“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.”
In the olden days, it was customary for most churches across North America to have mid-week prayer meetings. The Bible doesn’t mandate such a practice of course, but it does command us to pray often and with believing hearts (Luke 11:1-3, 18:1-8; Mark 11:24; James 1:5-7). In our local assembly we have chosen to retain the “old school” practice of having a mid-week prayer meeting in order to help fulfill the Bible’s mandates on prayer. We also do this in order to draw the saints together, to forge and deepen friendships as we learn about each other’s needs and to bring these things before the Lord for His tender care and ministry (James 5:16). Throughout my time at New Life Sanctuary Church, I have seen the Lord answer many desperate prayers. With every trial and threat posed against us, the Lord heard our supplications, provided for our needs, and made us to flourish in ways I could have hardly imagined. We really shouldn’t be surprised though. It is just like a loving Father to hear the requests of His children and to shower them with good things (James 1:17). Throughout the Scriptures we see God answering the corporate prayers of His people in amazing ways. When Nebuchadnezzar was breathing out murder against the wise men of Babylon, Daniel and his friends called an emergency prayer meeting. God responded to their fervent prayers and innocent human lives were spared (Daniel 2). The birth of the church, the mystical body and bride of Christ on the earth and the special custodian of His word, almost certainly occurred during a prayer meeting (compare Acts 1:14 with 2:1). Peter’s miraculous release from prison (and apparently certain death) occurred while the saints were gathered in fervent prayer for him (Acts 12:1-17). The great missionary journeys of the apostle Paul, which resulted in masses of people coming to know the Lord in a saving way across the Roman Empire, began in obedience to the voice of the Holy Spirit, Who issued His command in response to collective prayer (Acts 13:2). The great apostle likewise instructs us to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). As we see world events unfolding around us, we see Peter’s words, which add to and reinforce Paul’s instructions, are even more applicable today than when they were first penned. “But the end of all things is at hand,” wrote the spokesman for the apostles, “be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7). May God help us to be people who pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and may the Lord respond to our petitions in ways that will bless the household faith, and make us a blessing also.
God bless you today, dear saints!