Fifty Days of Prayer | Day 6

On Sunday I sent out the first of fifty days of a prayer plan through the book of Acts. It was sent to those who already receive my newsletter as a specific call to prayer. I would like to post those here as a resource for others and a call to anyone else who would like to join in praying for us as we seek to plant a church in Houston. 

On Sunday I sent out the first of fifty days of a prayer plan through the book of Acts. It was sent to those who already receive my newsletter as a specific call to prayer. I would like to post those here as a resource for others and a call to anyone else who would like to join in praying for us as we seek to plant a church in Houston. 

Fifty Days of Prayer | Day 6

 

Praying for Church Planting through the Book of Acts

Satan, the enemy of the church had already made his first attack against God's people. But this time, the attack comes from within. In the midst of all the self-sacrificing generosity of the early church, a man and wife decide to practice a false godliness. They want the appearance of generosity without the sacrifice. They want to be thought well-of by the church, without any actual cost. The issue is not that they kept some of the proceeds of their sale for themselves. It is that he lied about how much he was giving (5:2). Peter identifies this false piety coming from Satan and not the Spirit (5:3). So, we pray for true godliness with honest generosity.

Ananias' sin cost him his life. But it also cost the life of his wife. After his death and subsequent removal his wife, Sapphira, was questioned about the sale price. Caught up in her husband's lie, she, too, loses her life. The result? "Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events" (5:11). So, we pray for the fear-of-the-Lord to fill our church.

Acts 5:12-16 is the third summary statement in this book. We're told that the Spirit continued to perform signs and wonders through the apostles. This church discipline of Ananias and Sapphira and continued work of the Spirit brought "more and more men and women [to believe] in the Lord" (5:14). So, we pray for the Spirit to continue to perform miraculous works that convert and purify the church.

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
— Acts 5:1-16

We Pray for Spirit-filled Generosity

  • Pray that the Spirit would protect from insincere displays of godliness or generosity.
  • Pray that the Spirit would lead friends, family, or fellow believers to give generously to our church planting work.

We Pray for Protection from the Evil One

  • Pray that God would provide supernatural discernment into the motives and intents of those who join our church plant.
  • Pray that God would protect us from "wolves in sheep's clothing" that would seek to steal believers, lead them astray, or challenge our church's leadership.
  • Pray that God would fill our congregation with a true fear-of-the-Lord from the very beginning.

We Pray for Signs and Wonders

  • Pray the Spirit would perform similar signs and wonders for us.
  • Pray the Spirit would use these exercises of his power and God's glory to draw many to faith.
  • Pray that God would surprisingly and miraculously meet our needs (financial, housing, location)