This little blurb hardly scratches the surface of a theology of prayer. Nonetheless, let it be a little reminder to heed the call to prayer in your personal life and the life of your church.
The Book of Acts records several instances that show the early church as an example for us to be just as devoted in prayer today as they were then. Of the small band of believers just before Pentecost, it was said, “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). Likewise, just after Pentecost, among other things, “they devoted themselves to . . . the prayers” (Acts 2:42). Instead of meeting the practical needs of the saints, the Twelve stated, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). When Peter was in prison and the church feared his martyrdom (Acts 12:1–3), “earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church” (Acts 12:5), throughout the night (cf. Acts 12:6–11), and so they were at “the house of Mary . . . where many were gathered together and were praying” (Acts 12:12).
Just as the Bible describes how Christians prayed, it also prescribes how Christians should pray. Since we are God’s house (1 Tim 3:15), we will incur God’s anger if we are not a people of prayer (cf. Isa 56:7; Matt 21:12–13). The church must pray for the needs of its members (Eph 6:18), and the church must pray for unbelievers as well (1 Tim 2:1–7). Men should lead in times of corporate prayer (1 Tim 2:8), and women should participate in prayer as well (1 Cor 11:4–5). The church must pray for the advance of the gospel (Acts 4:29; Col 4:3; Eph 6:19), and, as mentioned above, prayer must be a priority for those lead the church and who speak the Word of God (Acts 6:4).
Has the Spirit has moved in you to be more mindful of prayer due to your consideration of the handful of Scriptures quoted and referenced above? Do you attempt to be with our church during its times of corporate prayer on Sundays and Wednesdays? Not everyone can make it every time the church gathers for prayer, but when considering whether we are really unable to come or not, we must remember that some people find excuses to avoid the work of gathering for prayer, and others find the excuse of a time for prayer to avoid whatever would get in its way. Let’s pray to God that He would help us to fall into the latter of those categories and that He would help our churches to be people of prayer.
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.