Summary: Paul prayed for the churches. Do you? For your local church?
BEING THE CHURCH THAT PRAYS
I. THANKFUL: INCREASING BURDEN TO PRAY
• As a church and
• For the church.
1. FOR MATURITY
• That our hearts would be gripped by God.
• That our eyes would catch the eternal; and
• That our lives would reach its full purpose in Christ.
2. THE LORD SAID IN MT 21:13
• ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’
3. “A CHURCH THAT PRAYED”
• This is our prayer isn’t it?
• That we would be in our times that church that prayed.
4. THE CHURCH IN THE BOOK OF ACTS WAS A CHURCH THAT PRAYED\
i. Acts 1:13; 2:1. The 120 praying in one accord for 10 days. [On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon them].
ii. Acts 4:24, 31. The church prayed and the place was shaken-- when Peter and John reported the Sanhedrin's threats.
iii. Acts 6:6. The church prayed over the seven men appointed to serve.
iv. Acts 12:1-11. The church prayed fervently -- James was martyred & Peter imprisoned; and God miraculously delivered Peter from the prison.
v. Acts 13:1-2. Church was praying and fasting, when the Holy Spirit called Paul and Barnabas to go on their first missionary journey.
5. HUDSON TAYLOR
"Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested?
We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power."
6. OUR DAILY BREAD [APRIL 24]. SPURGEON'S "BOILER ROOM."
Five young college students were spending a Sunday in London, so they went to hear the famed C.H. Spurgeon preach. While waiting for the doors to open, the students were greeted by a man who asked, "Gentlemen, let me show you around. Would you like to see the heating plant of this church?"
They were not particularly interested, for it was a hot day in July. But they didn't want to offend the stranger, so they consented. The young men were taken down a stairway, a door was quietly opened, and their guide whispered, "This is our heating plant."
Surprised, the students saw 700 people bowed in prayer, seeking a blessing on the service that was soon to begin in the auditorium above. Softly closing the door, the gentleman then introduced himself. It was none other than Charles Spurgeon.
II. PAUL PRAYED FOR THE CHURCHES and
• You cannot read an epistle of Paul without him praying for them.
A. SOME CHURCHES HE EXPRESSES HIS JOY AND THANKFULNESS
• He does not mention this about every church he wrote to.
• [We know this wasn’t perfunctory or part of the greeting]
• Romans 1:8. “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.”
• 1 Cor 1:4. “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus”
• Phil 1:3. “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,”
• Col 1:3. “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
• 1 Thess 1:2. “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,”
7. EPHESIAN CHURCH WAS ONE OF THEM
• Prayer to the Ephesian church which we want to look at today was one of them.
Ephe 1:16. “[I] do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;”
1. WHY THANKFUL?
Ephe 1:15 “…having heard of:
• the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and
• Your love for all the saints,
a. IN OTHER WORDS:
• An upward relationship of trust in the lord and
• An outward relationship of love evidenced within the church.
b. ANYTHING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER TODAY, IT IS
• UPWARD FAITH & OUTWARD LOVE [SAY IT]
c. THE ANSWER TO THE PRAYER
• Is connected with the community of faith.
2. PAUL, THEN BURSTS FORTH INTO A PRAYER FOR THE EPHESIAN CHURCH
• It is a prayer for the church…
3. NOT A PRAYER FOR HIMSELF
• Even though he is a prisoner.
a. THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THIS “UPWARD FAITH” AND “OUTWARD LOVE” THAT:
• Excites Paul beyond his circumstance and situation.
4. OUR OBJECTIVES FOR TODAY TWO-FOLD:
i. Catch the excitement of Paul for the church
ii. How we can pray similar prayers at NLBC. [www.newlifebiblechapel.com]
5. PRAYING, PRAYERS THAT…
• Takes us beyond our immediate temporal needs; and
• Anchors us on the divine.
6. QUOTE: LAWRENCE RICHARDS
“I suppose it’s all right to pray for that addition to a new Sunday School wing. Or the funds to go on the radio. But if we want our church to truly be the church, the things Paul prayed for here are vastly more important.”