Andrew Fountain - Prayer and God's Power


Sermon notes - Prayer and God’s Power

Lightning Strikes

Lightning Strikes

Image source: Bidgee. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 au

  • Jesus’ life on earth demonstrated what a perfect man should look like.
  • When he did miracles, the miracles himself didn’t prove that he was God
    • instead they proved that his claims were true.
    • Peter walked on the water as well as Jesus
  • The disciples did even greater miracles—that didn’t make them gods.
    • In Acts 14:3
      “So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
  • People are broken. We are called to bring in the Kingdom
    • The challenge to Newlife Church is that there is so much to do!
  • There are a lot of places in the Bible where there is a close connection between prayer and the supernatural power of God.
    • often we don’t see it because we gloss over the word prayer. e.g.


  • Close connection between prayer and the supernatural power of God.
  • Jesus’ baptism in the Spirit—Luke 3:21,22
  1. Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened,
  2. and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
  • There are many times in Jesus’ life where we read about him praying.

Supernatural Glory

  • Jesus’ transfiguration—Luke 9:28–29
  1. Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray.
  2. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.
  • this was while he was praying. I never noticed that before this study.

Luke 11:2–13

  • Ask the Father and he will give us the Spirit-
  1. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
  2. If you then, bad as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
  • Just as Jesus received the Spirit through prayer...
  • Why should Jesus spend all night in prayer before chosing the disciples:

Luke 6:12–13

  • Even Jesus prays all night when he needs guidance for a specific decision
  1. In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
  2. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:
  • Surely Jesus...
  • If Jesus needed to pray...

Mark 9:17–29

  • Prayer and healing difficult cases
  1. A member of the crowd said to him, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that makes him mute.
  2. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they were not able to do so.”
  3. …And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
  4. And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
  • Do we see Jesus praying in the story?
  • Let’s think about Jesus’ relationship to us…
  • When someone becomes a Christian, they enter this new life, which we call the New Creation
    • They become a new person, by the power of the Spirit
    • This greatest miracle that there is, happens by prayer.
    • You ask God for this new life, and he gives it.
      • You become something you were not before
  • Now Jesus has gone ahead of us in the New Creation
    • He was born of Adam like we were
    • When he was baptized, he was empowered by the Spirit and he immediately began to demonstrate what a Spirit empowered life could look like.
    • Then when he was raised from the dead, we see what the New Creation body will look like.
      • Colossians called him “firstborn from the dead”
    • So the New Creation began for the church on the day of Pentecost, when the gift of the Spirit was given in power.
      • The people of God were baptized in the Spirit
    • So, when was Jesus’ Pentecost? When did the power of the Spirit come on him in power?
      • Obviously at his baptism
      • So if his baptism in the Spirit happened when he was praying, I wonder if that happened at Pentecost?

Pentecost—Acts 1:14–2:1

  • Disciples are praying in the upper room
  1. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
  2. When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
  • A short time later

“2nd Pentecost”—Acts 4:29–31

  • While they were praying
  1. And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,
  2. while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
  3. 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.
  • I’m getting to see a pattern here. Are you?
    • I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on people that you must pray more
    • It comes out of a hunger, not guilt
  • We live in a city of broken people who desperately need Christ
    • But the task is too big for us in our own strength!

Receiving the Spirit

  • Samaritans receive the Spirit—Acts 8:15
  1. who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
  • What about healing and miracles?


  • Tabitha raised from the dead—Acts 9:40
    1. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
  • Luke doesn’t waste words
  • Peter has a vision while praying—Act 10:9
    1. The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.
  • One of the most important events in the Bible. (What if he had decided not to pray that day?)
  • Peter freed from prison—Acts 12:5
    1. So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.
  • What about Paul?

Commissioning of Paul and Barnabas—Acts 13:1

  1. Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
  2. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
  3. Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
  4. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
  • What else happened in Paul’s life?
    • If Jesus prayed before appointing the disciples, it would be interesting to know if this pattern was followed for other church leaders?

Paul’s prayers in Acts

  • Choosing of elders—Acts 14:23 “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
  • Earthquake—Acts 16:25 “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,”
  • A Vision—Acts 22:17–18 “When I had returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance and saw him saying to me, ‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’
  • Healing—Acts 28:8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.
  • Two examples in Acts of healing by prayer and hands—the same pattern.

James 5:14

  • James tells us to pray for the sick
  1. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
  2. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
  3. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James cont’d

  1. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
  2. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
  • This is very important because his whole point is that Elijah was not some super-prayer, but just like us.
    • He is encouraging us to be persistent in prayer
    • Everybody in this room has a nature like Elijah

The Way Forward

  • The only way forward is through prayer
  • Both Group and individual
  • We need to be a people of prayer if we want God’s supernatural presence
  • The last thing I want to do this morning is to lay a guilt trip on you
    • I don’t want this to be a stick, but a carrot
  • If Jesus needed to depend so much on prayer, how much more do we?
  • The only way forward is through prayer
  • Both Group and individual
  • Tope Koleoso “Signs and Wonders Today” audio download
    • Why do they see signs and wonders at their church?
  • We need to be a people of prayer if we want God’s supernatural presence
  • I want you pick five people or situations to pray for this month
    • can be more or less if need be (reason for more than one or two)
  • Can you chose one or two now
  • Let’s pray

Updated on 2016-01-31 by Andrew Fountain