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Iorg teaches believers to pray according to model in Acts
By Lauren Crane
The scene of the believers’ “prayer meeting,” as seen in Acts 4, is a good model for how Christians should approach God in prayer, Jeff Iorg said.
On February 24, the president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary said, “Hopefully you’re in a habit of having a regular, private prayer meeting with the Lord.” During a chapel service at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, he taught from the text of Acts 4:13-31, saying it is instructive of how to conduct a prayer meeting.
Looking specifically at verses 23-31, Iorg said the early believers first made sure they had the right perspective, before they ever asked the Lord for anything in prayer.
“Before you ask God for things, it is essential you get your perspective right,” he said. In seeing how the believers reminded God of his character and what he had done, Iorg said, “God did not need to be reminded – they did. The first part of a prayer meeting should be spent in God’s word getting your perspective right before asking him for anything.
“When we come to prayer, the focus must be on God’s power, his plan and his purposes. They saw God’s power and recounted the spiritual truths of how it was applicable to them,” Iorg said.
Secondly, he said, the believers requested things of God, after having gotten their perspective on track and having reminded themselves of the Lord’s power. Specifically, in verse 29 they asked the Lord for boldness to speak in the face of opposition.
“As a ministry leader, you too can come before God and ask him for whatever you need in your pressing ministry situation. Ask God specifically,” Iorg said. “What do you need right now? Ask him for money if you need money, boldness if you need boldness, leaders if you need leaders.
“We’re afraid to put God on the spot because we are afraid he won’t come through.”
Iorg said they asked for boldness and they got it, and so, all believers should ask God for what they need specifically, intentionally and boldly. “Ask God to work supernaturally to do what we don’t even know about but only God can do.”
The believers in Acts were not only praying for boldness, but for a miracle, sign or wonder. Iorg said they prayed in the context of a miracle, a healing, that had already taken place, and the miracle that followed was miraculous stewardship in the church, as seen in verses 32-27.
“The besetting sin of the Southern Baptist Convention is the rampant materialism and greed that marks our culture and our churches. Only 2.7 percent of money given to the SBC is given to the work of God,” he said. “God sees the whole globe at once and still sees the American church as the most prosperous and we still spend it on ourselves. Churches are going into debt to built palaces of ego rather than building the kingdom of God.”
Getting the right perspective of God and ourselves before approaching God in prayer will help believers to be able to rightly ask God for what they need and trust him to provide more than they need. By praying for boldness and signs and wonders, the early believers opened the door for God to more mightily move among them, resulting in a miracle of stewardship. This same miracle of stewardship is needed among the Southern Baptist Convention, Iorg said, but it will only follow a proper understanding of God and our relationship to him.
“Have a prayer meeting where you first get the right perspective, then ask God boldly for what you need right now,” Iorg said. “Finally, ask him for a supernatural movement of something you don’t even know you need.”
About Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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