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Prayer 6 Prayer driven church

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The Prayer-Driven Church NV 7/8/01 am

OS: Anniversary A “House of Prayer” reminder

B Pray as if everything depends on God, and then work as if everything depends on you.

I.       The Early Church Example in Acts

A.       C Before Pentecost the Disciples were praying (1:14)

B.        * Disciples prayed before selecting a new apostle (1:24)

C.       D New Believers devoted themselves to prayer (2:42)

D.       *When Peter and John were released from prison they prayed together with the church. (4:23-31)

E.        E The Apostles devoted themselves to prayer (6:4)

F.        *Christians prayed for Peter’s release from prison. (12:1-19)

G.       F The church fasted and prayed before sending Paul and Barnabas on a mission trip. (13:3)

H.       *Paul and Barnabas appointed elders-prayer and fasting. (14:23)

I.          G Paul and Silas prayed in prison (16:25)

J.          Prayer was central to the early church. (Offence/Defense)

II.    H The results of prayer are seen in the power of the early church.

A.       *There was tremendous unity within the church. (2:44-46)

B.        *There was tremendous growth as their numbers grew daily.

                              1.          Acts 16:5, So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

C.       *All the members had no needs. All were met. Ministry

D.       Preaching of the gospel, healing, and providing for needs.

E.        There is no doubt that Jesus was there. His ministry was continued by His church, and prayer was a primary ingredient.

PQ: I What does it take for us to be a prayer-driven church?

I.       J A Great Desire to really be the church

A.       Conviction is the heart of desire.

                       1.          My desires reflect my convictions.

                       2.          I am convicted…

                       3.          Being the church is not a matter of talent /heart.

B.        Not only desires, but also the substance of my prayer life reflect my convictions.

                       1.          I have heard on numerous occasions, “Lord, help us be the church you want us to be.”

                       2.          We need to ask God individually, “Lord, help me to be the kind of person you designed me to be.”

                       3.          God loves us just the way we are (church, individually) but He loves us too much to just let us stay the same.

TS] If … prayer-driven church we must have that kind of desire.

II.    K A Great Faith in God’s ability to really answer prayer.

A.       Did you notice how the early church prayed as if it all depended on God and worked as if it all depended on them.

                       1.          “God help us”

                       2.          Notice the lack of faith in chapter 12, and remember James had been killed. How long had they prayed for James?

B.        Before major decisions, in the face of difficult circumstances, and at the beginning of new ministry, God’s people were on their knees in prayer.

                       1.          In times of selection (new Apostle/elders)

                       2.          Prayer was the send off for workers as with Paul and Barnabas in Acts 13.

                       3.          Prayer was a common practice daily with Christians in their homes, or at the Temple, or some other appointed place.

                       4.          If … God’s church then we must be people of prayer.

C.       Here again we see Jesus in the life of the church.

                       1.          Its like seeing Momma, or Daddy in a little boy or girl.

                       2.          Jesus spent forty days in seclusion, (in prayer assumed) before beginning to preach and teach.

                       3.          Jesus prayed all night before selecting the twelve(Luke 6:12)

                       4.          He got up early in Mark 1 to pray. And during that time of prayer He came to the conclusion that it was time to leave that place even though everyone was looking for Him.

                       5.          Before facing the cross Jesus spent His last moments in prayer to the Father in the garden of Gethsemane.

TS] We have these examples of prayer only because God is able to answer. We must believe that or we will not pray.

III. L Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

 

A.       We must desire to be the church that God wants us to be. When we do that we understand the mission to be far too great for us. And we are driven to our knees seeking God’s help.

B.        We must believe that God is able to effectively work in His church today, and in our lives.

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