Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 23rd August 2015
Quarter Theme: A Revived Church: Lessons from the Acts of the Apostles
Topic: The Praying Church
Texts: Acts 12: 1-17, 4: 31
Memory Verse: Acts 4:31 “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly”
Revival is anchored on prayer. Prayer is all about having a conversation with God. It is the practice of the presence of God since no Church or Christian can successfully live a Christian life without constant and consistent communication with his creator. Jesus demonstrated this while on earth with the constant communion with the father. Prayer is as essential to knowing God and growing spiritually as breathing is to living and staying healthy. No Christian is greater than his or her prayer life. No church is greater than its prayer life. No force on earth is greater than prayer. Prayer moves into action the God who is the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. James 5:16 says: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” It’s true for a church also.
The foundation of the early church was anchored on prayer and we can learn crucial lessons through the way they lived a life of prayer. The characteristics of a praying church includes:
1. Passionate about prayer –In Acts 12:5, they prayed earnestly from the depths of their hearts. They stretched their hearts out to God in desperation. To expand the gospel and cause the Glory of God to fill the earth we have to pray with great passion (James 5:16).
2. They prayed about specific issues- Acts 12:5: prayers where directed towards the release of Peter.
3. They were united in prayer (Acts2:4 Acts 4:32). They were in harmony, in one accord. Where there is unity, the Lord commands a blessing as unity attracts God’s answer( Mathew 18:19 )
4. They were missional in prayer. Their mission was the advancement of the kingdom of God. They were outward focused. They didn’t ask for safety but for boldness to proclaim the gospel (Acts 4: 29-30).
5. They were God-centered in their prayer (Acts4:24-28). They prayed starting with exaltation of God. They started with God and not the problem. Many times we start with our problems and forget to exalt God. As a result our faith dwindles and we stop praying. Proclaim God’s sovereignty and power when you begin to pray. The early church was God-centered and Christ-glorifying because that was the posture of their hearts.
6. God responded to their prayers. Acts 4:31, the presence of God was evident and they received the boldness to speak the word. In Acts 12:11, Peter was miraculously release from prison in answer to the prayers of the people of God. Acts 12: 11
Are there other characteristics you may want to add? May the Lord help us to become and continue to be, a praying church.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. From Luke 11: 11-13, James 5: 13-18, discuss the foundation of a fruitful prayer life for a church and individual Christian.
2. In Acts 12:15, some believers did not believe that Peter has been released from prison in answer to their prayers. Are there times when you have limited the ability of God to answer your prayers? Share with the group and discuss what
3. Maintaining a consistent prayer life in a “busy” world is becoming more and more challenging for many Christians. Discuss these challenges and ways to overcome them.
4. What lesson(s) have you learnt from the sermon and the bible study?