Summary: In this brief study we will take a walk through the book of Acts highlighting some of the more significant verses and ideas presented by Luke. I have drawn some material from "Act Normal" by Scott Wilson.
Acts Pt9- Fervent Prayer
Driving down the road- car in front veers off into a lake- people in danger of drowning- what would you do?
You would intervene on their behalf.
Story of Cornelius- Roman Centurion, Gentile- we see God grant salvation to the Gentiles.
Peter/Jews begin to realize- God came for all men.
Cornelius- angelic visitation- prayers- memorial.
Zacharias- angelic visitation- God heard his petitions.
God hears the prayers of His people-
Jam 5:16 (NLT) The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Jews in Jerusalem upset w/Peter going to the Gentiles- met with apostles/elders- explains what God did.
Peter says- I remembered- important to know God’s Word so we can remember it when things happen.
God is still pouring out His HS on people today.
Gospel- preached to- Greeks/church birthed in Antioch.
Acts 11:26 (NASB95) ... and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
First, we see a picture of the unity of the church.
When- famine in Judea- church in Antioch-quick to help.
Early church had a Kingdom perspective and saw the church as a whole- not divided into different camps.
People gave generously in proportion- God’s blessing.
God does not promise economic equality- but He does expect rich/poor to give in proportion-what they have
Persecution- began w/Stephen- continues w/Herod.
James- brother of John- first of the 12 to die.
See much persecution of Christian’s in the world today.
We are called to live and die for Christ-
Romans 14:7–8 (NASB95) (Phil 1.21)
7For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself;
8for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.
Act 12.4-12 (emphasize v5, 12) (Rev 5.10, Num 16.43-48)
During this difficult time- church gathered together-pray-
they were interceding on Peter’s behalf.
Intercession-intervene on-behalf of another before God.
Isa 59:16 (NASB95) And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
God was amazed- no one intervened- help- oppressed.
We are called to intervene for people before God.
We are called- offer to God-continual sacrifice of prayer-
to honor His name,
for the salvation of lost souls, and
the sanctification of His people.
Nehemiah- very concerned about- condition of the Jews not taken captive and still living around Jerusalem.
What can we learn from the way he prayed-
It is important to be sincere in our prayers.
Eloquent words to not take the place of a heart that really cares-
Do we care about- eternal destinies of people?
Are we concerned about- reality of heaven/hell?
Do we care enough to make time for prayer?
Nehemiah understood God and His covenant.
He believed in- greatness/faithfulness/mercy of God.
Pro 9:10 (NASB95) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Pr 4.7)
Consider these two thoughts-
1. Knowledge of God always leads to faith.
2. To know God is to ask much/expect much.
Persist- to continue in spite of opposition.
Story of the widow and the unrighteous judge-
Lk 18.1-8 (Lk 11.5-10, Gal 6.9)
It is important to deal with God openly/honestly.
To approach God w/unconfessed sin is to deal falsely with God- it is not being honest.
Some DO NOTS in prayer- do not-
pretend- believe His Word and live like not true
ask Him for things you do not expect
profess to be loyal to God, but be more concerned about your own interests than His
Faith- v8-10 (Heb 11.6)
Nehemiah is reminding God of His Word because He believes God is true to His Word.
God cannot deny Himself- He is the Living Word.
Faith takes hold of- Word of God- as we find our prayers in alignment w/God's Word, then we can say-
now therefore do this for me.
The audacity of faith is astounding. (James Smith)
Faith is- deep confidence in- character/nature of God.
Consecration- v11 (Rom 12.1-2, Jam 4.3)
Nehemiah refers to himself as a servant to God-
just as he is a servant of the Babylonian king.
In the Bible find different classes of people-
Slave- serves through fear
Hireling- serves for wages
Bond-servant/Son- serves for love
In our prayers we will miss the will of God if we are not willing to yield ourselves to God and to live for Him.
The obedient/devoted son expects the favor of- father.
As the church responded to the difficulties of their day in prayer, may the church today respond in like manner