Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC 

Acts 4:23-31
When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,[d] said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,    and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together,

    against the Lord and against his Anointed’

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

The story is told that one day a pompous young man approached the great Socrates and asked for knowledge. He led the young man through the streets, to the sea, and out chest deep into the water. Then he asked, “What do you want?”  “Knowledge, O wise Socrates,” said the young man with a smile. Socrates put his strong hands on the man’s shoulders and pushed him under. Thirty seconds later Socrates let him up. “What do you want?” he asked again. “Wisdom,” the young man sputtered, “O great and wise Socrates.” Socrates crunched him under again. Thirty seconds passed, thirty-five. Forty. Socrates let him up. The man was gasping. “What do you want, young man?” Between heavy, heaving breaths the fellow wheezed, “Knowledge, O wise and wonderful…” Socrates jammed him under again Forty seconds passed. Fifty. “What do you want?” “Air!” the young man screeched. “I need air!”

Socrates then imparted true knowledge to him by saying, “when you want knowledge as you have just wanted air, then you will have knowledge.”

Early in the book of Acts we find a group of people that wanted Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit as much as they wanted air. You see this by the way they committed themselves to prayer. In Acts 1 they gathered in the upper room for a week long prayer meeting intent on staying there until the Holy Spirit fell upon them. As a result, 3,000 people were saved on the Day of Pentecost and the New Testament church was born in power.

In chapter 4 Peter and John are detained because of their preaching of the gospel. With great boldness they tell the Jewish religious leaders that they would not stop preaching in the name of Jesus, so the leaders threatened them and sent them on their way. What’s the first thing they did? They gathered with the believers for another prayer meeting. This time it says when they gathered and began to pray, the place where they had gathered was shaken with the power of God. 

I am so convicted and inspired when I read about the prayer life of the early church. Convicted because I lack the prayer commitment that they had, but inspired because I know the same God who displayed his glory in magnificent ways for them will do the same for me if I will just pray. 

Do you pray like it matters? That question really gets to the heart of the matter doesn’t it? More often times than not we pray whimsical weak prayers that are no more than tossing up a spiritual coin in a wishing well. The Lord has made some incredible promises concerning prayer if we will simply lay hold of His willingness to bless. He has said that if we call to Him, He will show us great and mighty things of which we do not know. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man even imagined all that God has planned for His children! 

So, today, pray like it matters because it does. Whatever we ask in His name believing we will receive. When we pray in accordance with His will He hears us and we have what we ask for. Those who persevere in prayer reap a harvest of spiritual fruit. Do you long for His Presence more than air? If not, change your focus today and cry out to the Lord in prayer! 

Father God, forgive me for my nonchalant attitude toward you in prayer. I try to rely on my own wisdom and strength so often, but Lord I know you know and can do all things. I need You more than I need breath in my lungs, so speak to me today Lord. Fill me with Your Spirit and put a new burden in my heart to pray. In Jesus name, amen. 

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.