Why we Must UNITE in Prayer ~ Bill Elliff – The Summit Church…
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14)
Ask anyone who knows you well and they will easily be able to tell about your ways. “Well, he always does (this).” “If you approach him this way, it will be better because …” There are certain things about how you function—your operating systems!
Just as you have your ways, God has his. And they are easily recognizable. Earlier believers often spoke of the “means of grace.” These are the things He has set in motion for us to utilize that would accomplish His desired ends and give His children what they need for life and godliness. The means by which we access the grace of God. The Word of God, preaching, worship, communion, etc. are all in this category. These are beautifully catalogued for us in the closing verses of Acts, Chapter 2.
We don’t invent these, we cooperate with God in humility, using His means. And, if we do, He will graciously respond, giving us, and those with us, more than we can think or imagine.
THE FOUNDATIONAL MEANS…..
… of God’s grace is prayer. We often view prayer as a side-room, but it is the foundation. We have no real relationship with God unless we pray. (How would a marriage be described if husband and wife never talked with each other, communicated needs, hurts, desires and daily business?)
Our life begins with prayer (“Whoever CALLS on the name of the Lord will be saved”) and is developed and sustained by prayer.
If Christ is the Head of the church, how can we possibly say that we are a church if we do not let Him speak to us and spend large amounts of time communing with Him?
THE EARLY CHURCH…..
… understood this. In Acts 1:14 you find them doing exactly what Christ told them to do and what would bring about all the desired results they longed for. They were learning, just as they had seen for three years as they walked with Jesus, that the primary means of moving forward in God was to commune with the Father. And, notice each phrase:
“these all” (no one was absent, for this was the highest priority)
“with one mind” (prayer led them to perfect unity, for in prayer, you are humbled before God)
“were continually” (there was no thought of anything else—it was their habitual practice)
“devoting themselves” (to be devoted means to “be strong towards” and they were, Individually, making the choice to pray together)
“to prayer” (the primary, foundational means of getting God’s work one)
OUR PRAYER SUMMIT…..
… has been a humble, 25-year attempt to do the same. We have sought to come together, continually, with one mind to pray. Each year that this happens, amazing results occur. There is always an increase in unity, connection, and instruction and direction from God about our city. And spiritual momentum occurs.
The sad reality is that many don’t view this moment as foundational. But those of us who have attended have experienced it and believe.
What would happen if every pastor in the city joined together, for two days every year, in prayer?
Before you brush aside the idea, read the rest of Acts, Chapter 1 and 2 and see the explosion of God’s grace when His leaders “all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.”
There is more at stake than any of us realize. United prayer is uniquely irresistible to God, and Central Arkansas needs the spiritual awakening that could occur when God’s leaders pray together!
Bill Elliff is the founder and Senior Teaching Pastor of The Summit Church in North Little Rock, Arkansas. His passion is to see both genuine revival and methodological renewal in the church—both new wine and new wineskins. He is a frequent conference speaker, writer, and consultant to churches drawing from his 47+ years of pastoring and revival ministry. Author of 11 books, Bill is also the Pastor/Church Director for OneCry! A Nationwide Call for Spiritual Awakening.