SHARE THE LIFE
Terry R. Baughman
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, ….” Acts 1:14 NIV
Noteworthy in the beginning of the Book of Acts church was a spirit of unity and prayer. The eleven disciples gathered in an upper room in obedience to the words of Jesus, “Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Rather than just sitting around waiting to see what was going to happen, they joined together in prayer. They were of one accord and their prayers were continual. This was not a ten second “now I lay me down to sleep” prayer, but a focused, insistent, communal prayer, as they united and waited to receive the “promise of the father” (Acts 1:4).
There was no time limit placed on the prayer meeting. This was not an occasion where they squeezed in a few minutes on Thursday for a quick prayer and devotion. This was not a prearranged meeting for a 24 hour prayer emphasis. This was a PUSH (pray—until—something—happens) prayer meeting. Jesus didn’t say how long this meeting would last. He didn’t set a limit on supplication or mark an end to entreaty. It was just until!
How often do we give God a time limit? We allot a segment of time for God to do His thing, and then we must be about our business. It’s a good thing Pentecost was in the year 33 rather than 2006. After three days of prayer most of us would have gone back to work and decided to wait for the next prayer conference, but the 120 in the upper room waited for a week and kept praying. After seven days they were still together, still united, and still praying! The response from God came on the Day of Pentecost!
They prayed together. I’m a loner in prayer. When I really want to talk to God I go for a walk or a drive alone. I seek a quiet room or a solitary place. There’s nothing wrong with a secret place of prayer. Even Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6). However, there is power in united prayer. Some dimensions of apostolic power can only be experienced when the church unites together in prayer. If “one can put a thousand to flight and two can chase ten thousand” (Deuteronomy 32:30), how much collective power is there when we agree in prayer for a purpose?
On the Day of Pentecost they were all in “one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1). Some have suggested that it took a week of prayer to get everyone in unity. I’m not so sure about that, but there was a focused sense of unity that prevailed in their prayer meeting. They were all together, all in agreement, all in prayer, “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Let us unite together during Summer Prayer Week for the singular purpose of apostolic power being restored to the church. We are The Pentecostals – let’s pray like it!