Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

The Heartbeat Of The Early Church

23 April 2023

A few weeks ago, at the Leaders’ Advance Day, Pastor Matt was reminding us all of where we have come from and the journey we have taken to get to GoChurch as it is today.

 

One of the key moments was when all the founding pastors decided to join their churches together to enable us to do something that would produce more fruit.  This was obviously a great idea but required some amazing decisions from all of our leaders.  It also only happened because of the time and consistency that all of them had put into praying together.

 

Throughout the chapters that we are reading this week, this keeps jumping off the pages at me!  The early disciples seem to spend a lot of time in prayer and not just praying on their own but praying as a group together.

 

From the beginning of the book of Acts we see that, “they all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14), so this was clearly their lifestyle and the culture of the early church.

 

This week we see in the story of Peter’s miraculous escape from prison that “the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” (Acts 12:5)

 

The early church knew that prayer worked and so when faced with needing to see a victory for their leader, they stepped up the praying and it appears that they prayed all through the night.

 

In the next chapter, when Paul and Barnabus are set apart to do what God wants, we see a group of people praying and fasting.  This wasn’t a promotion or men following after what they wanted to do, but this entire ministry was birthed out of prayer.

 

Paul and Barnabus then follow on this pattern when they appoint the elders in each of the churches.

“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord” (Acts 14:23)

 

It is often these little phrases in the chapters we read that tell us more and show us the keys behind all of the successes and victories.

 

Recently I have been challenged to step up my prayer time, both as a response to situations we have faced but also because more generally I have felt the drawing of the Holy Spirit to do so.  I have also found myself praying in tongues a lot more over the last few months.

 

I think many of us would agree that we are beginning to enter into a move of God that is going to see amazing things happen, but I am also reminded from the readings this week that this will be enabled through prayer.

 

The disciples and the early church devoted themselves to prayer.  It wasn’t a one-time wonder or a casual attendance at a prayer meeting, but a way of living.  It was at the heart of everything and it was from this that they saw the incredible miracles, ministry and victories, no matter what circumstances they faced.

 

I am sure that like me you are finding the Lord drawing you into a greater desire for prayer and so this week as you read through the different chapters take some extra time to pray about what God shows you and how it can apply to your life.  Pray, as well, for the whole GoChurch family as we read together that the spirit of wisdom and revelation would be in operation.  And next time your church puts on a prayer meeting, be the first one there!


Photo of Mark Walker

Mark Walker

Assistant Pastor
GoChurch Manchester