Presentation on theme: "Developing Prayer Culture, Community in the Local church A Biblical and Practical Examination."— Presentation transcript:
Developing Prayer Culture, Community in the Local church A Biblical and Practical Examination
“Prayer is the Atmosphere of Revelation” P. T. Forsyth, The Soul of Prayer
“Prayer is the Tropical Climate of the Soul” G. F. Gordan, Soul Winner’s Secrets
“To the use of Scriptures the early Christians added prayer as a prime necessity in all evangelistic enterprise.” Green, Evangelism in the Early Church, 235.
Prayer and the Early Church Introduction – Prayer in Acts builds upon and/or “coheres” to Jesus’ perspective on prayer in Luke – Over 30 times Christ’s followers in Acts are shown in prayer or the narrative refers to prayer. – Most of the these occurrences are found in the first half of Acts—setting a pattern.
Prayer and the Early Church (cont.) David Crump (Knocking on Heaven’s Door) Three Prayer Behaviors: 1. They sustained a significant degree of unity through corporate prayer (praying together, homothymadon, 6 times, 1:14; 2:46;4:24;5:12;8:6; 15:25) 2. The emerging church rapidly adopted Christ’s model and teaching about personal prayer (priorities of the Lord’s prayer, absence of personal self-centered prayer)
Prayer and the Early Church (cont.) 3. Prayer is a way for believers to find their lives realigned with God’s redemptive plans (regular revealing of God’s presence/power among praying people (Acts 4, 13). God accomplishes His sovereign work/plans when and where the church prays. Through prayer believers become “spiritually receptive recipients of divine communication.”
Prayer’s Role in the Early Church Prayer—a foundational lifestyle and relationship that was employed for the evangelistic mission (Acts 2:42) Prayer paved the way for bold and fruitful proclamation of the gospel (Acts 4:23-33) Prayer provided the environment for the Holy Spirit to inspire and fill believers with power to be witnesses (Acts 1:14; 2:1-13) Prayer was key element for the overcoming of barriers to the Mission (Acts 1:14 (leadership); 2:1- 11 (power); 2:41-47 (consistent life, unity, Joy, love);
Prayers role (cont.) Prayer prepares both believers and unbelievers for providential encounters and effective evangelistic witness (Acts 10-11:18) Corporate prayer patterns are shown as normal for the early church (Acts 12:5, 2:42; 1:14) Prayer is key component for effective leaders (Acts 6:1ff; Acts 14:23) Prayer plays a vital role in the sending of witnesses to the world (Acts 13:1-4)
Marks of a Praying Church The Early Church at Prayer Acts 4: First Response is Prayer (23, 24) Praying People, United Corporate Prayer 2. Healthy Bible Based Prayer Theology (24, 27, 28) Creator God, Providential Lord 3. Strategic Prayer Patterns (29) God’s Nearness, Boldness, Changed Lives 4. They Experienced God’s Activity, Manifest Presence (31-33) Faithful Praying, Fruitful Praying, Unified Ministry, Abundant Grace, Bold Proclamation, etc.
A Kingdom-Focused Prayer Strategy Vision God is calling us as followers of Christ to glorify Him through a holy lifestyle of passionate, Spirit-led prayer that seeks His Kingdom purposes (John 17; Matt. 6:5-13) Three Elements Kingdom Prayer Priorities Kingdom Prayer Practices Kingdom Prayer Purposes
Kingdom Focused Prayer (cont.) Kingdom Prayer Priorities This involves developing prayer atmosphere or culture. Prayer core values and beliefs are implemented in this component. Biblical prayer foundations are laid so that the church may grow in its praying life and may become a house of prayer for the nations (see Mark 11:17).
Kingdom Focused Prayer (cont.) Kingdom Prayer Practices This component focuses on the being and doing of prayer in and through the church. Practicing the presence of Christ through Bible based prayer methods and approaches are key components. Providing ways and opportunities for believers to practice prayer passions individually and congregationally are accomplished with this component.
Kingdom Focused Prayer (cont.) Kingdom Prayer Purposes This element pushes the congregation toward the bigger picture of prayer mobilization. Prayer with and for the greater world-wide body of Christ is the focus of this component. Strategic prayer patterns for revival, spiritual awakening, missions, and the Great Commission are taught, modeled and implemented.
Methods and Approaches for Mobilizing Prayer Prayer Grams/Lines Weekly Windows World Religion Prayer Guides State Prayer Lines Prayer Journeys- International, SFC Cities Adopt People Groups Prayer Initiatives Prayer Groups Prayer Walking Prayer Chains Prayer Rooms Prayer Stations Prayer Summitts Prayer Training
Contemporary Churches Biltmore Baptist Church, Arden, NC Richland Creek Community Church, Wake Forest, NC Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Boone, NC Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC Central Baptist Church, Wendell, NC
Signs of a Praying Congregation (Contemporary Church) Confident and dependent on God through Prayer Passionate Prayer Lives Prayer toward the Great Commission Specific Prayer Patterns Unified toward the Mission Ripe Environment for God to Speak and Work Multiple Avenues for Prayer Passions to be Expressed Prayer is Foundational Biblical, Contextual prayer Patterns Changed Lives God-Centered Praying
Contemporary Considerations Prayer ministries will need to flow out of prayer passions (affinity prayer groups) Strategic prayer should be sensitive to both church and non-church cultures Prayer for revival, awakening and toward the Great Commission is the heart of strategic prayer Web-based networks provide avenues for involvement in Kingdom- oriented prayer emphases Field-based prayer ministries provide excellent opportunities for congregations to utilize prayer as an avenue for genuine relationship building Denominational missions praying must be taught and modeled Participation in Inter- denominational prayer efforts is essential