Joined Together Constantly in Prayer.


Revival can grow from a small seed such as a prayer meeting. The prophet Zechariah said: "Who despises the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10). We tend to minimize what we can do to such an extent that we don’t do anything. The enemy will whisper to us that our little effort for God will make no difference at all, but in the hands of a mighty God, great things can come from small efforts and small things. It is as we purpose to get going with the little energy we have that God can guide us. I learned a long time ago as a commercial fisherman on the east coast of England that you cannot steer a stationary vessel, a small rudder can only guide the boat as it moves through the water. When we start using our time, energy, talents, and money, God can add and multiply what we put in His hands, even if it is only five loaves and two fish. Small things done with great love can change the world!

Again and again, when I read about revival and the Holy Spirit's moving in power, the chief characteristics have been much prayer and unity among Christians and churches. This spirit of unity is the very thing we see before the Spirit's coming on the Day of Pentecost:

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk from the city. 13When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Acts 1:12-14 Emphasis mine).


We can easily pass by the words "joined together," but spiritual power is bestowed when we are like-minded with others on anything that we ask of God. Author Lloyd Ogilvie writes:

"I have always felt that Pentecost did not happen due to a date on a calendar but in response to reconciliation among the disciples. There were deep tensions among the disciples during and after Jesus' ministry. Until they were together on their knees, fully open to God and each other, the Holy Spirit could not be given." [1]


The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in revival is similar to what God did in the revival in the Hebrides, the Great Awakening with Charles Finney, and certainly with the Argentine Revival. They sought God in persevering prayer, and there was a unity of heart. We underestimate the power of prayer and waiting on God, which speaks of being receptive and expectant. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus did not let the apostles go out right away and win the world to him. He told them to wait on God:


I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49 Emphasis mine).


They must not get ahead of God. Jesus told the disciples to wait until they received the promise of the Father. The promise of the Father is the Holy Spirit. The Day of Pentecost, when the Spirit came and filled them, was 50 days after Passover. The Resurrection of Christ came three days after Passover. I estimate that they had to wait another 47 days before the Holy Spirit was poured out and could go and preach the kingdom of God.

Why wait? Why wasn't the Holy Spirit poured out on the disciples sooner? The period of waiting was crucial to their empowerment and being clothed with the Spirit. Often we seek to go in our strength and do not wait for God's power and leading. We are to be dependent upon the Holy Spirit. It is not some emotional feeling that we pump up; instead, it is waiting and being available and expectant as to what God will do. That’s a good message for all of us today. Keith Thomas


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[1] Lloyd John Ogilvie, Drumbeat of Love (Waco, Texas. Word Books, 1976) Page 20.