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The Prayer of Antioch (5 of 5)
Series: Prayer That Works
OPEN: A 5-yr-old said grace at family dinner one night. "Dear God, thank you for these pancakes."
When he finished his prayer, his parents looked curiously at him and asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken.
He smiled and said, "I thought I'd see if He was paying attention tonight."
APPLY: There are many prayers recorded in Scripture. From Moses to David to Jehoshaphat to Daniel - we're exposed to powerful, earth shaking prayers, and prayers that show us that God DOES pay attention.
But here, in Acts 13, we have a unique situation. We have several leaders fasting and praying and worshipping God, and they have unquestionably gotten God's attention. But, look closely at Acts 13:1-3. What did these men pray? (Give them time to look, expect some confusion). It doesn't tell us what they said, does it? All we're told is - that in response to their prayer - the Holy Spirit told them to set aside Barnabas and Paul to set out on an adventure - an adventure that would change the face of the world forever.
We don't know what they prayed, but they got God's attention. (... pause) I want to pray like that.
I. But we're not told what they prayed.
The only thing we're told about their prayer was: they fasted when they prayed. Usually people fasted for one of several reasons:
People fasted when they were grieving over the death of a loved one
People fasted when they were repenting of their sin or the sin of their nation.
People fasted when they sought protection from forces they couldn't contend with.
BUT MOST OFTEN people fasted when they were seeking insight.
Now, Antioch was a relatively new congregation, but it had experienced enormous growth. When the leaders at Jerusalem heard of this situation, they sent Barnabas and Paul to the church to teach these new converts about Christianity. For a whole year, Paul and Barnabas taught a great ...
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