READ : Galatians The last of the four characteristics of healthy and vital Christian churches is apostolic prayer. How much could be said about prayer! Certainly far more than I can talk about in one brief message. Luke tells us what happened next, in Acts ff. The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed. 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. Think, for example, of Nehemiah, an official of the Persian emperor in the 6th century B. Nehemiah took the letter from those exiles and brought it before the Lord in prayer, and God used him and his fellow servant, Ezra, to bring a great revival and a renewed strength and mission to his people in those last centuries before the coming of the Messiah. This small group of people began to pray.
Why Pray the Apostolic Prayers
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Many verses can become powerful, intimate prayers, but there is one particular set of verses that is especially useful. We call them the apostolic prayers. Apostolic prayers are prayers that were prayed in the New Testament by Jesus and the apostles. I have this printed out and always with me in my Bible. There are about 40 apostolic prayers in the New Testament, and these are the ones that burn in the heart of God enough for Him to put them in the Bible forever. The Holy Spirit put these prayers in the mouths of the apostles, and they give us a glimpse of what God desires to do in and through His people. We can think of them as checks already signed by God, just waiting to be cashed—these are prayers that we KNOW God already wants to answer! All of these prayers are directed to God, not Satan. Following this pattern, we learn to spend way more time talking to God than rebuking the enemy.
How to Pray an Apostolic Prayer
Praying scripture is one of the most powerful tools in prayer. So what does it mean to pray the apostolic prayers in scripture and why do they strengthen our prayers? My journey praying the scriptures began several years ago when I was asked to spend four hours a week in prayer for a specific church! This might seem like an easy task for some, but in that season my heart carried undefined hurt and unforgiveness towards this church. With hesitancy, I agreed to pray. I quickly discovered engaging in prayer for the church members was difficult and finding words was even harder. Many times my prayers lasted 10 minutes, definitely not 2 hours.
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