Summary: We need to follow the biblical model and seek God in prayer
Becoming People of Prayer
Spring Life Series
April 27, 2008
A friend of mine took his small son with him to town one day to run some errands. When lunch time arrived, the two of them went to a familiar diner for a sandwich. The father sat down on one of the stools at the counter and lifted the boy up to the seat beside him. They ordered lunch, and when the waiter brought the food, the father said, "Son, we’ll just have a silent prayer." Dad got through praying first and waited for the boy to finish his prayer, but he just sat with his head bowed for an unusually long time. When he finally looked up, his father asked him, "What in the world were you praying about all that time?" With the innocence and honesty of a child, he replied, "How do I know? It was a silent prayer."
We laugh at this story but sadly it reflects the prayer life of many churches, silent. The church today has bought into the lure of programs. If we just offer the right things people will come. The church has bought into the facade of facilities. If we just have a bigger, better building; people will come. The build it and they will come theory only works in Field of Dreams. The church today wants to do everything but what the early church did. We want to look at every model except the Biblical one.
Let me ask you a few questions:
Do you want the Holy Spirit to be poured on this church?
Do you want to see lost people saved through this church?
Do you want God to provide for every financial need of the church?
Do you want the presence of Christ to rest on this church?
Do you want to see revival fall on our church and community?
How many of you answered yes to any of these questions? What are we missing to make this a reality? What do we have to do see God do this in our church?
We must start seeking God in prayer. Not just some short five second prayer, really pray and pray like you want these things to happen. Prayer is the missing piece to see the power of God unleashed in this church. Heartfelt, genuine, God seeking prayer seems to be missing in this church. I am not saying that we do not pray, what I am saying is that we are not praying enough.
14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
The Early church believed in the power of prayer and they saw God do amazing things in and through His people.
1.) Prayer was vital to the life of the church - It was constantly a part of the church life
2.) Prayer is what draws people closer to God - Relational
3.) Prayer is part of a real spiritual life -
You cannot call yourself a New Testament Christian if you do not have a prayer life
Satan’s main strategy has been this: Don’t call, don’t ask, don’t depend on God to do great things. You’ll get along fine if you just rely on your own cleverness and energy.
Satan is not afraid of churches that rely on themselves because in the end those kinds of churches will never have great impact on the spiritual realms. Satan fears a church that will depend on God because those churches are reaping what only God can do.
I want to move beyond talking about prayer this morning and look at one of the greatest examples of prayer in the book of Acts. If you have your Bibles, open them with me to Acts 4:23-31.
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: " `Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.’ 27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."