Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Experiencing God’s Power and Presence

 Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Some material taken from Finding Boldness Through Prayer 2

And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31

Experiencing God’s Power and Presence

There are a few examples of God’s presence in the Bible manifesting itself as shaking. When Paul and Silas were in jail, singing praises, the walls of the jail began to shake. That was the awesome power and majesty of God’s presence. Our walls will not shake with God’s presence and if they did, we would chalk it up to a powerful earthquake. We may not feel God’s presence in the same way these early Christians did, but His power and presence is just as real in our lives today. 

Though God is always present, there are times when the powerful presence of God goes undetected. Sometimes we do expect the walls to shake or to have a particular feeling before we believe God is present. If we don’t “feel” His presence, then He must not be present, but we know our feelings cannot be trusted. God can certainly be present, even if we don’t “feel” His presence. At Bethel, Jacob said "Surely, the presence of God was in this place AND I KNEW IT NOT!" Most of us can identify with this - realizing that we just came through an experience where God was surely present and we didn’t even realize it at the time.

God’s presence is not a feeling, although there may be times we truly feel His presence. Just as our salvation cannot be based on a feeling, we cannot base God’s presence in our lives on whether or not we feel it - thank goodness! The times we need His presence the most will likely be the times we may feel it the least. The circumstances of our lives can cause us so much turmoil that we may not feel like He is close at all. These are the times we hold to the promises of His word and we believe what the Bible says. The God of the universe cannot be considered real on the basis of our fragile human emotions. 

Prayer Keeps Us In Touch With the Presence and the Work of God

When we pray on a regular basis, we are going to have a closer relationship with God and be more aware of the presence of God than those who don’t communicate with Him. A relationship between two people cannot be built without communication. Prayer is part of what builds our relationship with God and it puts us in tune with Him and His work in our lives. We cannot recognize what we are not familiar with, and failure to pray can cause us to miss much of the work of God.

Prayer ushers the presence of God and the filling of His Spirit into our lives. It is the simple act of communion with God and seeking to glorify His Son that opens our hearts to Him. And the humble act of prayer is the vehicle for His power in our lives. 

When we come together as one with others and lift up our voices in unity, there is added power. In the passage above, Peter and John, having been in jail for preaching the gospel, were with their friends praising God for delivering them from jail, and asking for protection and boldness to preach the Gospel again. This faith and this unity and this adoration from this group of believers played an important part in what happened. The walls shaking with the presence of the Lord, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to preach the Gospel with boldness. 

The filling of the Spirit came because of prayer- even though they did not pray for that. They didn’t gather to have a party, they gathered to praise God seek the power of God to keep delivering the Gospel in boldness. God delivered them from the first crisis and filled them for this new one. 

Prayer was the first response of these early Christians, in the face of persecution and the unknown. They experienced the power and presence of God because of their faith in Him and their relationship with Him. When we have a relationship with God and build that relationship with regular prayer and communion with Him, we can also experience His power and presence in our lives.

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