A Praying Community
Topic: AM Service Passage: Acts 4:23–31, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Hebrews 4:16
There are very few things that will bring people together more surely than a need. When a community knows that there is trouble ahead or a problem in front of them, differences and preferences fade away. When the Church of Jesus Christ sees her need for the power and grace of God, remarkable unity can be found. For this reason the power of prayer is not only essential to the individual believer’s spiritual health and growth, but it is also essential to the unity and strength of the covenant community. Prayer confronts us with our own weakness and the strength of the Lord; prayer reminds us that others care for us by taking requests to the throne of grace; and prayer give us opportunities to encourage one another. Jesus reminds us of this when he tells us to pray together “Our Father.” The early Church shows this in Acts as they gather together for corporate prayer. We are called to be united and to come together as “A Praying Community” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Hebrews 4:16; Acts 4:23-31).
I. Prayer Brings Us Closer to God
A. Reminds Us of Our Need
B. Reminds Us of Who God Is
C. Gives Us Confidence
II. Prayer Brings Us Closer to Each Other
A. Focuses Us on Others
B. Reminds Us that We are a Community
III. Prayer Equips Us to Reach the World
A. Reminds Us of God’s Victory
B. Gives Us Boldness
C. Empowers Us with the Spirit
Questions for consideration: (1) What is your regular habit for prayer? What are the greatest challenges to consistency? (2) In what ways does prayer give you confidence and boldness? For what types of discouragement in your life is prayer an antidote? (3) How can you build community through prayer?