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On Your Mark, Get Set...GROW! Part 4-Part B

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The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2021 2:00 am

On Your Mark, Get Set...GROW! Part 4-Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 11, 2021 2:00 am

The first church in Jerusalem had lots of things missing from it—charters, committees, strategies, financial resources and buildings—things that many today would deem as vital. But it had great power! Why? We can only surmise that it is because they tapped into the source of power through prayer. Prayer was part of the very fabric of the church. It was basic and foundational… and it was effective. What would happen to our church if we were all devoted to this discipline?

This teaching is from the series Church? Who Needs It.




This week's DevoMail:

Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Encouraging Word
Don Wilton
Destined for Victory
Pastor Paul Sheppard
Sound of Faith
Sharon Hardy Knotts and R. G. Hardy

I suggest that the best way to start a prayer is to realize, to whom you are talking why it will give you enough faith. When you make your request. Jeremiah did Jeremiah 32 verse 17 sovereign Lord made the heavens and bigger by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing hard for you respect and welcome to Québec was good with your division as we continue our series about the church emerging is that of the white perspective on prayer. Not too long ago Philip Yancey released the book on prayer that asked the question, does it make a difference.

The book is honest that at times challenging examination of prayer. Seeing as how prayer was so essential to Christian life. It's a good idea to ask some hard questions about her from time to time.

Today's study has to Skip does just that.

As we examine his daily routine of the Christian life.

But before we get started today. We want to share what we have for you this month interconnect with Skip resource Center 2020 team almost here now for your spiritual menu starting in January. This month their offerings skipped daily devotional containing strong for each state the sample from January 1, Martin Luther, one that is life has friends after me as you stay each day and prepare for the greatest adventure of your life.

An excerpt at the direction found in skipped daily… That you will receive an hardcover gift $35 or more today this Bible teaching history growing playlist messages. I can't find as our thank you list them here in the playlist series to spend energy in life we all do make sure it's about people that you're building up not just projects and received this resource to or call 819 to 1888 church were acts chapter 12 for study today. So to mark your Bibles.

There will join Skip know about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand, harassed some church and then he killed James the brother of John with the sword of the apostles because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also now it was during the days of unleavened bread, so when he had arrested him to put them in prison delivered them to four squads of soldiers to keep him intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Please notice that that's how Christians responded to being hassled doesn't say Peter was put in prison and they started a letter writing campaign against the government or they picketed in front of Herod's house where they filed a class-action lawsuit know they they wanted real power. They wanted real results and they talk to God, and they prayed that was what they did. That's the first thing they did the response. That's the first thing we should do.

Why is it that it is so often our last resort and it sort of like, there's nothing left to do but pray. I've heard that listener that there's nothing left to do except pray all you should've started with that. It is almost like I tried everything I've exhausted my resources and trust God. You see how weird that sounds, and typically it's only when it's really up to the issue I'm giving this one you as if you can handle the little stuff I suggest you bring the little stuff to God for turns into the big stuff as a widow became a G. Campbell Morgan. I've always loved the story.

She said Dr. Morgan. You think God would terribly minded if we brought to him. The little things in our life.

In prayer, and he smiled and said Mme., can you think of anything that's big to God, met a great perspective that you it's big to me.

It's big, but is it really big to God is like. Does God ever got all I wish you would ask me for that does not ever bite his fingernails is cancer anymore difficult for God to heal the Nicole no it's all little stuff to him. So this was the church. Nothing more nothing less apostles doctrine fellowship, breaking bread and prayers you want to see their mission statement. If you were to ask the leader say what you guys into they would say where end of this stuff.

These four were into this may prayed the dependent I love it. They didn't have a manual on how to start a church they didn't have anybody telling them you gotta go 501(c)(3) for the government you want to be a religious organization. They didn't have any kind of organized plan on how to start a singles ministry or pastors conferences or schools of ministry. They just relied on God and this is what God was doing so. This is a description of their prayer life generally.

Now would you turn with me to chapter 4 of the book of acts we go from general now to specific. I want to show you now a depiction of their prayer life. Specifically, and here we eavesdrop here we go into a prayer meeting, we learn what their pattern was verse 23 and being let go.

They went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them, so when they heard that they raise their voice to God with one accord, and said allow me to briefly paint the background is the time of crisis. This is a time of persecution. They had just been told by the Jewish Temple leaders that it is now illegal.

A law has been passed.

You cannot do evangelism anymore in Jerusalem. You can do anything they threatened them and then let them go. So there experiencing a trial.

And if you discovered that trials produce prayer warriors you discovered that that we might pray, but when were in trouble. Boy do we really pray we really pray we pray when were in trouble. I mentioned that little Don Harris ABC survey at the beginning and he noted that the poor will pray more than the rich. And then he asked this question at the end of his article.

Does that mean with this economic downturn. In America there working to see a lot more praying in our country than ever before. Perhaps now would be a good thing. Wouldn't that be a good thing if America would be brought to its knees and humbled and not trust in its own power and own wealth. But now trust the Lord and pray that could be a wonderful start was assigned in a principal's office at a local school that simply read in case of nuclear attack fire or earthquake. The ban on prayer is temporarily lifted will of course there acknowledging the obvious people will pray in times of distress. Somebody once said as long as our final exams to take. There will always be prayer in school.

Let's discover the pattern of the early church might surprise you. Verse 24.

This is a prayer with perspective, the razor voice of God with one accord and they said is what they say Lord you are God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them. I circled the word Lord in verse 24 because it is not the typical Greek word typical Greek word is clearly snuck this is a very uncommon word. It's the word despot Todd means despot which is an absolute ruler, dictator, autocrat, authoritarian, sovereign, absolute, you're the desktop.

Why did they use this term because they wanted to remind themselves just to whom they were talking they were talking to Herod or Caesar pilot. There were talking to the ruler of the universe who made all those guys that gave them the right perspective before they ask God for anything. I suggest the same.

I suggest that the best way to start a prayer is to realize, to whom you are talking why it will give you enough faith.

When you make your request. That's what Jeremiah did.

Jeremiah 32 verse 17 oh sovereign Lord you made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Good perspective we so often carry our limitations over onto God in prayer and it's almost like God.

This is this is a tough one who goes hope you can handle this. You might not be able to handle but again nothing is too big for him but things too hard for him. Jeremiah recognize that in this church recognize your God is big, folks. He's big, I want you to think about this for minute right now you individually are one of 6.7 billion people on this earth starts pretty big.

It's 8000 miles in diameter. The big dirt clod going to space traveling at 240 250,000 mph you're on this dirt clod you're one of 6.7 billion people very tiny speck on this big glow, but this earth in comparison to the rest of the universe is very small. We are 93 million miles away from the sun. Our nearest star. But the sun is an 8000 miles in diameter. It's 860,000 miles in diameter you could fit 1,200,000,000 births inside the sun and assist the nearest star you got a lot more stars out there you're in a galaxy.

That's 10,000 ly by 100,000 ly and then there's billions of other galaxies and that God of yours made all that and holds it like that.

So next time you have a problem that so big realize how big God is little perspective here. I've got a problem yeah but butcher talking to that God about your problem will I've got some enemies against me, but you're talking to. That God about them.

God can do a lot better job of vengeance than you can and I use that word Bible says vengeance is mine. Make room for wrath. That's a refreshing thought, isn't it Lord second will even with him leaving with him the early church recognizes this God is in charge of the people who were threatening them.

Numbers 25 to 28 is a direct quote out of the second Psalm, a messianic Psalm because they wanted to in prayer, be reminded of the fact that God foresaw all of what is happening even in the Old Testament, and that's why knowing Scripture is so helpful when you pray, the more you know the principles of the Bible and you know God's power. God's majesty, God's sovereignty God's control. God's love, it will heighten your perspective when you pray second. This prayer had balance which read verse 25 through 28, who by the mouth of your servant David have said, why did the nations rage and the people plot vain things the kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ. For truly against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together to do whatever your hand your purpose determined before to be done. Notice that it's not just a prayer with perspective, but it's peppered with praise. I acknowledge that your sovereign in their doing what you want in Jesus is your holy servant. In fact, there's five verses of this they don't even get to their request till verse 29 is a very balanced and respectful approach is filled with praise and adoration as well as a request so they didn't begin their prayer like God I need I want I must have now or I'll die. But you are God, you made it all you said this in the Bible, you can do anything.

Oh and by the way, Lord.

Here's my request. And isn't that exactly how Jesus taught us to pray.

He said when you pray, say our father in heaven, hallowed blessed holy to be revered is your name, your kingdom, let it come, your will. May it be done on earth as it is in heaven. Then give us this day our daily bread. The request come much later in that prayer I heard of a girl who went into her room and stayed there a while she came out, her parents asked what she was doing she said I was just telling God that I love them, and God was telling me that he loved me and we were just loving on each other. That's prayer balance in prayer in the early church. With this horrible persecution against gets the perspective balances out there prayer with praise and adoration.

Loving God, third it had direction they had direction. Verse 29 is the request now Lord look on their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word whacked.

They prayed for that. This will got him in trouble.

Will got them arrested their boldness. Now they're asking for more of what got him in trouble in the first place, and I daresay there may come a time in our country and not the not-too-distant future when you and I will need to pray that prayer give us boldness to represent Christ faithfully in the world and in the country that is not favorable toward that message by stretching out your hand to heal that signs and wonders may be done to the name of your holy servant Jesus, knowing you notice here is there prayer wasn't vague. He was specific was very directed very specific. It wasn't some vague wispy prayer life.

God bless every need spoken and unspoken. Just bless amen I didn't do much would you walk into a restaurant and announce to the maître d' your to the waiter or waitress. I have a general food need. Bless me, you won't get any help until you go, I want number three on the menu and when you are specific enough to tell them what you want then you will get it summary once said to a group of preachers I was there. Never preached to be understood but preached so it's impossible to be misunderstood. I would say never pray to be understood.


So it's impossible to be misunderstood. Nothing God needs informing, not the God needs it. It's that you and I need it. The more specific you and I are in our prayers when it happens. You can look back and think I prayed for that specifically in your faith is bolstered for the next go around fourth and finally, this prayer had results verse 31 tells us the results 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. So the prayer that had perspective in balance and direction was the one that worked was the one that was powerful prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscles of omnipotence that slender nerve might be even prayed in weakness.

But when you pray with perspective and direction and balance. It is powerful, fervent, effective prayer of a righteous man. James said avails much. So the whole idea in a nutshell, is this one word dependence. You know, when you pray, you know you're saying you're confessing your dependence on God and you know what you are saying when you don't pray you're saying I'm independent need any help, got covered and isn't that the root of all sin, even from the beginning with Adam and Eve. They were independent of God. Prayer is saying God I can't. I can't do life without you.

I depend upon you. Everything I depend upon God created us to be dependent upon, and to be interdependent with each other.

Notice the connection between they prayed in that verse. They assembled together and the power that resulted.

You need the body of Christ in the body of Christ need you, doesn't need your spectator ship doesn't need your peering from the bleachers. It needs your involvement, your prayers, your service together with the rest of us. I came across from wisdom, some wisdom from her father in a little book the father.

The author was cooking breakfast one morning for his family and is little eight-year-old at a joke hey dad, how do you eat an egg without cracking the shell, dad thought about it. Finally conceded he did know the answer and the little boy said getting somebody else to crack it for you. So he wrote this reminded me of some church people. They want the benefits the church has to offer without sharing responsibilities. They want revival as long as someone else does the praying they want good program for someone else long as somebody else does the work. But if you want to eat eggs you're going to have to break some shelves. Let me tell you how to break some shelves break the shell find somebody to pray with don't just pray in your life alone. If your husband are to pray with your family, your wife, you had that you take the initiative you break that shell pray with small groups, church is open all during the week you are more than welcome anytime you're in the area to stop in and pray in the prayer room or in the sanctuary. I'd love to see that happen.

Well, we can enjoy the wonderfully intimate powerful and moving relationship with God. We can sit on the sidelines and enjoy what spills over from the relationship. Others have God. The choice is up to you how closely you want to get to God the only thing holding you back. Use well you as you take some time to think about that and what Scripture with us today we want to let you know about how you could be on a trip to the holy land with pastor Skip and his wife.

When you Skip Lenny and I are taking a group to Israel in 2022 and we want to invite you to join us will visit places like Nazareth, the Jordan River. The Dead Sea and Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and the garden tomb – just a flyby look at the itinerary.

Find out more about the a BBQ. Thanks, there would also be happy to send you a copy of today's message on your mark get set grow. Part four on CD for just four dollars plus shipping. Simply call 1-800-922-1884 visit tonight was for God, to be sure to join us next up for more from a series church right here and connect this weekend. Division presentation of connection communication.

You guys never changing and ever changing time

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