PRAYER THAT WORKS--PART IV

SERMON TITLE: THE PRAYER OF ANTIOCH

SERMON THEME: LED BY THE SPIRIT

 

INTRODUCTION: PRAYING RECEPTIVELY IS HEARING GOD SPEAK HIS

DESIRES FOR YOUR LIFE.

 

ACTS 13:1-3

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

 

·         RECEPTIVE PRAYER BEGINS WITH OPEN HANDS AND HEARTS ASKING GOD TO FILL THEM ACCORDING TO HIS WILL.

 

HOW MIGHT WE PRAY RECEPTIVELY ASKING GOD TO USE US AND LEAD US?

 

I) RECEPTIVE PRAYER BEGINS WITH WORSHIP AND FASTING.

 

ACTS 13:2-3

 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

 

·         WHEN WE GATHER FOR WORSHIP EVERY AGENDA IS LEFT IN THE PARKING LOT.

MATTHEW 6:16-18

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

·         FASTING IS THE DISCIPLINE OF GOING WITHOUT SOMETHING, SO YOUR SPIRIT NEEDS GOD THE WAY YOUR BODY NEEDS FOOD.

 

II) RECEPTIVE PRAYER HEARS THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAK.

 

ACTS 13:2

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

 

·         THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO THIS GATHERING AFTER WORSHIPING, PRAYING, AND FASTNG.

 

ACTS 8:29

29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

 

·         WHEN WE ARE OPEN HANDED IN OUR PRAYER, NOT FILLING UP ALL THE TIME WITH WANTS AND DESIRES, THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SPEAK TO US THROUGH GOD'S WORD.

 

III) RECEPTIVE PRAYER ALLOWS THE HOLY SPIRIT TO REDIRECT

 

ACTS 16:6-10

Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

 

WHEN YOU ARE OPEN HANDED IN YOUR PRAYERS YOU ARE GIVING THE SPIRIT PERMISSION TO REDIRECT.

 

EPHESIANS 2:8

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

 

·         GOD HAS MORE IN MIND FOR US THAN WE KNOW HOW TO PRAY.

 

IV) RECEPTIVE PRAYER SEEKS THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PRAY FOR YOU.

 

ROMANS 8:26-27

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 

·         WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO PRAY FOR, ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PRAY.

PHILIPPIANS 1:6

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

·         THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL PRAY FOR YOU ACCORDING TO THE PERFECT WILL OF GOD.

 

V) RECEPTIVE PRAYER ASKS THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GO ABOVE AND BEYOND.

 

EPHESIANS 3:20-21

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

 

·         PRAYER IS NOT JUST AN ACTION YOU DO. PRAYER IS A WAY THAT YOU LIVE.

 

1 JOHN 5:14-15

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

 

CONCLUSION: PRAYER IS LIVING IN GOD'S PRESENCE, BREATHING IN GOD'S GRACE, HEARING GOD'S WHISPER, ENJOYING GOD'S POWER, EXPERIENCING GOD'S PEACE.

 

PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.