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August 12 - The Prayer of the Spirit-Filled Witness (Acts 4:23-31)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.

Adult Education

Levi Regalado will continue teaching Encounters with Christ in the youth room. This study considers the interactions that Jesus has with different individuals throughout the four gospels.

Nik Lingle and Phillip Taylor will continue teaching through the book of Revelation in the Adult 1 classroom.

Acts 4:23-31

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
    and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
    and the rulers were gathered together,
    against the Lord and against his Anointed’

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Summary

What do you do first when threatened or in harm’s way?  Do you panic, turn to another for help, or pray?  My desire is to encourage you to approach God in prayer when threatened in this life. I do not want to do this through a new formula or a multi-step plan, but instead to consider a true story about the early church.  It is a beautiful picture of a people gathering together in challenging times, seeking God and asking God for boldness so that they might be fearless even in the face of opposition to the gospel. Let us peer into this prayer meeting to see how to enjoy the power of the Spirit in this life.

Review and Apply

What are some benefits of gathering for prayer with other friends?  How often do you do this?

What value is there to beginning prayer with a consideration of the sovereignty of God as creator?  

Why does he see his suffering in light of Psalm 2?  

How does God's sovereignty help us in suffering?  

What was the content of their prayers in trial?  What are yours?

Examine your prayer life: how God-centered versus self-centered are your prayers? Why?

How can a brother or sister help you in developing a stronger prayer life?