Reprinted from the October 2013 issue of “Gospel Advocate” Magazine.
In 2007, Johnson Kell, longtime faithful member of the Bear Valley Church of Christ and former elder there, came up with an idea he called “Bear Valley Sings and Prays.” His basic belief was that there is much power when the church prays together.
A sense of fellowship, joy and confidence develops when we pray as a church. We may pray together at church camp, teen devotions and family devotions; in hospitals; before meals in restaurants; and of course, at worship services. Something is different and special about praying together. A bond is built through such prayers.
Do you know the first time we read of the church praying together? Luke recorded it in Acts 4:23-32. Many great lessons are learned from this passage when the Jerusalem congregation prayed together.
When they prayed together, there was unity (Acts 4:24). The book of Acts reveals the church spending a lot of time together when it was first established (2:44, 46). So we are not surprised to see them lifting their voice with one accord.
One of the most beautiful phrases in the New Testament is “they prayed.” They prayed before selecting Judas’ replacement (1:24), prayed for new Christians (8:15) and for missionaries (13:3), and prayed when appointing elders and for the elders (14:23). The ones praying were the disciples, the church or a group within the church. A powerful, uniting force is brought about whey we pray together.