Prayer For a Crisis
“. . . they all lifted up their voices . . .” Acts 4:24
The qualities of faith are more caught than taught. It’s one thing to be told what to do, it’s another to be shown, than to try to do it yourself. That’s why all issues of life are discipleship issues. We need Godly, healthy examples to follow.
This is the reason these verses are so attractive. They give us a beautiful and practical description of a healthy church. Take a moment to look at your Bible, read verses 23-37. Their prayer is filled with verbs. There is positive motion. God-driven, Spirit-inspired action. In reading these verses, we can learn from their ways.
When the early church faced a crisis and were in need of help, the text doesn’t say they prayed. It shows us how and what they prayed. If we pay attention to the content and focus of their prayer, we can learn a lot. We are given a pattern of how we are to pray when we face a personal or corporate crisis.
There are 141 words in this prayer. A 104 of them are in praise to God’s great power. They recount His greatness as maker of heaven and earth. They review scriptures’ declaration of His power. They recall how His power was displayed in turning the conspiracy to crucify Jesus to work out God’s plan of redemption. After focusing their attention on God’s power, they make a request. And their request is specific and to the point.
The early church is teaching us something about praying through a crisis. We should learn from them how to pray – both in content and concentration. Out of 141 words, 104 are in praise of who God is. That means 70% of their prayer wasn’t concerned with their needs at all. It was concerned with God. They strengthened their faith and God responded. What a challenge to us!!
Do you come to God making only requests? Are you giving substantial time in your prayer to remember who He is? Or do you, like the early church, first affirm your confidence in God’s great power, and then make your requests, assured that because God is God, He can and will respond?