Nowhere does the value of the church praying emerge more clearly than in the book of Acts with the ministry of the early church. Acts demonstrates a church that works. The book of Acts is more than a history of the early church. It is the chronology of the prayer-based activity of the first multiplying church network.
It’s important to see the ways God built the early church through prayer. When reading Acts, prayer constantly appears on the scene as the mission unfolds. Note how prayer is a part of these occasions:
- The church is born in an extended prayer meeting (“devoting themselves to prayer” Acts 1:13,14)
- Prayer is a part of choosing leadership. (“And they prayed and said, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one” Acts 1:24-25).
- Prayer results from the Spirit’s empowering. As the Holy Spirit fills believers, they immediately gather in homes to pray (“and they devoted themselves…to prayer” Acts 2:4, 42-47).
- On the way to prayer, a man is healed and revival breaks out (Acts 3:1-10).
- An external crisis drives the church to prayer (Acts 4:27-31).
- An internal conflict leads the apostles to prioritize their time of prayer together (Acts 6:1-6).
- Prayer is prominent as persecution begins and Christians are scattered (Acts 8:1-2).
- Prayer is vital to bringing the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 11:14-18).
- Prayer is instrumental in Peter’s escape from prison (Acts 12:1-9).
- Prayer gives birth to the first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3).
- Prayer is instrumental in Paul’s second missionary journey (Acts 16:6-10).