#775. BUILD A FIRE (21/3/23)
This week we continue in our 9-week series entitled ’Praying Together’; this series is loosely based upon the book and course, ‘The Prayers of many’ by Mike Betts. During this series, we want to learn about the importance of corporate prayer.
‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.(Acts 2:42-43)
Summary: To build the fire of an enduring culture of praying together, we need the right fuel.
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In our study of Acts 2:1-4 yesterday, we discovered how the powerful symbols of wind and fire reveal God's Holy and purifying nature, His guidance, and transformative work in the lives of believers through the Holy Spirit. As we gather together to pray, we can expect to experience these attributes of God. However, building a culture of prayer requires intentional effort and sustained commitment. Today, let's explore practical ways to cultivate this culture of expectation that leads to long-term, consistent prayer gatherings. Mike Betts speaks of the intentionality that’s involved:
‘Just as a fire in my wood-burner takes a little planning, patience and the right fuel, so does a prayer meeting. Planning, patience, fuel, spaces to let the flames and heat build. I am not talking of whipping up emotion. Rather I am suggesting that there is a way to allow the Holy Spirit to build prayer meetings into something where He is decisively active in them.’ (Betts, Mike. The Prayers of Many)
1. FUELLING AN ENDURING PRAYER CULTURE
Mike emphasises the importance of using the right fuel to establish a healthy and long-lasting prayer culture. Teaching is a key component of this fuel, as it helps to build a solid foundation of biblical conviction in those who gather to pray. While the excitement of a prayer meeting can be energiSing, it is the depth of conviction that sustains faithful prayer lives.
2. STRATEGIC PLANNING
In order to turn a vision of a praying people into a reality, a church or movement needs a well-defined plan. At CCP, this involves regularly scheduled Prayer Central gatherings, dedicated weeks of prayer, and special Encounter meetings that focus on worship and the use of spiritual gifts. However, individual planning is also crucial for each person to engage as much as possible. Despite the various time pressures we face, if we have the right fuel (conviction based on truth), we will prioritize prayer in our lives.
3. CREATING SPACE
Just as a fire needs oxygen to breathe, prayer gatherings need space to allow the Holy Spirit to move and work among us. An openness and expectation to be filled and inspired by God is essential for a prayer meeting to have the life-giving presence of God. Without such space, meetings can become mere checklists, lacking the transformative power that comes from being filled with the Spirit.
RESPONSE - BE FUELLED BY TRUTH
In order to establish an enduring culture of praying together, we require a solid foundation built on a fuel of teaching, planning, and creating space for the Holy Spirit to move when we gather in prayer. Without this fuel, our devotion to praying together will fade.
Most importantly, it’s the fuel of truth is essential for providing the necessary conviction to sustain a passionate prayer life. If we will then add careful planning, (both as a church and in our personal lives) and making space for the Holy Spirit, the fire of praying together will burn brightly among us.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: