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Summary: Did you know that before this church had its first worship service, it had a prayer meeting? Prayer has under girded everything at PBC since the very beginning. This morning, we’re going to listen in on another Prayer Meeting that took place in the ea

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Making an Impact:

Praying with Faith

If you’ve been here the last several weeks, you’ll know that we’re in a series called, Making an Impact: Snapshots from the Book of Acts. We’ve been looking at the 6 key lifestyle traits of the early church, using the acrostic IMPACT.

I ­ Instruction in God’s Word: Acts 17 challenges us to get the Word into our Heads, our Hearts, and our Hands.

M ­ Mobilizing for Ministry: We learned last week from Acts 6 to: 1) Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing, 2) that no one can do everything, and that 3), everyone can do something.

P ­ Praying with Faith: we’re going to tackle this one today.

A ­ Adoring God in Worship

C ­ Caring for Others

T ­ Telling Others the Gospel

One of my favorite things to do is to pray with my daughters. I admire their honesty, their faith, and their persistence when they pray. Just recently I came across some actual letters that were written to God by some children. These letters are really prayer requests.

Dear God,

Did you mean for the giraffe to look like that, or was it an accident? ­ Norma

Dear God,

I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that OK? ­ Neil

Dear God,

Thank you for my baby brother, but what I wanted was a puppy. ­ Joyce

Dear God,

It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you won’t hurt him anyway. ­ Your Friend (but I’m not going to tell you who I am).

Dear God,

Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up. ­ Bruce

Dear God,

I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it. ­ Nan

Dear God,

I think about you sometimes, even when I’m not praying. ­ Elliot

I love these prayers! They’re so honest, aren’t they? This morning as we focus on the lifestyle of prayer, it strikes me that the early church was born not out of a time of preaching, or fellowship, or even evangelism. God launched His church while His people were in a prayer meeting.

I had the privilege this week to have breakfast with Ray Tuley, who was one of the founders of Pontiac Bible Church. Did you know that before this church had its first worship service, it had a prayer meeting? Prayer has under girded everything at PBC since the very beginning.

This morning, we’re going to listen in on another Prayer Meeting that took place in the early years of the first church. Please turn in your Bible to Acts 12.

[ Read Acts 12:1-4 ]

Background

The story starts in verse 1 with a bad guy ­ King Herod. This name appears quite often in the New Testament because there were actually a number of Herods ­ all of them related. The first Herod was called, “Herod the Great”. He was king when Jesus was born. His son’s name was Herod Antipas, who had John the Baptist beheaded. And, he had a son named Herod Agrippa (I guess they couldn’t use Bob or Pete ­ too much family pressure!).

Herod Agrippa was king during the launching and growth of the early church. We see in the first three verses that he arrested some Christians and was planning to persecute them. This word literally means, “to mistreat”, or to “deliberately do evil to someone.” Just as Herod the Great wanted to kill Jesus, and his son killed John the Baptist, Herod Agrippa decided to kill James ­ the Herod Guys were probably members of the local “hate” group in town.


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