Sunday, August 30, 2009

6 Moments of Prayer Recorded In The Book Of Acts

submitted by LARRY WESTFALL

1)   Prayer was a regular part of group gatherings
Acts 1:14…They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.
2)   Prayer was a way to search God’s heart when choosing leaders
Acts 1:24-25…Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart.  Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry for he has deserted us and gone astray.”
3)   Prayer was used to combat fear
Acts 4:23-31…As soon as they were freed, Peter and john returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.  When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Soveriegn Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying, ‘Why were the nations so angry?  Why did they waste their time with futile plans?  The kings of earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’  In fact, this has happened here in this very city!  For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.  but everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.  And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.  Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
4)   A prayer of forgiveness (for those that hurt us)
Acts 7:59-60…As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!”  And with that, he died.
5)  A prayer for the persecuted
Acts 12:1-5…About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church.  He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword.  When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter.  (This took place during the Passover celebration.)  Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each  Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.  But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed earnestly for him.
Acts 12:11-12…Peter finally came to his senses.  “It’s really true!” he said.  “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leader had planned to do to me!”  When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.
6)  Prayer was used to commission people for ministry
Acts 13:2-3…One day as these men were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for to especial work to which I have called them.”  So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid hands on them and sent them on their way.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009


submitted by LARRY WESTFALL


1) All of us have an image of the person that we want to be.

If you are a mom you have an image of how you want your children to see you, how your husband sees you in this role, how other moms view you, how your mother will view you, how your grand mother will view you, how you want the pastor to view you, etc…

If you are a dad its the same thing. You have an image of the man that you want everyone to see when they picture you in that roll. Your wife, your children, your dad, your grandfather, other dads, etc…


Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Co-worker, Boss, Leader, Church Member, Volunteer, Husband, Wife, Grandmother, Grandfather, Civic Leader, Activist, Neighbor, Friend, Mentor, Role Model, Brother, Sister, Facebook (MySpace, or other social network) Friend, etc...


Son, Daughter, Brother, Sister, Grandson, Granddaughter, Classmate, Friend, Leader, Student, Athlete, Facebook (MySpace, or other social network) Friend, Member of Church Youth Ministry, Role Model to Younger Children, etc...

Choose a couple of the roles above and give a brief description of how someone might want others to view them in that area - or - Choose a couple of the roles above and have the participants describe how they would want to be perceived in that particular area.

The Problem

2) Sometimes there is a gap between our preferred image and who we really are. The person I put out to everyone else isn't the "real me."

Read Acts 5:1-11

Choose a couple of the roles above and draw some similarities between the choice that Ananias and Sapphira made to the choice(s) any one of us could be making today. (i.e. Dad is never at home because he works two jobs – he tells the people that he is working with that he is trying to help provide a better future for his children than he had when he was growing up, but in reality he has a gambling problem and is deeply in debt and is on the verge of losing everything he owns and his family – or – a teenage girl that is in the habit of coming home late from school because she is over at her friend’s house studying, her mother is pleased because her math grade is an A compared to the C- that she carried last year.  What mom doesn’t know is that she is paying someone else to do her homework and she is spending her time at her boyfriend’s house.)

The Truth

3)   We can spend our time doing image management or character development.

   Image Management- covering up the person that we are in hopes that everyone else will believe that we are the person that we know we should be. 

    Character Development- being honest about the person that you are; and trusting God to help you become the person that you should be.

4)   King David spent some time doing image management.

Read 2 Samuel 11:1 – 27

Read through this passage of Scripture and discuss all of the people that are behind the scenes that David cannot do image management with.

Even when we expend our energy doing image management there are still those that see what others do not.  We are never really able to hide who we are from everyone.


5)  The “Real Me”

    Are you just trying to blend in?
    Are you trying to cover something up?
    Are you pretending to be someone you are not?
    Are you withholding half the truth?
    Are you feeling guilty?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions will you let us pray with you?

Please comment below and let us know how you used this material, how your audience responded, how you improved the content, or any suggestions you might have.

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