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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Acts 4:23-31

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"THE PRAYER OF POWER"
Intro: We often hear said, "There is power in prayer." Yet we are aware that many of our prayers seem powerless. When prayers fail, there is a tendency to fault God. It is valuable to study powerful prayers.
I. RECOGNITION OF THE ONE THEY WERE PRAYING TO.
A. His power, "Oh Lord, Thou art God, Thou hast..."
1. We are not always aware of the one we are speaking to.
a. We have a tendency to carry our human limitations over to God.
1. God this should be an easy one for you.
2. Oh God, I doubt if you can handle this.
2. We are often more impressed by the greatness of our problem than of the power of God to deliver.
a. It's so easy to lose perspective.
1. It results from being too close to our problems and too far from God.
2. The sun is 1,200,000 times larger than our earth, 865,000 miles in diameter, yet your view of it can be blocked by something as small as your hand.
3. This is one of the side effects of using prayer as a last resort.
a. We wait so long, that our problem is so great that it is all we can see.
3. Now back up a bit, look at the universe.
a. Take a walk, look at the trees, flowers.
b. You're going to talk to the one who created.
c. Now our problem isn't nearly as large.
B. His knowledge, "Who by the mouth of Thy servant."
1. Our circumstances haven't caught God by surprise, He knew them a thousand years ago.
a. Yea Lord, it's happened just like you said it would.
2. We often look at prayer as informing time, where I inform God.
a. "Oh God, you'll never believe what's happened now."
b. Prayer is not informing God of my needs, it is asking God for my needs. The recognition of my needs.
C. His sovereignty, "to do what Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done."
1. The hand of God governs all the affairs of my life.
2. He does all things after the counsel of His own will.
3. "The steps of a good man are ordered by..."
4. "All things work together for good..."
5. God is on the throne, He reigns over the universe. He has allowed the rebellion on planet earth, He knew how far it would go, and when it would end.
II. NEXT CAME THE REQUEST.
A. Give us the boldness to keep doing the things we were doing that got us into trouble.
1. I am surprised by the things they didn't pray for.
a. Did not pray judgment on their persecutors.
b. Did not pray for end of persecution.
1. "They realized this was predicted."
2. We often pray for wrong things.
a. "Oh Lord, help the world to get better."
b. "Evil days shall wax worse and worse."
c. "Oh Lord, keep me pure in the midst of evil."
III. RESULTS (verse 31, 33...)
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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