“They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Acts 1:14
Jesus said in Matthew 21:13 that His house shall be called a house of prayer. It appears that His followers were obedient to this call as prayer is the first activity noted for the newly forming church. Not only were they praying together physically but they were “joined together” which in Greek means with one mind and passion. Again in Acts 2:42, they were described as being “devoted to prayer.” Charles Spurgeon once said, “If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of the first tokens of His absence will be a slothfulness in prayer.” The early church apparently knew this because they depended on God with a passion for prayer that is demonstrated throughout the book of Acts.
The early church prayed together before choosing leaders (1:24). They prayed for God’s enabling to speak His Word with great boldness and to perform miracles in the name of Jesus (4:29-30). They prayed earnestly for those imprisoned (12:5 & 16:25). They prayed before sending people out who were being called into service by the Holy Spirit (13:2-3). They prayed when in danger (27:29). When they prayed, God answered. Believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, people were healed, many believed in Jesus, the Word of God was boldly spoken, the gospel was supernaturally communicated, places were shaken, prison gates were opened, people were rescued and chains came loose. Amazing things happen when God’s people are joined together in steadfast prayer!
Communal prayer must have been important to Jesus. When He taught the disciples to pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), He said, “give us”, “forgive us”, ”lead us” and “deliver us”. He promised that where we gather together in His name, He is also there (Matthew 18:20). Is your church known for being joined together in steadfast prayer? Are you participating in that effort? Are you, as I am, longing to see more of God’s power and glory? Prayer is a conduit to that power. Tim Keller said that the only factor that is present in every revival is “corporate, intense, prevailing prayer—not for personal needs, but for the presence and reality of God among His people.” Let’s begin a revival of praying together in our churches that brings a revival of His glory and power in the world.
Prayer: Dear Almighty God. Thank you for the gift and power of prayer. Forgive us where we have become slothful in that work. Make us people devoted to and united in prayer. Cause the churches we attend to become your houses of prayer. We ask for your enabling to do great things in your name and for your glory. Through passionate, steadfast prayer and the power of your Spirit, may we speak boldly, communicate your gospel supernaturally, free people from their chains, answer your call to service and shake the world up so that others will turn to you and be saved. Lord, begin a revival in us. In the name of Jesus Christ, to who all glory and power and honor belong. Amen!