Acts 4:31 is an excellent verse for our church as we launch into a new era with the beginning of construction of our new church campus. Here is what it says: “And when they prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, and they spoke the Word of GOD with boldness.”
Prayer was not really an option in the lives of those who comprised what is commonly referred to as “the early church.” Notice, the verse says, “When they prayed…” Like a field fire, the faith of these early Christians spread rapidly. Why? Passion. They were passionate about their faith – and their prayer lives reflected that fervency. Martin Luther once said, “If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.”
When they prayed, notice that “the place in which they were assembled was shaken…” When you and I begin to pray genuinely and with heart-felt emotion, the power of prayer is unleashed. Such praying can cause us to dream, “What can GOD do through me as I pray?” “What can GOD do through the church as I pray?”
As a result of their fervent praying, the believers in the early church “were all filled with the HOLY SPIRIT, and they spoke the Word of GOD with boldness.” This verse compliments Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the HOLY SPIRIT has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
I am reminded of the story of an event that took place in the early days of Dallas Theological Seminary. The school was in desperate need for $10,000 to keep the school open. During a prayer meeting, renowned Bible teacher Harry Ironside, a lecturer at the school, prayed this prayer: “LORD, you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of those cattle to help pus meet this need.”
Shortly after that prayer meeting, a check for $10,000 arrived at the school, sent days earlier by a friend who had no idea of the urgent need or of Ironside’s prayer. The man simply said the money came from the sale of some of his cattle!
As we begin the construction process, let us re-commit ourselves to being people of prayer. Let’s pray fervently. Let’s heed the wonderful promise of Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and might things, which you do not know.”