Dig into the sermon each week with your life group, spiritual growth partner, or even by yourself! We’ll provide ideas to jump start your group time (Opener Questions:  for building community), discussion questions to go deep (Discussion Questions:  for fostering Christ Centered community), and ways to apply what you learned throughout the week (Practical Applications:  for faithfully following Jesus through your week).


Opener Questions

What is some of the best…or worst…advice you’ve received when you’ve experienced a trial in the past?


What is something you are close to finishing right now? How are you feeling (excited, exhausted, anxious, relieved)?

Discussion Questions:

    1. What are you reading in Scripture?  How is your time with God in his Word impacting your life?


    2. Story so far…how do the events of Acts 12 fit into Jesus’ call in Acts 1:8?


    3. Take a look at Peter’s life and develop a timeline to trace not only the major events of his life, but also some of the things that he did (and wrote) before and after his miraculous release from prison in Acts 12. Look at his posture in this trial. How has Peter changed and how can you explain this transformation? 

    4. Review the points in the sermon notes from this passage.  What do trials do?

    These points present a head posture (expectation/trials are normal), a heart posture (refining and where trials drive us – to prayer and trust God).

    How have trials that you have experienced brought to life these realities? Have you seen the goodness of God through trial?  What other attributes of God’s character have you come to see and experience through trials?  How have you been transformed by trials you’ve weathered? Can you see how James and Peter land here (see 1 Peter 1:6-7 and James 1:2-4) in regards to trial?

    5. How do we see the church respond to Peter’s imprisonment and impending death sentence?  (by fervently praying!)  Think about supporting friends and loved ones who are experiencing trials (or what you’ve experienced as support through trial). What can we learn from this passage about what it looks like to walk alongside others experiencing a trial?    

    6. Acts 12:5 states that the church responded to Peter’s imprisonment by earnestly (or fervently) praying.  What do you think the church was praying for? How are we sometimes like the people in the prayer meeting in this story?  What are some of your prayers that would surprise you if God answered affirmatively?

    7. Finish by spending time praying earnestly for one another and the trials being faced among your group members.

    8.  For next week in Woodlands in the Word, continue reading in Acts, chapters 15-19.  The sermon series will change!  We’ll be in Daniel.  You can interact with Daniel 1 in preparation for next week’s sermon.

    Practical Applications

    Dinnertime Discussion:  What is something big you’re facing that can only be navigated in prayer? // What are the daily things you need to surrender to God in prayer?  

    Spend time sharing and praying!


    Developing Disciplines: Over and over in Scripture, God calls us to remember!  Remember how He’s moved, who He is, and what He’s calling us to.  Likewise,  James exhorts us to take our trials and count it all joy. Make a list of trials you’ve gone through.  How can you give thanks to God for them? (this may take some time in prayer!) Give your current trials to the Lord and ask Him for faith to persevere in the midst of your current trials. 


    Gospel in Everyday Life:  Examine some of the ways God has been at work in your life over the past week or month. Have you given God glory or have you been taking glory for yourself or taking God’s work for granted? Repent, rejoice, repeat.


    Practicing Prayer:  Acts 12 gives us a picture of the church praying together fervently and being surprised by God’s answer.  This week when you pray, join with another brother or sister in Christ. (go for coffee, take a walk, share a car ride and actually pray together!) Help each other watch for God’s response. 


    Verse Memory: “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7