locals expected him to die. But he just shook the snake into the fire. He was ok

The local Roman governor kindly gave us hospitality for three days. The governor's father was very sick in bed with fever and dysentery. He was healed when Paul prayed for him with the laying on of hands.
Word of the healing got around fast, and soon everyone on the island who was sick, came and got healed

Jesus, please bless the people of Malta

 


Chapter 28 (11 - 16)

After three months we set sail in a ship going to Italy. Our trip took us to Syracuse, Rhegium and Puteoli before we arrived in Rome

Believers in Rome heard of Paul's arrival and came to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God with all his heart

Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own, with a soldier to guard him

Jesus, thank you helping Paul reach Rome safely. 
Thank you for protecting me
on all my journeys

 


Chapter 28 (17 - 31)

Not long after his arrival in Rome, Paul had a meeting with a large number of Jews. The meeting went from early morning until evening

Paul talked to them about the kingdom of God. He tried to help them believe in Jesus. Some accepted Jesus

Paul was in detention for two years, in his own rented house. He welcomed everyone who came to visit him.  With boldness and without hindrance, he taught people about the Lord Jesus Christ

Jesus, thank you for the Acts of the Apostles. May I help more people know and love you, like Paul