ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Snapshots From Acts, Number 5: Prayer

Updated on March 15, 2018


One of the characteristics of the teaching of Jesus and that of the early church was prayer. Jesus set the example in the many hours he spent in prayer. The prayer recorded in John's Gospel, chapter 17 is a great example. Here Jesus prays for himself, for his disciples and for all future believers.

As the Church was established and grew, the members prayed as they took the message out to the lost and as they faced persecution. Prayer is mentioned about 25 times in the Book of Acts. As we look at the way early Christians prayed it will surely help us to improve or introduce a meaningful prayer life in our Christian lives. While the world we live in has changed in so many ways, the need for serious and meaningful prayer remains. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Thessalonian Church, encourages them to pray continually (or pray without ceasing as some translations say).

The Book of Acts reports that when the disciples returned to Jerusalem after the ascension "they all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers". (1:14 N.I.V. translation) A confused and scared group of family members and followers in serious, constant prayer. As they made a decision as to who would replace Judas they prayed asking for God's help and guidance. (1:24)

When the first followers were added to the group by God (2:47), they "...devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to breaking of bread and to prayer".(2:42 N.I.V.)Prayer was then part of their lives and fellowship.

When Peter and John returned to their own people after being warned by the Sanhedrin to stop spreading the good news about Jesus, the people prayed. Luke records that "they raised their voices together in prayer to God". (4:23-26) God answered their prayer in a dramatic way: "After they prayed the place where they were meeting was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly". Prayer provided the power in the lives of the early Christians to proclaim the message and prayer also included praising God and thanksgiving.

Stephen prayed as he was about to be stoned by the Jewish leaders. (7:54-60) Cornelius, whose conversion is recorded in Chapter 10, is referred to as someone who prayed to God regularly. (10:2) In Caesarea Peter went up onto the roof of where he was staying, to pray. (10:9)

When Peter was put into prison by Herod, after James the brother of John had been killed, the church was earnestly praying for him. (12:5) Then follows the account of Peters miraculous release from prison by an angel, surely an answer to prayers answered. When Peter arrived at the house where the Christians were praying for him one of the really amusing events took place. When the servant Rhoda recognized Peter's voice she ran to inform the others. They refused to believe her, saying "you are out of your mind". Prayer answered but not really even expected to be answered.

As Paul and Barnabas were sent out by the church in Antioch, the church fasted and prayed. (13:3) Paul and Silas found Lydia in Philippi at a place of prayer, on the Sabbath. (16:13) In jail, after being arrested in Philippi, Paul and Silas were praying at midnight. (16:25) In saying farewell to the elders from Ephesus, Paul knelt and prayed. (20:36) The sailors taking Paul to Rome prayed as the ship was about to be wrecked (27:29). Paul prayed as he healed the father of the chief official of Malta. (28:8)

Some prayer thoughts from the book of Acts:

1. The early church spent a lot of time in prayer. It empowered them with boldness to proclaim the word.

2. Prayer identified people as being believers in God. but unbelievers also prayed and their prayers were answered.

3. People prayed when in a crises but also in thanksgiving.

4. Prayer then needs to be part of every believers life.

References:

Scriptures taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, Copyright 1973,1978,1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The "NIV" and "New International Version" trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)