THE MOVE OF PRAYER IN THE EARLY CHURCH

 

Every move of God is birthed and sustained in the place of prayers

Before the showers came in Acts 2 the Apostles we were told lingered for many nights in the place of prayer. They waited until they were anointed. The scriptures records, 'These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren'(Acts 1:14). Even the women were not exempted. This was no weak church, it was a praying church and it was a powerful church.

Once the power came and the church was birthed with many souls added the Apostles wasted no time in institutionalizing the spiritual practices that made the church thick. Prayer became part of their daily spiritual routines (Acts 2:42).

‘42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.   43 And fear came upon every soul:  and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles’

In Acts 3 the apostles went up for the hour of prayer, ‘1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour’

Acts 4 saw them threatened and the response to that was not panicking but praying(Acts 4:29-31). When threatening will not derail their course, subtle distractions from within came, but rather than been side-tracked by them, the apostles vowed to continue in their spiritual addiction to the word and to prayers (Acts 6:1-4).

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.   2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.   3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.   4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word’

The critical phase of opening up the Gentiles to the gospel came while Peter was praying in Acts 10 of which he recounted again the experience in Acts 11. Acts 10:9-11 record this, ‘9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:  10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten:  but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth’

Eventually the mantle for that expansion of the gospel to the Gentiles fell on Paul when the Holy SPIRIT gave express instruction as regard this in Acts 13, and everything that happened thereafter from Acts 14 till the end came as a result of that encounter in Acts 13. Paul exploded on the pages of scriptures and history!

‘Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers;  as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.   2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.   3 And when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away’

Every step of the church was marked by prayers!

The church got empowered in the place of prayer (Acts 1:8). Receive strength and boldness there (Acts 4:29-31); received direction for the church’s next level in the place of prayers. (Acts 13:1-3). Wrought Deliverance (Acts 12:5). Wrought Healings (Acts 28:8) and impacted people and nations with the power of God(Acts 8:15)

Every landmark acts of the church were birthed in the place of prayers because the church upon its knees will bring heaven upon the earth!

Our present-day church seems given more to playing than to pray. More time is given to comedies and drama than is given to prayers! Even our children today don't know how to pray though they know how to play games! They were not like young Rhoda who was with the Apostles praying for Peter's deliverance! (Acts 12:13) and was also sensitive to anticipate answers to prayers! Our teens are vaster in social media matters than in spiritual matters!

Without prayer, the church is in danger of losing its power! But God in these last days will yet pour out the spirit of supplication and prayers upon a remnant few whose hearts are opened! Those whose hearts are opened to this will be positioned for greatness.

 

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