The Place of Prayer

The Precedence of Prayer:

Acts 16:13-15

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.”
Precedence: The condition of being considered more important than someone or something else; priority in importance, order, or rank.
synonyms: take priority over, be considered more important/urgent than, outweigh, supersede, prevail over, come before.
Background:
Churches were growing
Paul has a vision to go into Europe
This is the first step into changing the history and destiny of a continent. What was his plan? There wasn’t one.
They first look for a place of prayer.
What happens? The first people in Europe become Christians.
Why? Prayer has precedence over all things.
 

John 15:5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Does prayer have precedence in your life?
Is it first on the list or simple a good intention.
No wonder, you don’t see amazing things happening. Pray first thing!
You can’t do anything without prayer.
30 Day Challenge: Pray first thing every day, before you check your phone, check email, check social media……..check in with God first!
 

“The” Place of Prayer:

Acts 16:16-24

13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer…
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future…..
What started as “a” place of prayer, became “the” place of prayer. Why?
They had witnessed the power of God there!
Open and spiritual people gathered there
It reminded them of God and brought them into a spiritual mindset
These disciples had their place of prayer.
Everyone knew about it: “Let’s meet at the place of prayer.”
Do you have a place of prayer? A quiet, solitary place to go meet God? No distractions…..
A closet
A mountain or hill
A quiet street, an empty road
An unused bedroom
Jesus did:
Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Sometimes we don’t go to a place because we think, I don’t have time or I’m too busy.
That’s exactly why Jesus went to a lonely place for prayer.
30 Day Challenge: Find your place of prayer, talk to God about commit to be there!
 

The Power of Prayer:

Acts 16:25-34

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped….
Sometimes prayer leads to situations you don’t expect or wish for yourself.
Paul ended up trying to help a woman possessed and then was thrown in jail.
He was beaten and humiliated in front of people.
Troubles and suffering come in this life……sometimes physical and emotional pain too much to bear!
What did he do? He prayed and sang hymns 16:25
What happened? God unleashed power!
Foundations shaken
Doors flew open
Chains broken
Hearts opened and lives changed!
When we make prayer a priority and make every situation a place of prayer, we will expect to see the power of God to change lives.
We will have tough times, pain, suffering, but we will see God’s power change lives and help others.
Q: What needs to be “shaken up” in your life? Are you stuck and stagnate spiritually?
Q: What “doors” need to be opened in your life?
Q: What “chains of sin” need to come off so you can experience real freedom from the slavery of sin?
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