Summary: Great prayer meetings in the Book of Acts.
GREAT PRAYER MEETINGS IN THE BOOK OF ACTS
I. INTRODUCTION - This was a great prayer meeting because of the following reasons:
A. The results - Many things happened when they prayed.
1. An earthquake took place.
2. Everyone was filled with the Holy Spirit.
3. A multitude of people got saved.
4. Many people made deep commitments to surrender everything to Jesus Christ.
5. There was a great outpouring of money to the church for the care of the needy.
B. This prayer meeting took place in the face of persecution. Peter and John had been arrested and when they had "threatened them, they let them go and finding nothing how they might punish them . . ." (Acts 4:21)
C. It was grounded in praise to God and thanksgiving for His protection.
II. They Prayed in Small Groups.
A. After Peter and John were released, the Bible says, "Being let go, they went to their own company." Acts 4:23) The word company was a part of the larger group. This church broke up into small groups, so they could be more intimate in prayer and to give everyone an opportunity to pray.
B. As a result of this great prayer meeting, "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart." Acts 4:32) In this verse, we see that the word multitude is singular. This refers to the entire church, which by this time had over 25-35,000 believers. All of them were impacted by this prayer meeting.
C. A little bit later people got saved and the Bible noted, "Believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and of women." (Acts 5:14) The Greek work here for multitude is plural, meaning more than one small group of people. At Thomas Road Baptist Church, we have one large membership, and one large worship service, but many adult Sunday School classes. All of the people at Thomas Road would be called a "multitude" (singular), but the Sunday School classes would be called "multitudes" (plural).
III. The Results of This Prayer Meeting
A. An earthquake - The Bible noted that ". . .the place was shaken where they were assembled together." Acts 4:31) Some people believe the shaking was that the people were so greatly influenced, that they were shaken up and their old lethargy was gone. But I believe that the word "shaken" means that it was a physical shaking of the property. God visited them with an earthquake.
B. All filled with the Holy Ghost - When a person is filled with the Holy Ghost, it means that he has surrendered himself to God, to let the Holy Spirit control his life. A few people mistakenly think that the Holy Ghost comes upon some people as a result of a deep experiential prayer meeting. But the Bible teaches that every believer should be "filled with the Spirit." (Eph. 5:18) This is a command and it is given in the tense that means "be continually filled with the Holy Spirit."
Every time we come to a prayer meeting, we ought to be filled with the Spirit. Every time we have our devotions, we ought to be filled with the Spirit.
Again, let me repeat: To be filled with the Spirit is not to give more of the Holy Spirit, but to let the Holy Spirit give more of you. You yield to the Holy Spirit, allow His will to operate through you, and seek His power. And when the people are filled with the Holy Spirit, it becomes a great prayer meeting.
C. Great evangelism - As a result of this prayer meeting, "they spake the Word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed. . . ." (Acts 4:31,32)
Out of every great prayer meeting comes the passion to win souls. Let me tell you what happens. First, God works in the heart of the Christians who are yielded to Him. This passion to win souls drives them to share the Gospel with people in their neighborhood and at work. When God sees this happening, He convicts the hearts of the unsaved and brings them to Jesus Christ. This was described in verse 33, "With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all." There was power in preaching and God’s grace was manifested in the hearts of all people.
D. Great commitment - As a result of this great prayer meeting, people made a deep commitment. This commitment is first evidenced in being filled with the Holy Spirit, but the commitment in the early church went more than with just being filled the Spirit. It involved their money. "Them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." (Acts 4:32)