The church

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles ‘feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. ~Acts 4:32-37 (CEB)

“Remarkable things happened when the early church prayed. The fourth chapter of the book of Acts records just one of those audacious prayers and the nearly unbelievable events that followed a time of very bold prayer. The threat of opposition was real; the disciples knew they faced the same dangers that had taken the life of Jesus. So they prayed for boldness to speak the gospel truth and for the active healing presence of God to be evident in their midst and in their ministry.

The scripture says that signs and wonders gave evidence of God’s activity in the midst of this new community of followers of Jesus Christ. One of those dramatic signs was the incredible community that forms around Jesus Christ. ‘Not a needy person among them’ (Acts 4:34) is a sign and wonder that we long for in every community. Many sold land and goods then brought the proceeds and laid it at the disciples’ feet. The disciples ‘distributed to each as any had need’ (Acts 4:35). Such love and generosity were certainly additional remarkable signs of God’s activity in the midst of the early church.

The miraculous healings brought about as the apostles declared the gospel also revealed God’s presence and action in the church community. The willingness to relinquish property and wealth for the good of all was even more compelling than the healing received by the sick who were brought to the apostles. The results of the apostles’ prayer was evident to those within the church and astounded observers from afar, who were then drawn to this contagious and joyful community. May our prayers to be as audacious and God’s response in our midst as dramatic and transforming.” ~From A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, Rueben P. Job

Lord Jesus Christ, pour out Your spirit upon your church so that she may faithfully and constantly serve you and your children. In the name of Christ. Amen.

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