On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” Acts 4:23-24 NIV
How did the early church pray? First, they gathered together in unity. Second, they praised God by recalling His mighty works. They prayed in faith, not in doubt. They prayed to an almighty God they knew was in control before asking Him for help.
To silently pray by yourself in a door-shut room is one thing, but to pray together with fellow believers is another. We don’t realize how a movement of believers can impact others. There is power in praying with people who share the same faith as you. This Scripture also means that they had one mind. Note that it did not say, “they prayed all at once”; it said that they “raised their voices together.” This means that the Holy Spirit worked to align what they have in their minds.
In our time today, we only pray when we feel helpless and hopeless. We make prayer our last resort and not our immediate response. We try to take control first, and when nothing goes as expected, we cry to God for help. We often find ourselves in desperate need first, before running towards God. Contrary to what the early Christian community did, prayer was always their first resort whenever they encountered a crisis. When they said “Sovereign Lord,” they knew Who they prayed to.
A lot of times, we forget Who it is we pray to. We pray to an imaginary God that we made up in our minds. We view Him like a Genie who will always respond to what we ask, or Santa Claus, who will give us what we wish for. We make wishes and challenge the Lord through signs. And if we do not like the outcome, we get disappointed in Him. We get too focused on the idea that He is a savior. But the truth is, God is more than that. Sure, He will indeed rescue you. But isn’t prayer supposed to glorify Him alone and not just to ask for help?
If you look closely in your life, you will realize that there is so much beauty in allowing God to take control of your life before making decisions that you think are right and good. And because of the prayerfulness of the first followers of Christ, they experienced the God who never fails. So as much as you can, pray with other believers as well. May we let God find us fervently praying with complete reverence for Him.