Foundations of the Church - #3 PRAYER
need to be a "House of PRAYER"
21:13 "And said unto them, It is written, My
house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it
a den of thieves."
greatest reputation of the Lord's House should be the "house
of prayer." Churches have reputations as a great singing church, a
great preaching church or a great programs church.
how long has it been since someone referred to a church as a "praying
congregation and all believers everywhere need united agreement in prayer and
faith. True, we can pray privately, but we must also come together with the
church expecting to find one accord in prayer. The church in Acts began in one
accord in prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:1). United prayer was a top priority of the
apostles and the people (Acts 6:4; 4:18-33; 12:1-25; 15:1-30). United agreement
in prayer is necessary because of who we are.
church is dying on its feet because it is not living on its knees.
Prayer simply defined is:
Prayer is communication with God.
It is communion
desires heart to heart communion with us as individuals and as a
"THE FIRST CHURCH WAS A PRAYING CHURCH
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" Prayer
must be a continuing activity in the church.
Acts 1:24 "And
they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew
whether of these two thou hast chosen," Prayer seeks to know Gods
Acts 2:42 "And
they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in
breaking of bread, and in prayers." Prayer must be an established,
permanent, steadfast and unmovable function of the church.
Acts 3:1 "Now
Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer" Prayer
must have a permanent place in the schedule of the church. Prayer must
have a priority and not be pushed around or pushed out of the way to make room
for something we want to do.
Acts 4:31 "And when
they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" Prayer is necessary to
maintain the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Many of these
believers were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost
Acts 6:4 "But we
will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the
word." Prayer is the balance to the Word. The study of the Word
prepares the message but through prayer the messenger is prepared.
Acts 6:6 "Whom they
set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on
them." Prayer before we lay hands on others makes sure that Gods
hand is on us first.
Acts 7:60 "And he
kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their
charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Prayer is the
way to live but it is also the way to die.
Acts 9:40 "But Peter
put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body
said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat
up." Prayer is the means by which miracles take place.
Acts 10:9, 11 "
Peter went up upon the housetop to pray and saw heaven opened"
Prayer is the place where we see heavenly visions.
Acts 10:30 "And
Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth
hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright
clothing," Prayer and fasting takes us beyond seeing what is
physically seen and we see into the unseen realm of the Spirit.
Acts 12:5 "Peter
therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church
unto God for him." Prayer in the book of Acts church was more than
a "name it and claim it" thing but it was a fervent and earnest
spiritual warfare of intercession.
Acts 12:12 "he came
to the house of Mary the mother of John where many were gathered together
praying." Prayer involves coming together to pray so that we can
Acts 13:3 "And
when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them
away." Prayer and fasting should be done before we send
missionaries, evangelist and anyone that goes out from the church to minister.
This would make a difference when we send our youth on a mission trip. Rather
than gather around the van and pray as they are driving off, we should have a
time of prayer and fasting and then lay hands on them for ministry.
Acts 14:23 "And when
they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they
commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed." Prayer and
fasting should accompany the appointment of every leader in the church.
Acts 16:13,16 "And
on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to
be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither."
"as we went to prayer." Prayer could be found by the
river side or in a house because if believers are there, whatever else
might be happening prayer would be a part of it.
"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the
prisoners heard them." Prayer and singing go together but singing
must never become a substitute for prayer. Singing praises compliments our
prayers with the expressions of faith.
"And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them
all." Prayer was practiced by Paul when he was leaving friends
Acts 22:17-18 "And
it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed
in the temple, I was in a trance. And saw Him saying unto me, make
haste..." Prayer sometimes gives warnings and directions for our
safety. Here Paul was told to leave Jerusalem quickly.
Acts 28:8 "And
it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody
flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed
him." The Prayer of faith that heals the sick must never lose it's
place in the ministry of the church.
is a God ordained means to accomplish God ordained ends." Erwin Lutzer
is not convincing God to do something He doesn’t want to do, but laying hold
of His highest willingness." Erwin
Lutzer Hos. 7:14 (wail but
is nothing more than digging out the treasures that God has laid out for
us." – John Calvin
little estimate we put on prayer is evidence from the little time we give to
it." E.M. Bounds
Bunyan’s famous treatise. His definition of prayer is
clarifying and helpful. "Prayer
is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God,
through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such
things as God hath promised, or according to the Word, for the good of the
church, with submission, in faith, to the will of God."
It's time to Pray Church!!!
This devotion on PRAYER is also available FREE in an audio sermon (44 minutes) at:
To listen to any of my sermons go to: http://sermon.net/biblefood
Next devotion we will look into the
#4 - FELLOWSHIP.