Maineville Baptist Church
Getting Back to Prayer - Pastor Mark Sage
- GETTING BACK TO PRAYERActs 12:1-5I want us to become a praying church. This is something that we talked about last week. I would like to start prayer bands so that we can mutually encourage each other to pray. Prayer bands take people that are willing to pray and leaders of them that will help others to pray and encourage them to pray. Before we really get prayer bands going we have to understand that our great need is the need of prayer.Jonathon Wesley said: "God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” & "Prayer is where the action is."I. Prayer is how man has communicated his needs to God since GenesisWhile it was Abraham who was the man that was first man the Bible mentions that he prayed, we know that Adam spoke to God.But it was inAnd to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.Certainly we will not go through the entire Bible this evening looking at each instance of prayer, but know that every great man or woman in the Bible were men and women of prayer, who communicated with God, who God a hold of God – who communed with God and talked with God.This evening, we need to be like the Old Testaments saints who talked to God.From Abraham, to Jacob, to the 12 sons of Israel – to the judges such as Gideon and Samson, to the kings such as David and Hezekiah – and then all of the prophets – these all were men of prayer and the great things that they endured or accomplished were the result of successes in prayer.Not only do we see Prayer exemplified from Genesis on, but also know:II. Prayer was one of the cornerstones upon which the early church built itselfThe early Christians prayed about everything, they left nothing to chance or fate or to hope that it would all just work out – they prayed.A. They prayed for God’s directionAnd they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.B. They prayed with unityThese all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.We should not only pray for unity, but realize that prayer brings unity.C. They prayed for God’s powerThese all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.What were they praying for? They were praying for power.But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.D. They prayed for God’s peopleActs 12:1-5Brethren, pray for us.Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:E. They prayed for God’s provisionPhilippians 1:19 (KJV) 19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,Next lets look up Ephesians 6:18F. They prayed for boldnessEphesians 6:18-20 (KJV) 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.Even when you may not be praying for boldness, we see that it is the result of prayer:And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.G. They prayed for rulersI exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.In a letter to the editor of the Detroit News, Cassandra George Sturges of Ypsilanti, Michigan wrote:"On Sept. 11, I acknowledged George W. Bush as my president and knelt in prayer to ask God to lead him with wisdom, courage and compassion. A part of me felt responsible for what happened because I wondered how things might have been if I had prayed for him sooner." —http://detnews.com/2001/editorial/0110/16/a08-319603.htmRegardless of our political agendas, we need to pray for our leaders, especially during times of crisis. Like Sturges is. Fresh Illustrations.Next let’s look at Philippians 1:9H. They prayed for spiritual growth of the brethrenPhilippians 1:9-11 (KJV) 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;I. They prayed for conversionsThen saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.III. Prayer is the Key to the Success of the Church TodayMatthew 17:14-21A. Do not sin in neglecting prayerMoreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:B. Prayers are part of our worship of GodThat they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.C. Prayer for IsraelPray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly."Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian." Andrew MurrayTrue prayer is measured by weight, not by length. A single groan before God may have more fullness of prayer in it than a fine oration of great length." C. H. Spurgeon"If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ." C. H. SpurgeonGETTING BACK TO PRAYERActs 12:1-5
Getting Back to Prayer - the Need of the Hour
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