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Summary: God stirs believers to serve after they have come boldly to Him in prayer.

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"Shaken, Not Stirred"

Acts 4.31 NASB (1 of 1)

November 14, 2004 Chester FBC, Chester, Illinois Mike Fogerson, Speaker

A Video of Acts

In a magazine some time ago there appeared an article about the installation of a new organ in a New York City church. It was a rare and costly instrument. It’s many pipes were capable of pouring forth glorious melodies. However, the first Sunday it was used, the current was somehow cut off early in the service. The organist was helpless to do anything about it. A call for help was made and soon an electrician was on the scene. He made a quick investigation and saw that the problem could soon be fixed. A note was hurriedly passed to the organist: "After the prayer, the power will be on!"

"When we rely on organization, we get what organization can do; when we rely on education, we get what education can do; when we rely on eloquence, we get what eloquence can do. But when we rely on prayer, we get what God can do!"

B Today’s message is entitled "Shaken, not stirred."

Historical Context:

Peter & John had been taken into custody after healing a crippled man.

Order not to preach any thing in the name of Jesus (Acts 4.18, 21)

Went back to church, probably a home, and told everything that had happened before the Sanhedrian Council.

a 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31 (NASB)

b The early church was emboldened to speak after God shook them. (ETS)

C God stirs believers to serve after they have come to Him boldly in prayer. (ESS)

a I hope you’ll know how to go from being shaken by God being stirred to serve God. (Objective)

b When was the last time you were shaken to being stirred? (Probing Question)

Transitional Sentence: Let’s look at two non-negotiable items that must be present in order to go from shaken to being stirred.

I The first non-negotiable item that must be present in order to go from being shaken to being stirred is . . . POWERFUL PRAYER.

"And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken . . ." -Acts 4.31a

A Peter & John had been living the way Christ wanted them. (Healing in Jesus name, preaching the gospel of Christ, leading people to Christ, growing the church, etc.)

a The bold prayer, and subsequent shaking, we see in Acts 4 is the direct result of the early believers and Peter and Johns faithfulness to God in their lives and service to Him.

b The Jew saw the earthquake as a proof of God’s presence.

4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Isaiah 6:4 (NASB)

8 The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel. Psalms 68:8 (NASB)

When God’s people earnestly prayed, God shook the church!

God shook the church so their faith would remain unshaken.

B God still shakes the church where his people still take prayer seriously.

a Seriousness manifests itself in several ways, let me draw to your attention two from Acts 4.24

1. Urgency (v.24a) When they had heard this, they lifted their voice to God (PRAYED)

We must approach our prayer meetings with urgency, importance, emergency, priority.

Wednesday night is our slimmest of all services. Why? "All they do is pray!"

2. Unity (v.24b) . . .with one accord . . .

The people were of one heart & mind.

Division in the church ALWAYS hinders prayer and robs the church of spiritual power.

b When God’s people, living God’s Way, pray . . .God shows up!

James 5.16b " . . .The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."

"The ineffective prayer of an unrighteous man can accomplish little."

C John Maxwell writes in his book, Partners in Prayer;

"In the summer of 1876, grasshoppers nearly destroyed the crops in Minnesota. SO in the spring of 1877, farmers were worried. They believed that the dreadful plague would once again visit them and again destroy the rich wheat crop, bringing ruin to thousands of people. The situation was so serious that Governor John S. Pillsbury proclaimed April 26 as a day of prayer and fasting He urged every man, woman and child to ask God to prevent the terrible scourge. On that April day all schools, shops, stores and offices were closed. There was a reverent, quite hush over all the state. The next day dawned bright and clear. Temperature soared to what they ordinary were in midsummer, which was very unusual for April. Minnesotans were devastated as they discovered billions of grasshopper larvae wiggling to life. For 3 days the unusual heat persisted, and the larvae hatched. It appeared that it wouldn’t be long before they started feeding and destroying the wheat crop. On the fourth day, however the temperature suddenly dropped, and that night frost, covered the entire state. Result - it killed every one of those creeping, crawling pests as surely as if poison or fire had been used, It went down in the history of Minnesota as the day God answered the prayers of the people."

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