Devoted to Prayer: Acts 1:13-15
“13) When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. 14) These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. 15) At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,” Acts 1:13-15
This was the prayer meeting that shook the world. This gathering of 120 persons did not have a planning meeting about how they were going to fulfill the Great Commission, instead they focused on prayer. Seeking God in prayer and intercession was the methodology of the early church.
With one mind they continually devoted themselves to prayer. I must stress that prayer is not about prayer, it is about connecting and aligning with God. They spent the time between the ascension and the day of Pentecost seeking God in prayer.
It was in this prayer meeting and not at a board meeting that God welded them together in one mind. Through prayer God worked in them individually and He bonded them collectively. Just as Jesus launched His public ministry with 40 days of prayer and fasting, so the early church was launched through an extended prayer meeting.
They were following the command of Jesus Christ to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4) Tragically, as the church exploded with growth, they started neglecting prayer. Acts 6:4 records what I call “The Great Reset.” The Apostles cleared their schedules and returned to their primary calling; “4) But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word.”
Again we see the word “devote.” It means “To be devoted, to tarry, remain somewhere, to continue, remain steadfastly, to cleave to someone.” The idea is to cleave to God in prayer and continue in that relationship. Prayer became their primary focus from which the ministry of the Word was fueled and sustained in the early church.
The greatest way to align the modern church with the early church is through this devotion to continually seek God in prayer. This became the shared foundation of the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1-4), and it became the primary instruction from Paul to Timothy for building an effective ministry. (2 Timothy 2:1-8)
I want to stress this point, God gives His marching orders to His church through extended Prayer Meetings and not through elongated Board Meetings. Unity grows out of prayer meetings and not congregational meetings. God speaks to His people as they wait on Him in prayer and not as they focus on self agendas. The fire and fuel for ministry comes from prolonged times in Gods presence. By contrast, fleshly ministry is exhausting and leads to division and burnout.
These verses at the beginning of the book of Acts set the focus for the early church. Their primary calling was to seek God in prayer and from the resulting deep relationship forged with God they were to embark on ministry in the world. The early church was God-centered and not man-centered. It was God-focused and not self-focused. It prioritized Prayer Meetings far above Planning Meetings.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
Devoted to Prayer: Acts 1:13-15