There are seasons of prayer.
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
Character – virtue is power.
“That world outside there is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, it’s waiting for a new demonstration of Christianity.” ~ Leonard Ravenhill
God doesn’t need everything that you think you need to reach people. He does not need your cleverness.
Your sin should be driving you to Christ not away from Christ. Satan will use your sin to drive you away from Christ.
If God is using you, then there will be suffering.
32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons.
33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door.
34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Early in the morning He went away to pray.
36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him,
37 and they found him and said to him, *“Everyone is looking for you.”
Simon seems to be rebuking Jesus for separating from ‘everyone’ in order to pray.
Prayer is hard work. There is prayer with your boots on and prayer with your boots off. Prayer with your boots on is very hard work like intercession. Prayer with your boots off is practicing the presence of God – just enjoying God, listening and talking with Him. Both are necessary.
John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. …
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
You have not because you ask not.
Luke 11:1 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
Teach us to pray. Not cast out demons, not heal the sick.
5 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,
6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
7 and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
God is not unjust, nor is He our judge – He is our Father.
Rest in God – Those who rest in God also wrestle with God. We are too refined. Give the Lord no rest.
11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Before the resurrection, Jesus said the disciples were men of little faith. All in all they weren’t great men but foolish men.
Afterwards? They were still doubtful. They were hiding.
After Pentecost? They have the Holy Spirit. They no longer waver. They are clothed with power on high.
You will receive power.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The church has an impact all through the book of Acts. They are either impacting the culture or being slaughtered.
Can you describe your life as having power?
Does your church look like this?
The resurrection did not produce this result, it did not propel the disciples. It was not enough. They touched Him yet still doubted.
1) Was a unique event in the history of the church
a) Direct fulfillment of Scriptures
b) Accompanied by unique circumstances
2) Marked the beginning of a new age (the last days) not the beginning and the end.
a) The prophecy in Joel is poured out on the least and not just the Apostles
b) The results should also mark the age until today.
1. Don’t focus on a specific means of the gift (tongues) and ignore the gift (Holy Spirit)!
2. You are missing the point.
Conversion is when a believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit.
Is there a sense of God’s presence?
Is there a sense of a power greater than yourself working through you?
Is this your reality?
Unction – an anointing
We are complete in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit, we are indwelt,
We pray for more repentance, more sanctification?
Will not the Father give a greater filling of the Holy Spirit? Pray for more!
John Owen – Ask for the Spirit just as children ask for their daily bread.