Summary: #7 in the series "Patterns for Prayer." Looks at the role of Prayer on the day of Pentecost.
There’s a city that’s been in the news a lot lately that most of us had never heard of. The city is Yongbyon. The reason that Yongbyon is newsworthy is that it is the site of North Korea’s nuclear reactor. The reclusive communist state said recently it needed to restart the frozen program to generate badly needed electricity and that the reactor would only be used the peaceful purposes "at the present stage."
That last phrase is important because experts have calculated that restarting the five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon could enable North Korea to produce 5.5 kilograms of plutonium annually and start manufacturing nuclear weapons within a year.
You see nuclear power can be used in two ways: It can be harnessed and produce large amounts of electrical power--enough to supply entire nations, or it can be used explosively in one massive momentary display of power.
On the day of Pentecost the Church of Jesus Christ experienced the Powerof the Holy Spirit in a spectacular, explosive way--3,000 were added to the church in that one day. And I believe the Holy Spirit can and does work in spectacular ways.
BUT, we need to understand that He is no less powerful as He works in and through our lives everyday in what could be called a "controlled burn"
Over the last several weeks we’ve been looking at the "Patterns for Prayer" seen in the lives of the early church which are recorded in the book of Acts. Today we turn back a few pages to chapter twobecause today is Pentecost Sunday--50 days after Easter, ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven after spending 40 days with his disciples after the resurrection.
Even though our text today doesn’t note specifically that the believers were praying when the miraculous events occurred that Sunday, I think it’s a pretty good guess that they were because Acts 1:14 tells us that "They all joined together constantly in prayer"
In Chapter 2 we read about the day of pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came in power in responseto their prayers. This morning I’d like us to look at what exactly it is that the Spirit brought to them, and what He still brings to us... The first thing is what we’ve been talking about already:
4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
What I want you to notice specifically is that the Spirit is the source of the power. They haven’t taken language courses. They haven’t had a board meeting to come up with new marketing techniques. It was the spirit that enabled them.
It’s not surprising since that’s exactly what Jesus had promised when he met with them before returning to His place in heaven:
1:8 "...you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
He had given them a tall task, no smaller than the whole earth. But where he calls He equips, and He equips with the inexhaustable power of the Holy Spirit.
Max Lucadowrote in his book "God Came Near" that one New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.