Many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
2 Corinthians 1:11
Sociologist Christian Smith has studied
the religious lives of American young
adults and found them to be highly
individualistic. Many believe “religion
need not be practiced in and by a
community.” Statistics documenting
declining church participation support
his findings that Americans increasingly
believe that other people are not
essential to an individual’s faith.
That idea stands in stark contrast to the
communal Christianity we see modeled
for us in the book of Acts. After that first
Resurrection Sunday, the early followers
of Christ did not scatter to their own
private spiritual disciplines. Instead, the
120 believers found themselves almost
constantly together, especially for prayer.
Having received Jesus’ promise of the
Holy Spirit, they confidently prayed
together for the promise’s fulfillment.
The first church prayed together, and
the Lord answered them together.
On the day of Pentecost, “they were
all together in one place” (v. 1) when
tongues of fire came upon them and the
prophesy of Joel came to pass: “I will
pour out my Spirit on all people. . .Even
on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days”
(Joel 2:28, 29). As a community, God’s
people were blessed.
But the answer to their prayers was
not only for their own edification. The
coming of the Holy Spirit equipped and
empowered the church to proclaim
Christ to those around them—and
those as far away as the ends of
the earth (Acts 1:8). In a single day,
the infant church grew by 3,000
people. Doubtless, those thousands
of people who first trusted Christ at
Pentecost gave thanks to the Lord for
the community of praying believers
who had first gathered in one place to
intercede for their salvation.
Apply the Word
Private prayer is a priority of the Christian life (see Matt. 6:6), but when we pray together we multiply our thanks to God. Paul encourages the practice of praying together with others for others: “Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many” (1 Cor. 1:11). Look for opportunities to pray in community.
Pray with Us
This Easter Sunday, let us give thanks for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are grateful that, because of His death and resurrection, we can come to Him in prayer, and that He is forever our intercessor to God the Father.