In all too many congregations, prayer has become only a way of opening and closing meetings and a means of expressing concern for the sick and hurting. In the book of Acts, believers didn’t simply say that they were devoted to prayer; they demonstrated it by their actions.
Acts 1:14 – “They all joined together constantly in prayer.”
Acts 2:42 – “They devoted themselves…to prayer.”
Acts 3:1 – “…going up to the temple at the time of prayer…”
Acts 4:24 – “…they raised their voices together in prayer…”
Acts 12:12 – “…where many people had gathered and were praying.”
Acts 13:3 – “…after they had fasted and prayed…”
Acts 20:36 – “…he knelt down with all of them and prayed.”
If New Testament Christians saw the importance of praying together, shouldn’t we do likewise? Most would agree that it’s a good thing for Christians to pray together, but we must move beyond mere intellectual assent and take specific action steps. We must provide good teaching from our pulpits and classrooms concerning the importance and value of corporate prayer. A wide variety of prayer opportunities need to be offered for the church, focusing on many needs and topics. We need to be less anxious about the numbers who attend these prayer meetings. A small gathering of three or four people praying can make a real difference.
–Taken from the article: Learning to Pray at the Feet of the Early Christians by Dave Butts, author of The Devil Goes to Church: Combating the Everyday Attacks of Satan
Glorious God, forgive my prayerlessness – especially with others! Give me a deep desire to come together with like-minded believers to pour out our hearts before You! May my actions follow my desire so that I may continually be available to be the answer to my prayers for others. Draw me close so I may sit in Your Presence with no agenda other than to be with You.
Praise Jesus Christ for his incomprehensible humility. Thank him for humbling himself to die on the cross that you might be set free. Confess any pride, egotism, or boastfulness you find in yourself. Commit yourself to doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility considering others better than yourself (Phil. 2:3). Pray that you may have the mind of Christ in all matters such as priorities, goals, time management, vocational choices, relationships, and recreation.
Pray for the church throughout the world that its divisions may be healed, its leaders endowed with the Spirit’s power, its people filled with zeal for the cause of Christ, so that the church may increase daily and the kingdom be advanced.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend