Everywhere you look in the Book of Acts the disciples are praying, and as a result, remarkable things happen. The Book of Acts is like a handbook on prayer and prayer is the trigger that sets God into action.
This is true from the very first chapter, where the first believers gathered in an upper room, and “these all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (1:14). That was the church’s foundation – it all got started through prayer. Then came the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down upon them, and they prayed in tongues and Peter preached and 3,000 new believers were added.
Afterward, all these new Christians “continued steadfastly…in prayer (2>42). When opposition against them and their message heated up, “they raised their voices to God with one accord” (4:24). God’s response was quick and awesome: “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (4:31).
The apostles made prayer a top priority (“We will give ourselves continually to prayer” – 6:4). We see the church praying when deacons and elders were selected (6:5-6, 14:23) and when apostolic teams are sent out (13:3). And we see prayer when they faced emergency needs, such as when Peter was thrown into prison (12:5, 12).
There was no such thing in those early days as a powerful church without prayer…just as in our day there will never be such a thing as a powerful church without prayer. “Well,” some may say, “those were New Testament days, and we are beyond that now.” But if you trace the life of the Church of Jesus Christ from 2,000 years ago all the way up to this moment, you will discover that all the great moves of God and the wonderful revivals and awakenings of Church history were fuelled by the power of prayer.
So it is that God has made certain things dependent upon prayer, things that will never be done unless we pray. Could God do whatever He chooses without our prayer? Of course, But God has determined that He will use the prayers of His people to accomplish His purposes of salvations and redemption on this earth, and His purpose of bringing glory to His Name for all eternity.
It is time for disciples and then the Church to take prayer and the power of prayer seriously and put it first in the life of the Church.