Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Should We Pray Together?

Someone asked, "Why should I come to a prayer meeting?  I can pray just as effectively at home or wherever I am.  Why do we have to get together to pray?"  Sometimes it is better to answer that honest question with a picture rather than a theological explanation.  Here is the picture . . .

     After Jesus ascended into heaven, before Pentecost . . . "When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying... all these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus and His brothers." (Acts 1:13-14)
     Ten days later, when the Holy Spirit fulfilled the promise of Christ . . . "When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying... then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit..." (Acts 2:1-2, 4)
     At the end of that day after 3,000 had been saved... "And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers. . . house to house. . . " (Acts 2:42, 46)
      When the first persecution occurred. . . "After they were released, they went to their own fellowship and reported all... when they heard this, they raised their voices to God unanimously... When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God's message with boldness."  (Acts 4:23-24, 31)
     When inequality threatened the unity of the church for the first time, they selected 7 men to take care of all the widows, and ... "They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them." (Acts 6)
     When the leaders of the church began to be killed, and they could no longer safely meet in public to pray together... "So Peter was kept in prison, but prayer was being made earnestly to God for him by the church..."  after his release, he went to one of the houses "where many had assembled and were praying." (Acts 12:5, 12)

The question is not why I should pray together with other Christians or whether I should. The question is, "Why do you think that you should not be there, praying together with other Christians, as the body of Christ has done since its foundation?"