“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer…” (Acts 1:14)
“And they devoted themselves to…the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31)
“And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women…” (Acts 5:14)
I love biographies, especially those that are the product of painstaking, historical research. A well-written biography enables you to get inside someone else’s heart and mind and discover the priorities that directed the course of their life. The Book of Acts is like that. It’s a biography of the early church. Read the first few chapters and you’re left with a singular impression. These folks were seriously committed to corporate prayer, not just in principle, but in practice.
The turn of a new year is an apt moment to pause and ask, “What are we devoted to as a church family?” There are plenty of things we could do to help one another enjoy a growing relationship with God. There are all sorts of good things we might do to treasure Christ, pursue authentic community, and love our neighbors. But what should we be devoted to? If 50 years from now, a church historian writes a biography of KingsWay, what will they identify among our highest collective priorities?
The Word of God compels us to devote ourselves to prayer. It’s not flashy or original. It doesn’t tend to draw big crowds. But nor do most things that really matter over the long haul in church life. A faithful congregation doesn’t flit from one new initiative to another. A faithful congregation remains devoted to a handful of simple things, chief among them, the practice of corporate prayer.
And while we shouldn’t demand that God work today in the exact same way he worked in the book of Acts, nor should we conclude the Holy Spirit has taken an early retirement package. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Lord who imparted spiritual boldness and evangelistic fruitfulness in response to corporate prayer in the first century hasn’t stopped. The question is not will the Lord act powerfully in response to our prayers. The question is whether we will devote ourselves to prayer as they did.
We have six prayer meetings planned for 2020. The first is Sunday, January 12 from 6:30-8:00pm. Using the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 as a guide, we’ll work through four, twenty-minute prayer segments, all focused on interceding for new believers in our church. The rest of the dates for 2020 are listed below. I urge you to prioritize these meetings no less than you would our Sunday morning gatherings. The Lord is eager to answer when we lift our voices to him. Let’s be a church in 2020 that is devoted to prayer.
2020 Prayer Nights: January 12, March 15, May 17, September 20, November 15, December 13