They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42
We can learn much about becoming a praying church from the book of Acts. In fact, this Jerusalem congregation, this “first church,” this “mother church,” is a model. And it challenges every phase of our assembly life today.
I have read portions of the book of Acts hundreds of times and some portions more than a thousand times. Finally it hit me: What is the story of this Jerusalem church? It is the story of one small praying congregation of about 120 members in an upper room in the city of Jerusalem which got on fire for God and went on to change the world!
That says it! What a revealing and revolutionary discovery! If you were to ask me what is the greatest discovery I have made regarding the truth of the church, I would have to say it is this: When Jesus built the church, He built a praying congregation! To put it even more plainly: When Jesus built the church He built a prayer meeting! This is the prime truth. The prayer meeting had priority in the Jerusalem congregation. We must rethink this whole matter with deep concern and with earnest prayer.
Lord Jesus, Your desire for Your Church was to seek Your face for Your kingdom purposes to be accomplished on this earth as in heaven. Yet, we have neglected this vital doctrine so clearly illustrated in Your Word. Help me to seek You with greater diligence and purpose, Father! And, may my church fully understand this truth and cultivate a deep longing to become a house of prayer for all nations!
–Adapted from With One Accord in One Place: The Role of Prayer in the Early Church by Armin Gesswein. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God as the one worthy of the worship of our entire lives (Rom. 12:1-2). Give thanks for God’s mercy shown to you personally. Confess times of conforming to the pattern of this world. Commit yourself to the continual renewing of your mind. Ask God to be true to his promise that you will be able to test and approve what is his will.
Pray that each of God’s people will be reminded of the different gifts he or she possesses, according to the grace of God (12:6). Ask that they be further equipped through worship to use those gifts for God’s kingdom (12:7ff.).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.