A Praying People

“And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with GREAT POWER gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and GREAT GRACE was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of of lands or houses sold them, and bought the prices of the things that were sold. And laid them at the apostles feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need” (Acts 4:31-35).

There’s really no need for a commentary on this passage of Scripture. Powerful words indeed!

When the early church gathered together to pray the result was a Spirit-filled congregation, evidenced by GREAT POWER, GREAT GRACE, GREAT SACRIFICE, GREAT GROWTH, GREAT MIRACLES, and eventually, GREAT PERSECUTION! (Acts 4:31-37; 5:12-18).

Not only does a praying congregation move the Hand that moves the world, it also gets the attention of a lost and dying world!

The Book of Acts has been referred to as “The Gospel of the Holy Spirit.” I think we could also call it “The Church’s Prayer Manual.”  As we get closer to a New year and begin to finalize some of our goals for 2016, I am going to guess that most of us have prayer on the list of things we need to become “better” at in 2016. Concerning prayer, one author noted:

I often wonder what would transpire if every Christ-follower got serious about installing solid prayer practices into their lives. What kind of kingdom gains do you suppose would be made if each of us made pressing into God through prayer a nonnegotiable part of our everyday experience? I believe hearts would soften. Habits would shift. Faith would expand. Love for the poor would increase. Positive, purposeful legacies would be built. And a ravenous hunger would rumble through us all to get usable and to get used in significant ways by the one true God. We can make this happen in our lifetime, friend. And it all starts with learning, and loving, to pray.

Another author wrote:

It is not too much to say that all real growth in the spiritual life– all victory over temptation, all confidence and peace in the presence of difficulties and dangers, all repose of spirit in times of great disappointment or loss, all habitual communion with God– depend upon the practice of secret prayer.IMG_2782

And still another penned the following words:

Today the heart of God is an open wound of love. He aches over our distance and preoccupation. He mourns that we do not draw near to him. He grieves that we have forgotten him. He weeps over our obsession with muchness and manyness. He longs for our presence. … For too long we have been in a far country: a country of noise and hurry and crowds, a country of climb and push and shove, a country of frustration and fear and intimidation. And he welcomes us home: home to serenity …  Real prayer comes not from gritting our teeth but from falling in love.

IMG_2784God has always longed for, and been looking for a praying people.  People who long for His presence and for His power. As He was yesteryear, He is still looking today. 

Just reflecting on the importance of prayer!!!

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