Breaking The Surface – Brad Lehman

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Sermon Notes

This week, Pastor Brad shares some tips on how to improve your prayer life titled ‘Breaking the Surface’ based on Acts 4:23-31.
ICEBREAKER: What was your favourite vehicle that you’ve owned?
1. The context for Acts 4:23-31 began in Acts 3:1. What was the backstory that instigated this prayer? What was noticeably different about the early Christians, and what caused the change [cf. Mark 5:18-19; Luke 19:7-10; John 4:28-29]?
2. How did these early believers begin their prayer in Acts 4:24? Why is worshiping God – rehearsing Who He is and what He has done – such a priority in prayer? Consult also 2 Kings 19:14-19; Nehemiah 9:5b-15; and Isaiah 6:1-7.
3. What do you learn about the value of the Bible as an aid to prayer from Acts 4:25-26? What are the benefits of praying Scripture [cf. Psalm 19:7-11; Matthew 6:9-13; 2 Timothy 3:14-17]?
4. The prayer of these early Christians acknowledged the evil perpetrated by Jesus’ enemies [Acts 4:27]. Yet, they were confident God sovereignly superintended everything for His purposes [Acts 4:28]. How does their confidence in the Lord inspire you in your life challenges [cf. Acts 2:23-24; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11-12]?
5. These early Christians did not pray for deliverance from persecution but boldness in persecution [Acts 4:29]. What does this tell you about the purpose and power of prayer [cf. Acts 4:13; Philippians 1:12-14; 1Thessalonians 2:1-2]?
6. Notice the order of the events in Acts 4:31 – prayer, God’s presence, empowerment, and mission. What do we learn about ministry and mission from this order [Acts 9:17-22; Acts 11:23-26; Ephesians 5:17-20]?
7. What did you find helpful or challenging about this Sunday’s message?
“The right way to pray is to stretch out our hands and ask of One who we know has the heart of a Father.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)