Summary: Today we will look at Acts chapters 1 & 2 and uncover 6 awesome things that happen when the church prays.
When The Church Prays…
In Hebrews 10:19,20 we read;
“So, brother and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death. We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain – Christ’s body.” (NCV)
NOW – that is a powerful couple of verses…
CIRCLE – “Completely free…”
We are completely free to enter the MOST Holy Place
(explain the Holy Place – presence of God…)
CIRCLE – “without fear”
Without fear – (remember the fear the people had at the base of Mt Sinai)
“So, brother and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy place without fear because of the blood of Jesus’ death.
WHY? Can we enter because of the blood, because of the death of Jesus.
“We can enter through a new and living way that Jesus opened for us. It leads through the curtain – Christ’s body.”
CIRCLE – “new & living” - LISTEN – Jesus opened up a new and living way. UNDERSTAND – it is Jesus’ torn body that allows us to come into God’s presence.
I love what Paul writes in Ephesians 3:12;
“Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of his glad welcome.” (NLT)
DID YOU – catch that not only do I have nothing to fear when I come into God’s presence – BUT – God wants me there…
AND Checkout Hebrews 4:14-16;
“Since we have a great high priest, Jesus the Son of God, who has gone into heaven, let us hold on to the faith we have. For our high priest is able to understand our weaknesses. When he lived on earth, he was tempted in every way just as we are, but he did not sin. Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne of grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” (NCV)
LAST WEEK – we began looking at divine weapon #4, YES - on June 2nd we began a journey that God intends to use to radically change Central forever…in ways far beyond even our imagination. Last week we began talking about prayer…
AND – in that introductory message we said that prayer among many other things IS; coming into the presence of God; it is entering the throne room of the KING of kings and LORD of lords; it is communicating with the creator of the world; it is a child talking to His Father; it is bringing our questions to the one who has the answers; it is reaching out to the NEVER; tired, confused, afraid or taken by surprise God; it is connecting our lives with the ALL knowing, ALL present – and ALL powerful KING of kings… Prayer is coming near to God… Moses told the people in Dt 4:7; “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way our Lord is near us whenever we pray to him…”
CIRCLE – ”Our Lord is near us whenever we pray to him…”
We also said last week that prayer can do anything, BECAUSE God can do anything; “WITH God all things are possible.” Mt 19:26
Waters part, storms are stilled, stars are hung, disease is cured, giants fall, our enemies are defeated and hearts are changed through prayer….
NOW – those first 2 points were & are, pretty awesome – HOWEVER - the third point was and is tragic… Do you remember what the third point last week was – “Why Doesn’t The Church Pray…” AND the church doesn’t…
AGAIN – I like to share some more words from EM Bounds a prayer warrior who wrote the following nearly 150 years ago today;
“We have every reason to fear that we are doing more of other things than prayer. This is not a praying age; it is an age of great activity, of great movements, but one in which the tendency is very strong to stress the seen and the material, and to neglect and discount the unseen and the spiritual. Prayer is the greatest of all forces because it honors God and brings him into active aid. There can be no substitute, no rival for prayer; it stands alone as the great spiritual force, and this force must be imminent and acting..if any great movement is to be advanced…
BUT we cannot run our spiritual operations on the prayers of the past generations. Many people believe in the power (efficacy) of prayer, but not many people pray. Prayer is the easiest and the hardest of all things. It is the simplest and the most sublime, the weakest and the most powerful. It’s results lie outside the range of human possibilities; they are limited only by the omnipotence of God