Prayer is one of the foundational disciplines of the Christian life. Through the Holy Spirit we can have an intimate relationship with the Lord and reach out to Him at any time.
Have you ever wondered how believers in the early church handled prayer? Let’s take a look at prayer in the early church!
How Did They Pray?
The early church prayed together. The believers would be in one accord, pray together, and miracles would happen! Prayer meetings are as old as the church itself. The Bible is clear, in Matthew 18:20, that where two or three are gathered together in Jesus’ name, He is there in the midst of them.
Jesus often got alone to spend time with the Father. If Jesus needed to spend time alone in prayer, we can assume that we do, too!
Prayer is a key element to having a relationship with God. If we only talk to him when we are around other people, we do not have that intimate relationship with him that he desires and that we desperately need.
The early church prayed with scripture. Likewise, we should speak the promises of God over our circumstances.
The Word of God is our weapon in spiritual warfare – God’s word is alive and has power! Jesus Himself prayed with scripture and used scripture to defeat the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness.
All the Time
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul urges the church to “pray without ceasing.” This means we should have an attitude of prayer at all times.
Paul isn’t telling us to stop doing everything else and just bow our heads 24 hours a day to pray. Instead, prayer is to be an ongoing conversation with our Lord. He is always with us. We are to recognize His presence and realize that we can (and should) connect to our source at any time.
The early church understood that prayer can happen anywhere. They had their private place, what we would call a prayer closet, where they would spend time alone with God. They prayed in the temple. They prayed in each other’s homes. They prayed in prison. They even prayed in the street! Nowhere was off limits to God’s power through prayer.
What Did They Pray For?
The early church faced big issues and they addressed those issues with prayer. Some of the things they prayed for are common prayers today. They prayed for healing, for provision, and for boldness to witness to others.
Unlike today, they were living right on the other side of the Resurrection. It was still fresh in their minds and they had the faith to ask for things we sometimes consider too big to ask for in today’s society. They prayed that the dead would be raised. They prayed that prisoners would be set free. They prayed for miracles that are too huge to happen by coincidence. They weren’t afraid to ask for “the impossible” because they believed.
Guess what happened next. God answered their prayers! The dead were raised. The lame walked. Prisoners were set free. That power is still available to us today. All we have to do is believe!
We Need Your Prayers Today
God is still answering prayers – yes, even in today’s world.
Does your prayer life need a rehaul? Look at how members of the early church prayed and commit to add more prayer to your daily lives. Commit to not just pray for what we consider “doable,” but to also pray for “the impossible.” With God, all things are possible.