Summary: This is part one of a three part series on praying in the spirit and tongues. A church that experiences miracles signs and wonders is a praying church. It?s a spiritual church that is sensitive to spiritual things. You want to see miracles in your life
"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles? teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common".
A survey taken from one hundred pastors of the top ten things they would focus on for 2005.
The first three were;
#2. Self improvement.
#3. To devote more time to sermon preparation.
The last one was;
#10. The very last thing they would focus on was prayer.
Notice the main focus of the early church;
1. They devoted themselves (loyalty) to the apostles teaching (the word) and to fellowship.
2. And to the breaking of bread (eating together) and to prayer.
The early church had success because it was a praying church.
I. Three things that happen when a church prays;
1. A sense of awe comes over the region and everyone wants to come and see for themselves.
-On the day of Pentecost.
-The Azusa Street revival started with a few ministers getting together to pray in 1902.
- The Pensacola revival (There was people praying day and night, at all hrs of the day).
2. God open?s up the heavens and Miracles, signs and wonders start taking place through the believers and to the believers.
-when the church prays people get saved, healed and delivered.
- Circumstances change in the lives of the believers.
- We receive God?s direction and blessings.
3. An atmosphere of real genuine unity starts to happen.
II. You pray because;
1. Prayer strengthens you.
Jude 20 says; But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit.
2. Prayer defeats the Devil.
1 Peter 5:7 says; ?Cast all your cares upon the Lord, for He cares for you. And be sober and vigilant; because your adversary the devil is seeking whom he may devour".
3. Prayer heals the sick.
James 5:14-15 says; "If any among you is sick call on the elders of the church and the prayer of faith shall heal the sick".
4. Prayer accomplishes the impossible.
Matt. 21:22; "And whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you will receive it".
; Acts 12:5?7; Peter was freed by an angel in prison while the disciples and other believers were praying.
5. Prayer bestows peace.
Phil. 4:6?7, don?t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God?s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
III. Two ways to pray.
(LOOK AT *1 CORINTHIANS 14:14-15) For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don?t understand what I am saying.
15 Well then, what shall I do? I will do both. I will pray in the spirit, and I will pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will sing in words I understand.
-Praying in the spirit or in tongues is one of the most controversial subjects in the church.
MOST OF YOU HAVE PROBABLY BEEN ASKED; DO YOU GO TO ONE OF THOSE CHURCHES?)
- There have been many abuses.
- Unbiblical teaching.
- Some people just have a problem with getting to spiritual (THE CHURCH IS A SPIRITUAL ORGANISM)
-"GOD IS SPIRIT AND THOSE WHO WORSHIP HIM MUST DO IT IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH".
THE BIBLE TELLS US TO; "LIVE IN THE SPIRIT AND NOT TO GIVE INTO THE DESIRES OF THE FLESH"(We need to become more spiritual, even if it?s not dignified to some)
THE BIBLE SUPPORT?S SPEAKING AND PRAYING IN TONGUES.
1. Paul was a tongue speaking Christian, he said; I will pray in the spirit, and I will pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will sing in words I understand.
2. *Verse 5, ?I wish you all had the gift of speaking in tongues"
3. In *verse 18 Paul says; ?I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in a church meeting I would much rather speak five understandable words that will help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language".
- He said this to back up, what he had mentioned in verse 2; for if your gift is the ability to speak in tongues, you will be talking to God but not to people, since they won?t be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious.