A Praying Church: Cause & Effect

September 21, 2014 No Comments by mdoyle

audience-prayingThere are seven identifying factors of a praying church (Acts 4:23-37):

1. In a praying church there is a recognition of the importance of prayer, and therefore there is a enthusiastic and burning desire to pray.

2. In a praying church the eyes of faith and expectancy are towards the Lord (verse 24).

3. In a praying church there is an overwhelming desire to obey the Lord’s commission to evangelize the world.

4. In a praying church there is faith to demand miracles.

5. In a praying church the Holy Spirit manifests His presence and power (verse 31).

6. In a praying church there is mighty power in the preaching of the gospel.

7. In a praying church there is great grace in the lives of God’s people.

 
Cause and Effect: “phrase of cause”

1. the principle of causation.

Cau·sa·tion: noun

1. The action of causing something.

Effect:

1.  A change that is a result or consequence of an action or other cause:

Believers ought to have some effect on the lives of ordinary people.

2.  The state of being or becoming operative.

Vs.

Affect:

1. To have an effect on; make a difference to: the dampness began to affect my health | [ with clause ] : your attitude will affect how successful you are.

The Church has a very real and urgent problem,”Right NOW!”  That is the prayer life of the Church.  There would be an annihilation of problems, bad situations worry’s and problems if we would see an increase in prayer in the Church.  We would see and increase in visitor participation, I believe that we would see a shift in Church leadership, and lay leaders.  Finding the help to do the ministry would be a thing of the past!

Another problem we see in the Church is financial instability, which I believe very strongly that it comes from the lack of unity and Agapé Love that can prevail.  I don’t want to get lost in those things because they would fade away when we address the real problem. “ the prayer life of the Church!”  I want to make it very clear to you my beloved that when we see increased fervent and effectual prays we well see much avail.  This is where we get the popular scripture that, “prayer changes things!”

Look at James 5:16

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Prayer is the essence and mainstay of the Church.  It is the life of the church’s individual members, of the church’s worship, and of the church’s many activities and functions.  When we read Acts 4:23-35, we find seven identifying factors of a praying church:

1. In a praying church there is a recognition of the importance of prayer, and therefore there is a enthusiastic and burning desire to pray.

After Peter and John had been imprisoned and released they joined the Christians in Jerusalem and reported on all that had happened (verse 23).  When the Christians heard Peter’s and John’s report did they hold a conference?  No, they prayed (verse 24), recognizing that prayer was fundamental, not supplemental, and they all felt the same way about it.  I wonder if we truly recognize the significant and paramount importance of prayer?

Little wonder that the unbeliever does not believe in a living God who answers prayer, when many of us have so little real appreciation of its importance and so little desire for it!

2. In a praying church the eyes of faith and expectancy are towards the Lord (verse 24).

They turned their eyes away from man and from their problems, to the Lord who could solve every problem, and who is in control of every situation.  They were in line with the Psalmist’s attitude (Psalm 62:5).  After all, whatever problem faces us it is God who matters, not the church folk, the pastor, man or money.  These are all, and always, secondary.  The eyes of a praying church are upon God who is:-

(a) The sovereign Lord (verses 24,28).

God is the all-powerful creator and sustainer, the One who knows the end from the beginning and who has His great plan of campaign which no-one can hinder.

(b) The self-revealing Lord. Verse 25 tells us that God has spoken, and verses 26-27 tell us that He has spoken not only through the prophets and in His word, but primarily in His Son (Hebrews 1:1).

(c) The seeing Lord (verse 29). God sees all, and waits to intervene and accomplish His will in answer to the prayers of His people.

3. In a praying church there is an overwhelming desire to obey the Lord’s commission to evangelize the world. 

See how they prayed (verse 29)!  They didn’t pray, ‘Grant that we may be kept safe’ – ‘Grant that Peter and John may be protected’ – ‘Lord, don’t let it happen again!’  – but they prayed, ‘Lord, help us to get on with the job of Preaching the Gospel.

In a praying church this will be the overwhelming desire of the members.  I wonder if Folks feel this way or sense this in our church?  I wonder if people see the constant effort being made, not to organize, but to evangelize?  – to get souls born again into the family of God?

4. In a praying church there is faith to demand miracles.

Where prayer is exercised God breaks in with His supernatural acts, His ‘signs and wonders’ (verse 30).  These Christians prayed that God would stretch out His hand to heal and that He would perform miracles. But some Christians today think the days of miracles are past!  Are they?

Some say that the Apostolic signs are no longer required and since the canon of Scripture is closed we must not expect to see miracles performed.  You may think there is truth in all this, but often when we say these things we are justifying and excusing our prayer-lessness.  The fact is that when the Church prays miracles really do take place. Miracles are wrought in the spiritual realm; souls are saved, and even desperate people are converted. In the physical realm also God is pleased to heal the bodies and minds of His children.

5. In a praying church the Holy Spirit manifests His presence and power (verse 31).

Prayer is the secret of every Pentecostal outpouring;  but notice, we are not considering what happened on the Day of Pentecost: this happened after Pentecost – and it can happen again, and again, and again!  Prayer is the secret weapon.

6. In a praying church there is mighty power in the preaching of the gospel.

See what happened after they had prayed (verses 31,33). It happened when Spurgeon preached:  people were struck down by the power of the Word and multitudes were saved – but behind Spurgeon’s preaching was the vital intercession of his praying church, and in every case where great things have been accomplished through the preaching of the gospel it has always and only been in answer to the prayers of God’s people.  Conviction and conversions follow the preaching that is backed by a praying church.

7. In a praying church there is great grace in the lives of God’s people.

Verse 33 says, “Much grace was upon them all”; the word ‘grace’ is the operative word here.  It means ‘Christ-likeness’, and was demonstrated in four ways:-

(a) There was the power of unity (verse 32).

(b) There was the power of renunciation (verse 32).

(c) There was the power of fellowship (verse 32).

(d) There was the power of liberality (verses 34-35).

I wonder today If I can get a commitment from y’all to see, God helping you, make OUR church a praying church?