May 13: The Apostle’s Prayer: Interceding!

We’ve seen in the Apostle’s Prayer several elements: Praise, Scripture, Prophecy, Submission, and now Intercession!

[29] And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,

Acts 4:29

Notice they didn’t begin their prayer with asking God for something – they followed the pattern of the Lord’s prayer. Recognize who God is – then ask. That helps us not to ask amiss:

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

James 4:3

As opposed to lustful prayers, this was a Biblical Prayer – commanded by Jesus!

[37] Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
[38] Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9:37-38

We can tell this was a Biblical prayer because this prayer was answered!

[31] And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:31

The answer to prayer was not that the place was shaken, or that they were filled with the Spirit – that was the added blessings. Their prayer was that they would speak with boldness – and that was granted!

Let’s pray as well for power to speak God’s Word with boldness today!

May 12: The Apostle’s Prayer: Submitting to God’s Will

[27] For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
[28] For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Acts 4:27-28

We’ve looked at the Apostle’s Prayer – calling us to Praise, Quoting Scripture, and Claiming Prophecy. Now – it’s submitting to God’s Will.

We looked at this last week – yielding to God. Like praying for God’s Kingdom, we can pray for God’s will as Jesus told us to:

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

If Herod, Pilate, Gentiles and Jews all did God’s predetermined will even though the Apostles didn’t understand at the time – how much more should we trust our Father’s Will?

Take some time to pray today and submit to His will.

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Luke 22:42

May 11: The Apostle’s Prayer: Claiming Prophecy!

We’re looking at the Apostle’s Prayer in Acts 4:24-30 for the last few days. We’ve realized we need to Praise, and Quote Scripture. Today – we can claim Prophecy!

[26] The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
[27] For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

Acts 4:26-27

The Apostles quoted Psalm 2:1 (we saw yesterday), and Psalm 2:2 – but they translated the word anointed (Hebrew), as Christ (Greek, “anointed”), and identified it as the Lord’s holy child, Jesus.

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

Psalm 2:2

Our friend Jimmy DeYoung notes the prophetic implications of this passage:

What a powerful passage of scripture the Psalmist gives to us, actually a very prophetic passage of Scripture. In essence we are reading for today the order of the establishment of the Kingdom to be set up in Jerusalem. This will be an eternal Kingdom to be ruled over by the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

http://devotional.prophecytoday.com/2013/08/psalm-26.html

The Apostles did not avoid difficult passages of Scripture, they were familiar with the prophecies and studied prophecy! They realized this chapter was the declaration of the coming Kingdom of Jesus – though they were arrested and persecuted – their King was coming back to institute a Kingdom that would never end!

13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel 7:13-14

This was how Jesus taught us to pray!

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Matthew 6:10

As we read thru the Bible, we can claim the prophecies of the Bible! Let’s praise our King!

May 10: The Apostle’s Prayer – Praying Scripture!

We looked yesterday at the first part of the Apostle’s Prayer – praising our Creator! Today we look at the next line in the Apostle’s Prayer – praying Scripture!

Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?

Acts 4:25

Notice that the apostle’s were quoting Scripture! They quoted in their prayer a couple verses (we’ll look at the second tomorrow) from David.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

Psalm 2:2

They recognized that they were in a similar position – those who did not recognize the LORD were raging against the LORD.

We can pray the Psalms to God as well!

Having trouble sleeping?

I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

Psalm 3:5

Persecuted?

O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:

Psalm 7:1

In trouble?

The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;

Psalm 20:1

May 9: The Apostle’s Prayer: Praise

We’re going to take a break from the clockwheel of prayer to look at the Apostle’s Prayer.

While at a church out of state, I heard the pastor preach on Acts 4 – but not about prayer. However, there is a prayer in Acts 4 that stuck out to me!

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Acts 4:24
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acts_of_the_Apostles_Chapter_4-11_(Bible_Illustrations_by_Sweet_Media).jpg

This was no ordinary prayer. Jesus was crucified and the disciples fled. But He rose again – and just weeks later Peter preached and 3,000 were saved! Peter healed a lame man at the gate of the temple! He started preaching and was arrested with John – yet 5,000 more were saved. Caiaphas who led the execution of Jesus decides to warn Peter and John and releases them. Peter and John went to the rest of the believers who were probably having an all night prayer meeting. After telling their account of being the first people arrested since the crucifixion, what do they do?

They pray!

We’re going to call this prayer the “Apostle’s Prayer” because we know at least two of the apostles prayed this – and likely all of them together prayed this prayer. We’ll also note the similarities between this and the Lord’s Prayer, and how we can pray like this!

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:

Acts 4:24

Notice how they started – Praising the Lord! Similar to how the LORD taught us how to pray!

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Matthew 6:9

Notice the apostle’s also praised God for His Creative Power! For Creating the heavens:

National Park Service

For creating the earth:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zebras_in_Hluhluwe%E2%80%93Imfolozi_Park.jpg

And the oceans and all that is therein:

Underwater Marine Life Animals Dolphins Aquatic

Let’s praise our Creator!