In preparation for a sermon series on the church I’ve been reading Christopher Green’s “The Message of the Church.“ So far I’m very much enjoying it. I just finished reading the part where he comments on Acts 2:42 (They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer NIV). Here’s Green’s helpful summary explaining the early church’s devotion to prayer (using Acts as a portrait):
“They met ‘constantly’ (1:14), but also when a special need arose (1:24-25). They took part in the temple prayers (3:1), but also informally at home (4:24-31). They prayed spontaneously (3:1), but also define it as one of the two principle responsibilities of the apostles (6:4-6).”
“The rest of Acts fills out this pattern, and shows how inescapable prayer was in the early church. They prayed in prison (16:25), and for those in prison (12:5, 12). They prayed on their own (11:5) and together (12:5). They prayed indoors (12:12), outdoors (10:9), at midday (10:9) and midnight (16:25), in the Jerusalem temple (22:17) and in a Roman palace (26:29), at sea (27:29) and on a beach (20:36).
They prayed for non-Christians to be converted (26:29), and confused Christians to be filled with the Spirit (8:15). They prayed when they ate (2:46-47) and when they fasted (14:23). They prayed for the sick to be healed (28:8) and the dead to be raised (9:40). They prayed when their leaders were initially commissioned (14:23) and when they were given final responsibility (20:36). They prayed when they had just become Christians (9:11) and when they were seconds from death (7:60). They early church ‘devoted themselves to prayer.’
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI 54015