The POWER of Prayer

21 Days of Breakthrough Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:08
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(S1) A tale of two ships (book)
Which would you rather be on?
(S2) — A tale of two churches
One is thriving — The other is barely holding on — One has all the programs for kids…the other is overjoyed when they get one or two…One makes decisions on the fly, the other has a vision of their future…In one prayer and the Bible have become secondary, the other is filled with people in Bible studies, serving others, and people are praying. Everyone is calling on the name of the Lord.
Which church would you rather be a part of?
(S3) — God’s vision for His church is a PRAYING church
Genesis 4:26 “At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.”
SERIES — FOCUS — YOU— Spiritual breakthrough in your life
The heart of Paul’s letter to believers in Ephesus — How they were to maintain UNITY as the body of Christ, through the POWER of PRAYER
Read Ephesians 1:15-16
Jesus prayed — The apostles prayed — Followers of Jesus are to pray
Do you pray? We are all in different places...
(S4) — In Bible study we looked at the challenge with praying — What keeps us from devoting more time to prayer?
“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer IS the GREATER work.” Oswald Chambers
The church of Jesus was born out of a prayer meeting. Telling the disciples to go…there they prayed.
Acts 6:1 “As the believers rapidly multiplied...
The church grew! There was a POWER behind it that was not of man — The presence of God in the hearts of the people — They all prayed and worship the Lord by name!
“The apostle Paul had studied for years, yet he knew that could never accomplish God’s call on his life in his own wisdom.” So he PRAYED and he encouraged BELIEVERS to pray...
(S5) —The church is like a ship intent on moving towards a destination — Sails set to catch the WIND of the SPIRIT — Going forward with purpose at the command not of the captain, but of God’s will.
Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.””
We catch the wind of the spirit in prayer — with our hearts open leading us in the purposes of God
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL be done...
PRAYER FOCUS for this week — PASTOR (Captain) — LEADERS (Crew)— SERVE (Everyone on board) — Praying for EACH OTHER so we can together grow in unity of one heart and mind to the mission of Christ.
(S6) — Paul’s instruction was specific (1). They are to...

PRAY in the POWER of the SPIRIT of God

Closeness to Jesus (intimacy) — Jesus dwelling in them (presence)
Acts 6:3 (NLT) And so, brothers, select seven among us, who are well respected and are FULL of the SPIRIT and wisdom.
The church was to pray in the FULLNESS of the SPIRIT — GIFT
Romans 8:26 “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
Praying the spirit, they are to pray — at all times and on every occasion.
Many ways to pray — Alone/others/worship/long/short/spontaneous
He asks for prayers first for himself (airplane) — For themselves (all believers)
Why was this important? — Christians were continuously and literally under attack...
“Christianity was easily misunderstood in its beginnings. They worshiped a person who was killed by a punishment reserved for criminals. They claimed to eat his body and drink his blood. They claimed this failed messiah was not only Lord, but God himself, and as such was worthy of their devotion and praise.
Nero’s extreme punishment on the Christians was perhaps one of the most nefarious displays of cruelty. He held parties in his gardens while the Christian’s punishment served as entertainment. “Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination” Nero's Persecution of Christians - John Christy
Christianity was illegal until 313 — Still is in some countries today — But it was more than fear of the physical, pray was also important because they were under attack spiritually.
Jesus began his ministry in prayer (baptism) — Immediately he went into the desert to be tempted by..?
Christianity under attack politically — The greater risk is to our spiritual self
1 Peter 5:8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
To think that the follower of Jesus today is immune to the work of the devil is naïve. The reason we are to PRAY in the POWER of the SPIRIT.
Read 6:11-12
Five BENEFITS of PRAYING in the POWER of the SPIRIT — Praying for your pastor, each other, this church

1. The POWER of praying in the SPIRIT provides...PROTECTION

Read 6:13
The follower of Jesus is given PROTECTION from spiritual attack, by putting God’s armor.
A regular thing for pastors, leaders, for us all...
What is the spirits protection? Belt of TRUTH — Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS (14) — Gospel of PEACE(15) — Shield of FAITH (16) — Helmet of SALVATION (17)
Again it doesn’t stop the attacks, but gives us the strength to stand against them — both physically and spiritually
“Spiritual harassment” — Doubt — Fear —
It’s easier to resist covered in the spiritual armor of God
James 4:7 “7 Humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
The POWER of PRAYING in the SPIRIT provides PROTECTION is putting on the armor of God — The breastplate of righteousness — The wind of Jesus’ teaching us how to live.

2. The Power of Prayer in the SPIRIT brings...ONENESS

With Jesus and with each other
Theme — Gentile/Jew — Circumcised/Uncircumcised — 2:15-16
Ephesians 1:10 “At the right time he will bring everything together (oneness) under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.”
Think of this as the oneness of God’s design for the relationaship of marriage...
Ephesians 5:31 “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.””
This oneness or unity of mission among believers, in the church, is like the ship that is full steam ahead in the power of the spirit — EVERYONE is PRAYING
1 Corinthians 6:17 “17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.”
The importance of your PRAYING…for UNITY in spirit — The POWER of PRAYING in the SPIRIT provides ONENESS in mission and purpose powered by belt of truth — the wind of Jesus’ word

3. The Power of Praying in the SPIRIT gives usWISDOM

Ephesians 6:19 “And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words...
Ever been at a loss for words in a difficult situation? Funeral — Diagnoses — Home — Just PRAY!
On the way to hospital
Moses did — Lord, I am not able to speak...
Jesus did — (Luke 6) Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.” It would seem that Jesus was praying for wisdom to know whom to select as his twelve apostles.
When you need words — PRAY — When you see someone among us struggling — PRAY
Ephesians 6:17 “Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
The POWER of PRAYING in the SPIRIT brings WISDOM by picking up — The sword of the Spirit, the word of God.”

4. The Power of Praying in the SPIRIT gives us...ENCOURAGEMENT BOLDLY proclaim Jesus
Ephesians 6:20 (NLT)
20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
Boldness — Sharing your story — What Jesus and the power of prayer have done in your life
Encouragement to say what you believe of what the Bible says about Jesus — He is who he said he is, and did what he said he did, so that we can have what he said we can have — Life abundant and life eternal
Day 5 — Pray That I Speak Fearlessly
Romans 15:5 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.
The POWER of PRAYING in the SPIRIT gives us the POWER to stand firm and BODLY proclaim Jesus

5. The Power of Praying in the SPIRIT provides...REVELATION

…of the WILL of God
Ephesians 6:19 (NLT) I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.
Ever been inspired in prayer, while reading word of God? That is the power of the spirit of revelation in you!
We will not know all things until our ship reaches its final destination, but Inspiration in Interpretation and understanding, is always meant to reveal the INTENTIONS of God to us
Its how the Bible was canonized…and the bible is what it is for us.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.”
“Maddox notes that Wesley affirmed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit both to the authors of the Bible and to present-day readers. “We need the same Spirit to understand the Scripture,” says Wesley, “which enabled the holy men of old to write it.”
Careful that it’s God’s will and not ours. His ways not ours...
Ephesians 1:9 “God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan.”
God is still revealing himself to us through the POWER in the Spirit of REVELATION
Protection — Oneness — Wisdom — Encouragement — Revelation
The early Christian movement was driven by a power that was not of this world — it was centered on the life and teachings JESUS, the witness of those close to him and his resurrection power — The word — Found in the POWER of PRAYER
The same power that lives in those who profess Jesus as lord, the Bible as God’s true and living word, believe in the redeeming work of Christ on the cross, and live in HOPE for his ultimate return...
(S12) PRAY in the Sprit of God, in every opportunity — Pray for our Leaders, our church and each other…that we can stand firm and boldly PROCLAIM Jesus
A tale of two churches — One that moves on its OWN power or one where everyone is praying!
Which church do you want to be a part of?
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