Monday, September 22, 2008

The Power of Praying People...

I've begun a new series of messages from Acts 12 entitiled, "How to Release the Power of God". It seems to me that there is a very real disconnect between most peoples' experiences and the revelation of Scripture. My church is committed to being a biblical church which means that we want to look more and more like the church as revealed in the book of Acts--which means that we would like for our church, among other things, to be marked by the miraculous. This new series of messages will cover Acts 12 in its entirety and will reveal five ingredients for releasing the power of God.

Ingredient 1: PRAYING PEOPLE

Read the amazing story of Peter's release from prison in Acts 12:1-17 and you will walk away with an understanding of just how powerful the prayer of God's people can actually be. The secret to Peter's release is revealed for all to see in Acts 12:5, "So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God." The passage further states that after Peter's miraculous release, "he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was also called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying" (Acts 12:12). Peter was released from prison directly because of the prayers of his friends in the church.

The Bible reveals five principles for effective corporate prayer:

Persistant Prayer: (Acts 12:5; Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). The biggest mistake that we can make in praying is to quit too early. Jesus clearly instructs to demonstrate our faith by praying without ceasing. Don't quit until you've heard from God.

Relational Prayer: (1 Corinthians 12:26). There is no effective prayer without loving care. We must come before God in the language of prayer which is love. Prayers are often meaningless because they are simply mindless repetition lacking passion.

Agreeing Prayer: (Matthew 18:19). It's not just a matter of agreeing with each other--it's a matter of agreeing with God. We must take the time to find out the heart of God as we pray so that we can pray with knowledge and not just a good guess or worse yet--just our opinion.

You and I Watching Prayer: (Isaiah 62:6-7). To watch is to pray with our eyes open--looking for the activity of God. It is to be aware of all that the enemy may be attempting and to pray against his schemes and pray for God's glory.

Spirit-led Prayer: (Ephesians 6:18). May we learn to let the Spirit of God pray through us. We need less words and more groanings of the Spirit. As you pray, invite the Spirit of God to pray through you. Ask for insights and emotions that would guide your prayer.

There is no doubt that the power of God will be released as God's people pray. We must ask Jesus, even as the disciples did, "Lord, teach us to pray".

1 comment:

Serving at 6700 said...

Thanks for this great reminder. Prayer is THE answer to every problem facing the church today.