October 7, 2012 – Pastor Tim – “Developing a Culture of Prayer” – Click to download
Following the healing of the lame man in Acts 3:1-6, Peter and John were arrested and upon their release were commanded to cease their preaching in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:18, “So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Recognizing the severity of the situation, they returned to the believers and called for a prayer meeting.
Acts 4:23-24, “And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” They called for a season of prayer that would release their faith, so as to increase the scope of their witness. Acts 4:29-30, “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
Note the progression of events following this prayer resulting in a supernatural shaking.
Acts 4:31-35, And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.”
From that moment of being shaken in prayer, things began to manifest further.
A supernatural fullness—all present experienced the fullness of the Holy Spirit (v.31 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit)
1. A supernatural boldness—this prayer led to a baptism of forthright fearlessness to proclaim the Word of God (v. 31 they spoke the word of God with boldness.)
2. A supernatural unity—the prayer participants were of “one heart and one soul” (v. 32) they were unified in the cause of Christ at all cost.
3. A supernatural submission (v. 32 neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.) Definition: Common: shared by all They saw a need they came together and met the need. They were the hand of God’s mercy and grace extended.
4. A supernatural fruitfulness—with a new power they went boldly, and fruit was produced for God’s glory (v 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.)
The word for power used here is Dunamis which means energy, power, might, great force, great ability, strength. It is sometimes used to describe the powers of the world to come at work upon Earth and divine power overcoming all resistance. The dunamis is Jesus resulted in dramatic transformations. This is—should be—the norm for the Spirit-filled and Spirit-led church.
5. A supernatural generosity—they were baptized into a spirit of sacrifice and radical generosity (v. 34-35).