The success and growth of the first church was not generated through extravagant programs held in state-of-the-art facilities. Their accomplishments were not the result of powerful, influential leaders. In fact, the early church had almost nothing we consider essential for the church today. All they had is all that Jesus promised them: power from the Holy Spirit. The disciples were dependent on God, and that dependence drove them to their knees in prayer. Join us for part three of The Disciple’s Journey where we discuss the importance of prayer in the life of a fully devoted follower of Jesus.
And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.
And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
“By what power or by what name did you do this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them,
“Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said,
“Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’ for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Five Habits of a Disciple
Habit 1: Disciples Wait on God.
Habit 2: Disciples Grow in Community
Habit 3: Disciples Pray with Boldness
Three elements of a disciple’s prayer:
- An acknowledgment that God is in control (Acts 4:24 & 28)
- A request for boldness (Acts 4:29)
- A plea for God sized evidence (Acts 4:30)