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"Reclaiming Authentic Christian Prayer" - Dr. Gary Cass

November 21, 2021 Preacher: Gary Cass Series: Acts

Topic: Prayer Passage: Acts 4:23–32


ACTS 4:23-32



I. THE _______________ PRAYER OF _____________

Vss. 23-24; When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said…

Matt 6:7; And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Eccl 5:2: Do not be quick to speak, and do not be hasty in your heart to utter a word before God. After all, God is in heaven and you are on earth. So let your words be few.

Luke 18:11: The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other men—swindlers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and pay tithes of all that I acquire.’ … Vs 14 … For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 11:1; Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray...”

We find here a __________, a _________, an archetypal ______________ of what authentic Christian prayer consists of.

Acts 3:1; Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

Acts 10:1-3; Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, 2 a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God…

Don’t be surprised when God meets you in powerful ways as you give yourself to the humble ___________of faithful ____________.

II. PRAYERS TO THE _____________________ TRIUNE LORD

Vs 24b: “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them…”

Gen 1:1; In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

We cannot start with the _________ work of ___________, as glorious as it is as the crowning act of God greatest glory.

We are __________ rebellious, lost and blind, spiritually __________, dead in our sin.

Romans 8:7; For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.

Rom 1:20-22; For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools…

Ex 15:11: “Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

III. PRAYING THE _________ OF _________

Vss. 25-29: … who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’

Psalm 2 is applied to the Lord Jesus ______ times in the NT.

(Acts 13:33; Heb 1:5; 5:5; Rev 2:26,27; 12:5; 19:15.)

1 Pet 1:21; For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,

but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 57:20; But the wicked are like the storm-tossed sea, for it cannot be still, and its waves churn up mire and muck.

The whole world, its people and its leaders, are ____________.

Their _________ turns to ___________ and _____________.

Vs.27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

Psalm 2:3: “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

Mankind ________ and __________ against God and his people because they __________ God for His __________!

 Gen 11:4 “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves…

The church is suffering not only from ____________ Christianity that can’t save, but from a ___________ Christianity.

God’s moral Laws do not change just because you _________ them or try to ___________ not to _______ them.

Mal 3:6: For I the LORD do not change;

James 1:17: The Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change....

Rev 4:8: Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

Psalm 2:4-6; He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. 5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, 6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

Vs.28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

The best that they can do is to devise “a __________ thing,” a worthless __________

Acts 2:23-24; this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 24 God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death…

Psalm 76:10; Surely the wrath of man shall praise you…

IV. __________ __________ OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER

Vss.29-30; And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Luke 18:7–8; “Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”

(Psalm 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140.)

Romans 12:19; Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

CALVIN: Let the cruelty and reproaches of our enemies … stir up in us a desire to pray, than any whit discourage us from going forward in the course of our office.

Martin Luther: Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, it is laying hold of His willingness.


Acts 4:31; 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.

Matt 27:45: Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying… “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” … 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split… 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Matt 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.

Heb 12:26,28,29: “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens…” 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Ps2:10-12: Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.