“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God…”
Think of unified prayer as an electrical circuit. There is a collaboration among elements to form an electrical circuit. There is a point of origin called the source, and another point called the return. Another name for the return is “earth ground,” which is perfect for this illustration.
In the electrical circuit electrons traveling the pathway always return to the source, thus completing the electrical circuit. Think of the power source as heaven, and the “earth ground” the Church. The electrons are the Spirit inspired prayers which flow from heaven to the unified praying Church, thus, always returning to the source…circuit complete – power released!
The Church in our passage was an inspired, unified, praying Church. They were neither frightened nor intimidated when they heard about the threats of the Religious leaders. Having no political influence or connections with friends in high office who can speak on their behalf, they simply took their case before God the judge of all the earth, and relied upon Christ their representative before the highest court.
Their first response to these threats was to go immediately to God in prayer. It’s worth noting that the word “voices” in verse 24 is in the singular, which implies absolute unity. The Church literally spoke with one voice to God, united behind one purpose, the implication is that heaven heard one voice. The Church had no need for political power while they were passionately united in one heart and one mind before God – the source of all power…circuit completed.
Nothing is Impossible
Immense power is generated by the united purposeful actions of like-minded people, making nothing impossible to them. This was clearly demonstrated in building the tower of Babel. In Genesis 11:6 “The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” If God said such a thing is possible with those united in rebellion, how much more so with those united in obedience? “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
The Church was so tightly joined together in Christ and His purpose that even the building shook as a result of their united praying (circuit completed). The quality of their united praying generated so much power that heaven’s answer was swift; changing both the circumstances, and the people who were praying. “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly“ (Acts 4:31).
The Power of Unity in God’s Presence
When the Church stands united in prayer the Lord is in the middle of it. Jesus said: “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19-20).
The reality of Christ with us when we pray as one person with one voice is astounding in its implications and possibilities. The operations of the Spirit are released through a unified faith aligned with the purposes of God. There are no excuses for local churches not to be experiencing the fullness of the Spirit in their prayer meetings. Many of you have been in prayer meetings where the atmosphere was charged with the Presence of God, That’s a completed circuit on the order of Acts 4:31.
United prayer obtains powerful answers. It has a contagious unifying effect transforming the culture of an entire church. Genuine unity in Holy Spirit empowered prayer meetings will call the Church to action; transforming the people, their families, their church, and their community. When local Churches join together with one voice in prayer and action; God will transform their cities, states, and eventually their nation.
An Open Heaven
United Prayer creates an open heaven over a Church. The commitment to pray and live together in unified obedience pushes back the powers of darkness (light always displaces darkness). There comes a noticeable change in the atmosphere whenever that congregation assembles. Prayer and worship seems to flow easier under an open heaven. The spirit realm becomes more of a reality to the Church allowing God to move freely as He pleases. A unified yielded Church is a powerful weapon in the hands of an Almighty God!
Commit yourself to united prayer in your Church. It only takes two or three to change the dynamics of prayer with the Lord in the midst of it. Expect great things to happen when you pray together. Seek God’s agenda for your church and your city. Be committed to the process, Be bold in the face of opposition, Be fearless in the face of threats, Be committed to seeking God under an open heaven, Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, see Him answer miraculously, and Be Encouraged! -JSP