“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).
New Testament Christians were praying Christians. The church was born at a prayer meeting on the day of Pentecost, and the disciples continued to pray as they went on their way proclaiming the good news of Jesus around the world. That really shouldn’t surprise us. The leaders of the church, the apostles, had gone to Jesus earlier and asked Him to teach them to pray. He did. Then He instructed them to teach others what He had taught them. From Jesus, to the apostles, to the first-century Christians, and down through the years to us, believers have taught and practiced prayer. As we focus on prayer in the book of Acts, we find that it was a core value of the early church. I doubt they used the term “core value” as we often do today, but the Scriptures indicate that prayer had a place in the key priorities of the church. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). There we find the core values or priorities of the church:
1. Apostles’ doctrine
3. Breaking of bread
Is prayer one of the core values of your church? Certainly we all give lip service to its value, but does prayer really find its way into the nuts and bolts of how you “do church”?
–Taken from the article: Learning to Pray at the Feet of the Early Christians by Dave Butts, author of Asleep in the Land of Nod: Thirty Days Toward Awakening the Church
Holy Spirit, I have not devoted myself fully to the priorities You have placed before me. How can I expect my church to be a house of prayer when I have not dedicated my heart to it? I ask You to transform me in ways that will ignite passion in others I worship with so that together we will be devoted to the Apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.
Praise the prayer-hearing God that his ear is attentive to your prayers. Give thanks for the privilege of coming into God’s presence and conversing with him through prayer. Confess any personal failure in your prayer life that you are aware of. Commit yourself to being a faithful intercessor. Ask that God will strengthen your prayer life and help you to pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayer, on all occasions, for all God’s people (Eph. 6:18).
Pray that your church’s leaders—pastors, elders, deacons, and others— may be filled with the Spirit and be effective in the ministries to which they are called.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend