This is What Happens When a Church Prays with Boldness

INTRO

  • Hungry? Word of God / Thank Paul
  • Praying about this month for a year
    • 2016 a year of crossing over (say, I’m crossing over)
    • Sight to faith, words to action, stagnation to revival, bandage to freedom
  • 21 Days of Prayer
    • Asking God to work through us in mighty ways (Today’s baptism)
    • More than prayer for needs and wants
    • Vision: Men praying, woman, Go groups, not just to meet needs but to give us power, to be bold
    • ILL: Thom Rainer- The day a church does not take prayer seriously is the day the church dies.
      • ILL: “There was a day when prayer was powerful in our church. Then we were afraid.  We started focusing on the fear.  We stopped serving the community.  And we stopped praying with the passion we once had.  That’s it.  That was the beginning of our decline that led to our death.  We stopped taking prayer seriously.  And the church started dying.”
      • RtB success depends on fervent, passionate, persistent prayer
      • A church failing to pray is like you failing to breathe.
    • Today, I want to show you the incredible power of bold prayer.

BIBLE: Acts 4:24-30

  • Background
    • This shows us how to pray faith-fully in the face of fear.
    • It shows us the motivation for persistent prayer.
    • Believer’s prayer vs. Lord’s prayer
    • Acts 1,2,3, 4a
      • Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
      • Threaten Paul and John (Same guys who killed Jesus, Stephen)
    • 4:23
      • Fear grips the church for the first time.
      • Most of the church was still young in the faith.
      • Potential for the movement to splinter and fail.
      • How do they respond?
    • 4:24a
      • They pray together / purpose of 21 days of prayer
      • Prayer is a great reaction
        • Notice what they didn’t do (vote, policy meeting)
        • What would you pray if we got this news today? <>
          • Defensive, self-centered
        • I love tis prayer- I think every church should follow its pattern.
      • 4:24b
        • Begin by acknowledging the Sovereignty of God
          • Bible + 1 word
            • Confession that God is the master and they are the servants <>
            • RV 6:10: God can take vengeance on God’s enemies
          • They don’t pray, “If you are in control then why this bad stuff? <>
            • Putting Sunday School in practice
          • 4:25-26
            • Psalm 2 (Jews memorized this as children)
              • They saw scripture being fulfilled in their lifetime
              • God was acting and alive!
              • The Sanhedrin, Peter & John, Jesus, crucifixion, all part of God’s plan
              • What does it matter if the nations rage? God’s plan will not be thwarted.
            • Anointed One = Jesus
              • No political pressure will change his message
              • His message will endure
              • Jesus is God
            • 4:27-28
              • They connect the dots of God’s plan coming together
                • Pilate is the King, Herod is the ruler, Romans are the gentiles
              • They thought Jesus death was a tragedy <>
              • Incredible thought: What they thought was a bad thing was actually a good thing! APPLY
            • 4:29a
              • God consider their threats <>
              • Your plan may be persecution (and it was) but keep us safe anyway.
            • 4:29b
              • But if you let the persecution happen, let us speak boldly! Don’t allow our fear to get in the way! <>
              • Boldness” (Last week = persistence) This week: Living your faith out as if you have something to lose.
                • ILL: Walk on water, Esther. David and Goliath, Peter and John
                • Bold is being willing to speak up even when you have something to lose.
              • 4:30
                • Allow us Father to see your activity because of our boldness.
                • Reward: God’s activity among us.
                • Enable us to be bold so we can see more of your mighty plan come together.
                • ILL: RtB
              • 4:31
                • And the place shook!
                • When we pray like the early church we will see God shake! Not shake it off!
                  • WT, families, schools, neighborhoods, our church.
                  • Are you ready for God to do some shakin’ then start prayin’!

APPLICATION

  • Why do I love this scripture? When they faced fear, they said God work through me and not for me.
    • They said God make us bold.
    • Too often our prayers are about God doing stuff for us <>.
    • If we want to see God’s power we need to start asking God to work through us
      • Money- God help me make more money for your fame
      • Use me to bring a loved one to faith
      • Giving- God work through me to increase the offerings >>
      • Suffering- God I hurt, but you are in charge, enable me to be bold in faith.
    • Pray, “Lord, enable me to speak and live with great boldness for you.”
    • Where are you lacking boldness in your walk with Jesus?
      • Sharing your faith?
      • Prayer life- praying as if you had something to lose.
      • Finances- Living with God at 90% is better than living with yourself at 100%.
      • Sexual Purity
      • Trust God with the future
      • Men- Bold men of faith leading the way (Home, love of God’s word, no halfway crap, we need me to shake this place with their faith)
      • Future
    • You have to be willing to take some risks if you are going grow your faith, and it begins with your prayers. Ask God to work his mighty hand through you and not just for you. Pray as if you had something to lose.  Pray bold.  Pray bold!

PRAY

TIME OF COMMITMENT: Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 

           

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