Prayer is vital to building healthy churches. In Acts 4:23-33 we discover a meeting with “front-line” prayers that are after God’s kingdom purposes. Let’s see how they prayed.
A. They went to their own friends (v.23)
God calls us together into a church community. The Church is not a meeting you attend, but rather a family. Relationships are the key to life. “Two are better than one… for if one falls, his partner may help him” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
Relationships are also the key to multiplied strength. “One can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight” (Deuteronomy 32:30). They lifted their voices in passionate, intense prayer. Power is multiplied when we gather to pray.
B. They told God who He was (v.24)
Notice what they begin with: “Sovereign Lord.” They were driven to prayer by opposition but they tell God, “You are the Sovereign Ruler.” God is over all earthly powers. For example, Caesar’s decree that the world be taxed brought Mary to Bethlehem. God is Sovereign, not Caesar.
These believers prayed God’s Sovereignty. Their enemies thought they were doing their own will; but they were really fulfilling God’s will. What set this prayer meeting apart is that the Church knew He was God.
C. They told God what He had done (v.24)
“You made the heaven and the earth…”
It is good in prayer to remind ourselves of how big God is and all He has done. God has done some very big things. He bent the will of an obstinate Pharaoh. He divided the Red Sea. He shut the mouths of lions. He established your church. In prayer, we recall all He has done. This stirs worship in us and gives us confidence and clarity as we pray.
We’ll glean more from this prayer meeting in my next blog…