TEXT: Acts 1:12-14
12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 202 messages in this series.
This is message #203 titled, The Church Was Birthed Through Prayer, Part 3
Today, we continue looking at how the early church began, and the three things the first believers did after Jesus’ ascension that made the launch of the church successful.
The first thing we saw from this text is that the disciples were obedient. They obeyed Jesus’ command for them to go back to Jerusalem and wait there for the coming of the Holy Ghost.
The second thing we saw from this text is that the disciples were unified. The first disciples and the women who were with them were all “in one accord.” They were single-minded in their purpose to glorify God and to preach the Gospel on Earth.
Finally, we see today that the third thing the disciples did is that they prayed. The Bible says, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.”
The word “continued” emphasizes the fact that they engaged in consistent prayer for an extended amount of time. We know that after Jesus rose from the dead, He spent forty days showing Himself to His disciples and continuing to teach them, and we know that Pentecost occurred on the 50th day after the Passover. So, from Jesus’ ascension to the Passover, there were 7-10 days in which Jesus’ disciples were in the Upper Room praying and preparing to receive the Holy Ghost.
The disciples were also united in prayer. There were many of them praying together in the upper room. They had what Korean Christians of days gone by called a “concert of prayer.” Because they all desired the same thing from the Lord, there was no confusion in the upper room even though many people were praying all at once. Even “the women” who had followed and supported Jesus throughout His ministry were present, which would have normally not been the case under first century customs. But, as Paul wrote, ‘There is neither male nor female’ in the body of Christ. That division was gone, and all the saints were on one accord.
The word “supplication” indicates that they were earnest in their prayers. To supplicate is to plead, to almost beg, to ask from a position of humility and desperate need. The early Christians knew that they would need the power of God and the Spirit of God if they were going to be successful and fruitful in fulfilling the Great Commission.
Matthew Henry said, “It was now a time of trouble and danger for the disciples of Christ. They had a great work to do, and before they entered upon it, they were earnest in prayer to God for his presence. They were waiting for the descent of the Spirit, and abounded in prayer. Those are in the best frame of mind to receive spiritual blessings, who are in a praying frame of mind. Christ had promised shortly to send the Holy Ghost; that promise was not to do away with prayer, but to quicken and encourage it. A little company united in love, exemplary in their conduct, fervent in prayer, and wisely zealous to promote the cause of Christ, are likely to increase rapidly.” And that is exactly what happened with the early church because they were wise enough to gather in an upper room and pray.
Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray?
In the name of Christ, our Savior,
Did you sue for loving favor
As a shield today?
When your heart was filled with anger,
Did you think to pray?
Did you plead for grace, my brother,
That you might forgive another
Who had crossed your way?
When sore trials came upon you,
Did you think to pray?
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.
What the first believers did before the Holy Ghost came is just as important as them receiving the Holy Ghost. Their actions serve as a guide for us today. Before God acts, how will we, as His people, act? Will we be obedient? Will we be unified? Will we pray?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.