This Sunday we looked at possibly the subject that for men is one of the hardest in the Christian walk – prayer – and although i had no desire to go into the practicalities of “how to do prayer”, I did want to try to give some ideas of the foundational principles which were applied by the church in Acts – it is all very simple and very God focussed

The Jerusalem Church at Prayer
4 Foundations

  1. Founded on the Sovereignty of God
  2. Founded on the Word of God
  3. Founded on Obedience to God
  4. Founded on God
Acts 4:23-31
23On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.
“Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.

Jesus on prayer… Matthew 6

5″And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
 6″Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need.

Founded on the Sovereignty of God

Martin Luther and the Sovereignty of God
An envoy from the Pope met Martin Luther and threatened him that if he persisted all his supporters would desert him,
“Where will you be then?” the envoy asked,
“Then, as now, in the hands of God” replied Luther

Exodus 15:11
“Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ? 
       Who is like you—
       majestic in holiness,
       awesome in glory,
       working wonders?

1 Chronicles 29:10-13
David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
“Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel from everlasting to everlasting.
 11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
1 Chronicles 29:10-13
       Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; 
       you are exalted as head over all.
 12 Wealth and honor come from you;

       you are the ruler of all things. 
       In your hands are strength and power 
       to exalt and give strength to all.
 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,

       and praise your glorious name.

Sovereignty Application
What do you think about God in times of crisis?
How do you act in times of crisis?
How do you pray in times of crisis?

Acts 4:23-31

25You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
   ” ‘Why do the nations rage
      and the peoples plot in vain?
 26The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One.

Founded on the Word of God

Spurgeon and the Bible
“It is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until at last you come to talk in scriptural language, and your spirit is flavoured by the words of the Lord, so that your blood is bibline and the very essence of the Bible flows through you”

Word of God Application
How is your Bible reading?
Do you memorise scripture?
Do you meditate?

Acts 4:23-31

27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30[While you] Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Founded on Obedience to God

Ajith Fernando and Obedience
“…in any time of crisis, the supreme battle we have is for obedience. No evil power can thwart God’s marvellous plan. The only way this can happen is by our disobedience”

DL Moody and Obedience
DL Moody is reputed to have said that he had more trouble with DL Moody than with any other person he met.

Isaiah 40:27-31
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, 
       and complain, O Israel, 
       “My way is hidden from the LORD; 
       my cause is disregarded by my God”?
 28 Do you not know?

       Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
 29 He gives strength to the weary

       and increases the power of the weak.
 30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

       and young men stumble and fall;
 31 but those who hope in the LORD

       will renew their strength. 
       They will soar on wings like eagles; 
       they will run and not grow weary, 
       they will walk and not be faint.

Obedience to God Application
Do you allow God to reassure you in times of crisis?
Do you listen to God?

Acts 4:23-31

 31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Founded on God
The wise man built his house upon…

In the Name of Jesus…
Jesus’ Name signifies:
His Person
His Power
His Presence
…by faith Jesus is involved in what is happening

In the Name of Jesus…
Sick are Healed (3:6)
Signs and Wonders are performed (4:30)
Demons are cast out (19:13)
Salvation comes (4:13)
Teaching and Preaching are done (5:28, 8:12)
People Call on his Name (2:21)

Founded on God Application
What is the basis for your life?
Who is most glorified by what you do?
Is loving God first shown in your daily life?

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)

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