Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination!
Ephesians 3:20 (TPT)
LIKE THE ACTS CHURCH…
1. WE / I HAVE A REASON TO PRAY
● We should pray because of the STRENGTH of our extraordinary ENEMY
… King Herod got it into his head to go after some of the church members. He murdered James, John’s brother. When he saw how much it raised his popularity ratings… he arrested Peter—during Passover Week, mind you—and had him thrown in jail, putting four squads of four soldiers each to guard him. He was planning a public lynching after Passover. All the time Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse.
Acts 12:1-5a (MSG)
Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIrV)
● We should pray because of the WEAKNESS of our very ordinary NATURE (FLESH)
Now the (Jewish) leaders…looked at Peter and John and realized they were typical peasants—uneducated, utterly ordinary fellows ….
Acts 4:13a (VOICE)
… and not because we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success comes from God
2 Corinthians 3:5 (TLB)
● We should pray because of the SUPREMACY of our sovereign GOD
Then the time came for Herod to bring him out for the kill. That night, even though shackled to two soldiers, one on either side, Peter slept like a baby. And there were guards at the door keeping their eyes on the place. Herod was taking no chances! Suddenly there was an angel at his side and light flooding the room. The angel shook Peter and got him up: “Hurry!” The handcuffs fell off his wrists. The angel said, “Get dressed. Put on your shoes.” Peter did it. Then, “Grab your coat and let’s get out of here.” Peter followed him, but didn’t believe it was really an angel—he thought he was dreaming. Past the first guard and then the second, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It swung open before them on its own, and they were out on the street, free as the breeze. At the first intersection the angel left him, going his own way. That’s when Peter realized it was no dream. “I can’t believe it—this really happened! The Master sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s vicious little production and the spectacle the Jewish mob was looking forward to.”
Acts 12:6-11 (MSG)
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
Psalms 18:17 (NIV)
2. WE / I SHOULD RELENTLESSLY PRAY.
All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously.
Acts 12:5 (MSG)
● “All the time” describes the CONSISTENCY of prayer in an unstoppable church
Always keep on praying.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (TLB)
**NOTE: Variations of “pray” or “prayer” appear 31 times in the book of Acts**
● “strenuously” describes the INTENSITY of prayer in an unstoppable church
… for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!
James 5:16 (TPT)
● “the church prayed” describes the UNITY of prayer in an unstoppable church
● About 90% of the times that a Christian prays in Acts it is “TOGETHER”
They all joined together constantly in prayer …
Acts 1:4 (NIV)
3. WE / I SHOULD EXPECTANTLY PRAY.
Still shaking his head, amazed, he went to Mary’s house, the Mary who was John Mark’s mother. The house was packed with praying friends. When he knocked on the door to the courtyard, a young woman named Rhoda came to see who it was. But when she recognized his voice—Peter’s voice!—she was so excited and eager to tell everyone Peter was there that she forgot to open the door and left him standing in the street. But they wouldn’t believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. “You’re crazy,” they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn’t believe her and said, “It must be his angel.” All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away. Finally they opened up and saw him—and went wild!
Acts 12:12-17a (MSG)
(SOME) EXAMPLES OF PRAYER FROM THE UNSTOPPABLE CHURCH IN ACTS
PRAYER: Acts 2:42 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
RESULT: Acts 2:47 “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
PRAYER: Acts 3:1 “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer- or three in the afternoon.”
RESULT: Acts 4:4 “But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.”
PRAYER: Acts 4:29 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”
RESULT: Acts 4:31 “After 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.”
PRAYER: Acts 6:3-4 “Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
RESULT: Acts 6:7 “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.”
PRAYER: Acts 9:13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.”
RESULT: Acts 9:18 “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, …”
PRAYER: Acts 16:25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
RESULT: Acts 16:33 “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.”