This current Month of Prayer season I’ve begun to freshly look at the corporate prayer gatherings found in the book of Acts. One theme that I keep seeing over and over again is the power of agreement, unity, or the church being “in one accord.” Time and again the book of Acts records the church being in “one accord.” The word that is often used means to be of “one mind and one passion.” Implied nearly every time and often outwardly stated is that the church has assembled together in one specific place.
Scripture records times like in Acts 4 that when the church is assembled in one heart and mind in the place of prayer, the building is literally shaken. Furthermore, there are moments in Acts 12 where the church prays and a jail cell that is holding Peter is shaken and he is freed. The theme continues over and over again, when Jesus’ church gathers in His name, His Spirit is present to do one thing: anoint the prayers of the Church.
In Matthew18 Jesus makes an audacious claim: when we gather together as the church that He is building, we actually invoke the presence of God. Think of this, when we come together Heaven literally responds. Our feeble yet unified prayers and our often distracted worship, when offered together in faith, causes a release of His Holy presence in our midst in a way that no other enterprise, no other corporation, no other gathering of man can.
Interestingly enough, I wonder if Holy Spirit anoints our prayers because we’ve gathered together in unity or if we are to gather in unity in order to have Holy Spirit anoint our prayer. Moreover, it is in a place of prayer that Pentecost takes place. Regardless, He does. We cannot escape the reality that in the gathered church there is a power in prayer that is unlike any other gathering. Moreover, it is in the gathered praying church that prayers become empowered to accomplish something that a prayer by a single person could not.
Don’t miss the part that Acts 2 makes a point to state the disciples were “with one accord in one place” before Holy Spirit came. The result of Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost: is an exploding prayer gathering where a prophetic declaration of Jesus to people of many nations and tongues. Let’s see this clearly, the context of the day the Church was born and the Church’s first altar call was a multi-ethnic gathering where many nations being in one place
Psalms 133 connects these dots for us: where there is an abiding unity among brethren, there is a presence of the Holy Spirit, and it (unity) leads to a blessing of life evermore. Imagine that, life evermore is connected to fighting for unity, living in unity, and loving the unity we are called to. Could this be the reason that the moment Jesus talks about offering a life of abundance in John 10 as the Good Shepherd, that He immediately talks about sheep from “other folds” who will be a part of His one flock. Jesus is directly making reference to other ethnicities that He will draw in. For Israel (and us) the life of great abundance isn’t inspite of the other folds, but rather because of the other folds. Jesus’ singular praying flock is made up of many multi-colored folds. Sounds a lot like a house of prayer that is made up of the nations (Matthew 21, Zechariah 8.23, Amos 9).
Practically applied, this is where the gathered multi-ethnic church stands as the most powerful voice on the planet. I believe the farther distance one has to travel to reach unity, the greater the release of His glory. It’s as if Heaven rewards in a special way the farther the Church must “travel” to come into a place of unity.
To travel past preferences of our own.
To travel through presumption of each other.
To travel away from bitterness and un-forgiveness with each other.
To travel with honor of each other’s culture.
To travel leaning on each other in a place of needed and desired dependance upon each other.
Could it be that as Jesus’ Bride from every tribe, tongue, and nation comes together to pray, contend, intercede, and declare the purposes of God in a unified voice, She releases Heaven’s power in an unprecedented manner. Could it be so powerful, because in doing so we are bringing Revelation 14.7 into a reality: thus cause Jesus’ command of Matthew 6 to be a reality: Heaven’s will would be Earth’s.
As we come together this Saturday at our Prayer Summit and interweave our prayer traditions and intercession styles the blessing of God is released in a way that is unlike a mono-ethnic gathering. This upcoming week would you be willing to find your way to one of our morning prayer gatherings. Would you join your voice and heart with mine and this week lets shake Hampton Roads and along the way let’s recapture the wonder of the gathered multi-ethnic praying church.
– Joel Solomon