“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 spoke the word of God with boldness.” –Acts 4:31

Pentecost was the first great outpouring of the Spirit on the church, and this week we look at another great example from the 4th chapter of Luke-Acts. In both examples God gives physical demonstrations of his power—And in both God brings forth the fullness of the Holy Spirit. From both, God releases and encourages open and courageous prayer. Whatever else Pentecost is, it is truly an example and witness to the power found when faith filled believers join together in fervent prayer for God’s purposes and Gods work. It would have been very easy in the face of overwhelming challenges and even threat to personal safety for this group of believers and even for us today, to seek safety and lay low. But they persevered—they remained faithful and faith filled trusting in God’s goodness, God’s grace, and God’s abundant power.

This example of praying in the Holy Spirit is so relevant for us today because of the answer that came. This outpouring of the Spirit is exactly what is desperately needed in the church today because of the challenges that we face. These believers in the Book of Acts are ready. They are not willing to sit back and hide while they are threatened, but instead they are empowered for bold Gospel proclamation. Their boldness comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and from their understanding of God’s complete sovereignty in all things, even in their current situation. How about us today? Are we empowered, ready, willing, and able?

Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as the Rev. Fred Mast continues a summer series of messages focused on prayer in a message entitled “The Prayer That Brought Heaven to Earth”. Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 am featuring meaningful and uplifting music, special times of prayer and passionate life changing messages designed to move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ and others. Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always friendship.

Sedona UMC continues an eight-week adult study based on the New York Times Bestselling Book “The Circle Maker—Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears” by Mark Batterson. Two studies are happening—Tuesday mornings at 10:30 am at the church (110 Indian Cliffs Rd.), and Tuesday afternoons at 2 PM at the Gathering Place (1835 W. State Rte. 89A) in West Sedona. The entire community is welcome and invited—Please Call the church office for more details (928)282-1780.

We offer several weekly book and bible studies: Wednesday’s our Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s our Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you!—Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. All are welcome at Sedona UMC—Come and grow with us!