Summary: Today we are going to thumb through the pages of Acts and watch those 6 principles we talked about in week two come alive!
When The Church Prays – part 4
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.
That is an awesome story!
BUT UNDERSTAND – it was NOT the first and certainly was NOT the last time, that Almighty God answered the prayers of his people.
LISTEN - when we pray we connect our lives and our church - to THE All powerful God. We connect our lives to the very same God WHO spoke this world into existence [The God who – formed the Swiss Alps; carved the Grand Canyon; planted the rain forests and put every single star in it’s place…]. When we pray we connect our lives and our church to the very same God, THAT – parts the seas, rains down manna from heaven, and brings down powerful empires with a breathe from his mouth.
AS we begin today I want to read a Psalm that David sung after the Lord had rescued him all his enemies and from Saul.
READ – Psalm 18:1-18
NOW - that’s an Awesome picture of how our God responds to the cries and prayers of His people! We are in our 4th week of a message series that we are calling, “When The Church Prays…” LISTEN – when God’s people pray stuff happens. We said a couple of weeks ago that the church we see in the book of Acts – was a praying church. It was a church that was launched, empowered and sustained by prayer, from start to finish…
OKAY – let me tell you what I want us to do today…Do you remember back on June 9th – when we looked at the first 2 chapters of Acts – and we found six awesome things that happen when The Church Prays?
We become united
We receive divine guidance in important kingdom decisions
We unleash the power of God
The word of God comes alive
People get saved
AND – when the church prays – the church prays more…
WELL - the principles that we see revealed in Acts 1 & 2 we see lived throughout the rest of the book of Acts… AND – what I want to us to do today, in an effort to really nail these 6 thing down – is to thumb through the pages of the book of Acts – and take a look at a few snapshots… today…