Summary: This is a valuable word on the importance of prayer! Good for the whole church.
The Importance of Prayer Text: Acts 19: 11-17
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” 14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” 16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. 19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
Here’s my question, " Are you known in Hell?" These men from Ephesus tried to cast out a demon without first hand knowledge and love for Jesus Christ; moreover, without the power of prayer! We need to take note that these were religious men, but religion without relation is nothing but bondage! When men and women have the real Spiritual goods they are Spiritually ready for anything! No one in this church can afford to have second-hand information about Jesus Christ.
Vs. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
Needless to say, the evil Spirit promptly gave these folk a good old-fashioned whipping as it said, “ I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
Hopefully heaven knows who you are, but I ask again “do demons?” Can I tell you that what we do on our knees will push back the kingdom of darkness!
Andrew Murray, the South African church leader and writer a century ago wrote, “ The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history!”
Some feel as though prayer is up to a few who are super spiritual, but nowhere in the Bible is prayer called one of the Spiritual gifts. No, prayer is a personal discipline that has to be done by every believer!
Ephesians 6:10-13 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.