Bible Reading: Acts 4:23-31
The most powerful movement in history began in a prayer meeting when those present were in agreement with God and with one another. The result was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
Praying together was a critical, not peripheral, part of life in the early church. At the end of Acts chapter 2 we read of the four components of early church life. The believers devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. They met together every day in public places and in homes to eat together, to pray and to praise God [Acts 2:46]. They prayed together after the release of Peter and John [Acts 4:24], and the church was praying for Peter when he was in prison [Acts 12:5,12]. The church leaders in Antioch were together praying and fasting [Acts 13:1-4]. One of key aspects of each of these examples from the Book of Acts is that they were “together.”
Praying alone in the quiet place is powerful, but praying together in unity with other believers has an even greater effectiveness and strength than praying alone. Recently a group of Christians from South Korea were asked what they believed was biggest stronghold hindering the advance of the gospel in the United Kingdom. Their remarkable response to that question was individualism!
Agreement in prayer is more than having the same opinion. It is to know the mind of God and together agree with Him in our praying. In Amos chapter 3 there are two remarkable verses that relate to prayer. The first is “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” [Amos 3:3]. The children of Israel were not in agreement with God. You cannot do anything that God wants you to do if you are not in agreement with Him.
The second verse is Amos 3:7 – “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless he reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” Here is the secret of powerful praying together – to be in agreement with God and praying together according to His will. There is nothing more powerful than praying together in community, and as one prays out loud in a language understood by all, those present can declare agreement and say “Amen.” As we pray together in this way we can understand and agree with what is being prayed, but also those who are less bold to prayer openly in public will learn how to pray.
In the early church people were often together praying. Why do you think that today the prayer meeting in churches tends to be one of the meetings with the poorest attendance?
If you are not in the habit of praying with others would you consider meeting with others to pray, either in your local church prayer meeting, or in small groups with your friends? When do you plan to do this?