PRAYER THAT TOUCHES HEAVEN
There is power in prayer, and there is power in a praying church!
When every other gate is shut and locked, the gate to heaven is wide open. We take advantage of that open gate through prayer.
Acts 21:5 Says that while Peter was kept in prison, the church was in constant prayer for him: The word constant also has the idea of earnest; literally, the word pictures someone stretching out all they can for something. The verb ektenos is related to ektenes, a medical term describing the stretching of a muscle to its limits.
Luke uses this same word ektenos for the agonizing prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:44).
Earnest prayer has power because it demonstrates that our heart cares passionately about the things God cares about, fulfilling Jesus’ promise ‘If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you’ (John 15:7).
REFLECT & DISCUSS
What did God reveal to you from Sunday’s message ‘Prayer that touches heaven?’
What was your main takeaway from the message?
Read Acts 12 – 12:16
Acts 12:16 ‘But meanwhile, Peter continued knocking, and when they opened the gate and saw him, they were amazed.’
Its amazing to see that the church had been praying for Peters safe return home, but when it happened, scripture says they were astonished! They weren’t expecting God to do it!
Can you relate to the churches response? Have you asked God d=for something in prayer but not really belived it would happen? Share your experience.
Check out these 3 ways that get Gods attention when we pray.
God is drawn to passionate prayer. The kind of passion that isn’t keeping check of saying the right things at the right time with the right tone! But rather, is fully focused on God, with earnest passion to see His will outworked here on earth. Jesus prayed with passion. Hebrews 5:7 In the days of His flesh Jesus offered up passionate petitions (for that which he not only wanted but needed) and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was always able to save him from death, and He was heard because of his reverence toward God.
Have an honest discussion in group about what our prayer life looks like now, and where we would like it to be.
What are some ways we can become passionate in our prayer life?
The church in Acts had made the bold decision ‘As long as he’s in prison, we’re going to keep on praying’. We’re going to keep petition for God to move in this situation.
Bold – Hebrew word is Chutzpah (Chutz-pa) Hootspa
Perhaps one of the most famous Jewish statements out there, Chutzpah means audacity (a willingness to take bold risks) but is also commonly used to describe admiration for an individual’s boldness. The admiration comes from the motive of why the person is being so bold. Often, it is the motive to make someone else’s life better through our own persistence, boldness, and unwillingness to stop until we see action. Coming before God with bold faith, with expectation that God will move in a person’s or our own life.
It’s the thought that if there is a need, we will continue to pray. When we persist in prayer, we’re standing our ground. One day, the prayer will be answered.
Mathew 7:7 Keep on asking, and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.
What is the greatest challenge for you when asked to pray?
Share a prayer that you have seen answered or share a prayer you are still believing to see answered.
PARTNERING TOGETHER BELIEVING GOD
Something shifts in the room when we pray together. God responds when we pray together (Acts 2:2-4).
Read James 5:13 – 16. This scripture speaks about the power of us praying for each other, with each other. Verse 16 says ‘Confess to one another therefore your faults and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored (in spiritual heart and mind).
Do you find it easy to pray with others? Is there anything that stops us from honestly sharing and praying with each other?
Do you believe that certain things that would not happen, will happen when you pray together with other believers? Share your experience with this.
What is the greatest prayer request on your heart right now?
Take time to prayer for and with each other, believing that there is power when we gather together and make request on each other behalf.