Introduction: In this text, Peter and John were released from being detained for doing ministry. There is a prayer service that leads to great ministry. A key idea in today’s discussion is “We should work on making our church more of a praying church.”
1. Prayer. Notice in vs. 24 that those in the text were praying. Prayer is commination with God. The acronym ACTS can help us have some balance in our prayer lives. The A stands for Adoration, C for Confession, T for Thanksgiving, and S for Supplication (asking God to supply - intercession and personal).
Passages like Matthew 7:7-8, 11 support the idea that God answers our prayers in ways that are good for us. Some of us can testify about how God answers our prayers by changing things, and sometimes He answers by changing us, so we can deal with the things in our lives better.
If we are serious about our church being more of a praying church, we should commit to praying more – morning, midday, evening, food, and as needed. Let’s pray more.
2. United prayer. Notice in vs. 24 that the people prayed together. Passages like Matthew 18:19-20; 21:13 talks about God blessing united prayer and how the church is to be a house of prayer. Think about how much we and people we love need God to move in our lives and then think about how resistant and apathetic our churches can be towards praying together.
If we are serious about our church being more of a praying church, we should commit to praying with our church family more – daily, in worship, in small groups, and in special prayer services. Let’s pray together more.
3. Enthusiastic prayer. Notice in vs. 24 that the people were enthusiastic in their praying together. Think about how too many of our times of praying together lack enthusiasm. We tend to be long on prayer requests and short on praise reports. This leads to our feeling more burdened after prayer than lifted or enthusiastic.
Let’s work on being more enthusiastic in our praying together. Deliberately bringing something encouraging and focusing on God’s ability more than the largeness of our problems will help in this area.
4. Things to be enthusiastic about. Notice in Hebrews 13:5b and Philippians 4:19 that we have so much to be enthusiastic about. In Hebrews, we learn that God will never leave us or forsake us. Every person that we know has a date with death and will leave us, or we will leave them.
But this is not the case with the Lord. Philippians teaches us that God will supply all our needs. So, God is not just with us, but He is supplying for us. Let’s focus on the things that we should be enthusiastic about.
5. Word based prayer. Notice in vs. 25 that the early church prayed based on what they understood to be the word of the Lord. Today, we should be more concerned with blending our will into God’s will than trying to get God to bend His will to ours.
In Luke 22:42, Jesus teaches us to seek God’s will over our own. When we pray based on the word, we can see those who seek to cause trouble in our lives as simply a part of the “all things” that God will work out for our good (see Rom. 8:28).
When we pray according to God’s word, we can face whatever comes our way knowing that “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (see Rom. 8:35-39, esp. 37). Let’s work on more praying based on the word of God. Studying God’s word personally and with our church family will help us be familiar with some scriptures to base our praying on.