Today, I want to focus on how the church provides us with encouragement and support – namely in the area of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5.11-26. A healthy prayer life and an abundant faith go hand in hand. The Thessalonians church got to experience what Jesus meant when He mentioned about being blessed a hundredfold.
I. The Enormous Power of Prayer:
- James 5.16b – The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
- In 5.14-15 – the emphasis is on the shepherds who minister to the wounded believer.
- In 5.16a – the emphasis is on the congregation who stands with and encourages the person who is struggling. The focus is on prayer and fellowship.
- 5.16a – to confess means to honestly share your struggles and let people know the types of battles you are facing.
- 5.16a – one another refers to other believers in your circle. Why?
- James 5.16b – Notice how all of this is connected to prayer.
- Power – in this verse is defined as “energy.”
- James 5.17-18 – he uses Elijah as an example. He prayed fervently.
II. The Early Church Made it a Point to Pray Together:
- Acts 2.42 – it became a part of their lifestyle.
- 3.1 – Why were Peter & John going to the temple?
- 4.24-31 – What happened when the early church prayed for boldness?
- Acts 6.4 – It was the priority of the church leadership.
- Acts 13.1-3 – It was behind all their evangelistic mission efforts.
III. ACTS 12: The Whole Church Praying:
- 12.5 – earnest prayer for Peter was made to God by the church.
- Notice: it seems the entire church is praying for Peter.
- The prayer is fervent, continuous, and offered in unity.
- 12.6-11 – the amazing answer as Peter is saved from prison by an angel. See ordinary Christians meeting together with expectancy and fervency in prayer.
IV. Prayer and the Kettering Family:
- Isaiah 56.7 – a house of prayer for all peoples.
- Prayer needs to become part of our spiritual DNA here.
- We need to see it as a way to help us develop a deeper relationship with God and with each other.
- Take out your prayer list. Who can you pray for?? Have you let them know you are praying for them?
- What happens when we all bind together as one and engage God in prayer?
- Principle in Ecclesiastes 4.12. There is power in prayer!
- Do we see the power when God’s people pray?