Fort God – Safe in Christ in the Local Church
Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Intro: The early church increased in power and in numbers by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Through His ministry, they had four daily commitments: God’s holy Word, loving fellowship with one another, the two ordinances of baptism and communion, and particular prayers.
It is significant than in the original language, Acts 2:42 says “the prayers.” Which specific prayers can we be assured they early church had? The answer is the prayers recorded in Matthew’s gospel and John’s gospel since both apostles were present in the Jerusalem church. They walked with the Lord and learned those prayers firsthand as the Lord taught and prayed them.
THE MODEL PRAYER – praying for our own spiritual welfare
Matt 6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Matt 6:10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Matt 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Matt 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Matt 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Praying the model prayer from our hearts tells the Lord:
(1) I worship You.
(2) I now engage in Your kingdom.
(3) I am utterly dependent on You.
(4) I need both forgiveness and a heart to forgive.
(5) I am inclined to sin, and You can rescue me.
THE HARVEST PRAYER – praying for unbelievers and those who win them
Matt 9:35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Matt 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Matt 9:37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Matt 9:38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
What is the essence of ministry? teaching the Scriptures, preaching the gospel, healing the sick
(a) See with Spirit eyes
(b) Feel God’s heart
(c) Answer Jesus’ prayer
THE HIGH PRIESTLY PRAYER – praying for the unity of the church
John 17:20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
John 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
John 17:23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
In John 11, Jesus only called Lazarus out of the grave once. In John 17, He prayed for the unity of His bride three times in 2 verses.
Is unity three times more difficult than raising the dead?