Summary: A praying church
What can a praying church expect? Acts 4:23-33
Introduction: For the last several weeks we have been talking about the power of prayer, and I have been emphasizing the power of prayer in our individual lives. Through praying the word praying the blood of Jesus and praying with faith, and what is hindering our prayers. This week we are going to change the focus from you and I to the church. Throughout the book of Acts the church went through one crisis after another, yet they were always on top at the end, always victorious, how was this possible? Prayer. Whenever a crisis situation came up they prayed together. There is something very special and powerful when a church comes together in prayer, several times in the book of Acts when the church prayed the foundations shook, Paul and silas prayed together and there shackles fell off, Peter was locked in prison in Acts 12:5 lets read it together, several times we see here that the church was praying together. It is powerful, and the only way that we as a church body are going to see the power of God come is through prayer. Here is a quote form Dr. AC Dixon “a church that works without prayer may have a lot of activity, but it will exhibit very little spiritual power. When we rely on organization, we get what organization can do, when we rely on education, we get what education can do, but when we rely on prayer we get what God can do. This morning I want to talk to about what a praying church can expect.
Text Scripture: Acts 4:23-33 lets read
I. We can expect “Answered Prayer” Verse 31
A. The Lord answered by filling with the spirit, and enabled them to speak the word boldly, what a great concept, they prayed for boldness ad the Lord gave them boldness. As a church we need to expect our prayers to be answered, when we pray that we want to be a lighthouse in this community we need to believe that God will do just that. When we pray for people to surrender there lives to Christ we can expect God to answer that prayer, but it first has to happen when we come together in prayer. God’s promise to you and I is that if we will call to Him, He will answer us, a praying church can expect answered prayer. When we pray if we are not expecting an answer then why are we praying?
II. We can expect “The power of the Holy Spirit” Verse 31 again
A. The results of praying together involves the power of the spirit to enable you and I to carry out the mission of Christ. Lets look in Acts 9:31, this is after the conversion of Saul, who is now Paul, but the church was really under persecution when Saul was killing Christians, and they prayed and prayed for the Lord to help them, you see here a praying church can expect Answered prayer, and the power of the holy spirit, strengthened and encouraged. Without the holy spirit the early church could do nothing, without the holy spirit the churches of this generation can do nothing. Church we need to expect the power of te holy spirit to come when we pray, He will guide us into al truth ad He will convict the world of guilt and sin. Expect the holy spirit to come. We cant be scared of the holy spirit
III. We can expect “Powerful Preaching” Verse 29
A. enable your servants to speak with great boldness, quote “It has been said that preachers make churches, But I also believe that churches make preachers, by their praying support and love.” the most powerful preachers spend good quality time in there study everyday preparing, the more you pray for the pastor the better, the more that you get involved and do some things around the church the better. When you get up on Sunday morning pray that God will use the pastor speak through the pastor. I will tell you this morning that on Tuesday mornings is when I come into this place and start preparing my sermon, when get up on Tuesdays pray that God’s word will be revealed to me, pray that He will speak to me on what to say and do. Church when you pray for your pastor you can expect powerful preaching, it will not e watered down it will be powerful and effective.
IV. We can expect “Unity in the Body” Verse 24, and verse 32
A. They raised there voices together, and one in heart and mind. We need more than ever today in our churches to be unified, it amazing to me how everyone has there own idea of how church is suppose to be, and how many different forms of Christianity there are, for me it is this way or that way, I do not know what everybody else got when they were saved, but for me it was a total change of everything, I think about Him all of the time I could not wait to get involved in the church and work and just do something, I believe that churches are not praying enough, if we would pray together we would be unified together, Amen? when the church prays together we can expect unity in teaching, unity in worship and in praise, unity in outreach ad missions. And finally