Pentecost didn’t begin with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; Pentecost began with a prayer meeting.
The story of Divine guidance in the fledgling church is rich. In Acts 2 Luke uses a term he has never used before. In fact, none of the other Bible writers have used it, either. In Luke’s language the term is “in one accord.” The charter members, all 120 of them, are up the stairs in that second story loft together together.
Therein lies a seminal insight. Before the Holy Spirit was given, the church was ready. What does “ready” mean? In one accord. Intense togetherness. Together in one place, but also together in one spirit. Criticism: gone. Striving for position: gone. Gossip: gone. Division: gone.
On Thursday night, just a few minutes before Jesus headed to the olive orchard where He would be arrested, He prayed a benediction over His followers. In a dozen verses in John 17 He pleads five times that His church might be united, together, one. The church in Acts 2 is the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17! There was nothing on His heart of greater concern than the unity of those He was leaving behind, and when the church comes together for a prayer meeting, united, in one accord, He could trust them with an unction so powerful that it would shake their world and change the population of eternity. Before sunset the membership of the Jerusalem church is 3,120.
We are pleading that in the days just ahead God will help shape our churches into Houses of Prayer Everywhere. Six thousand two hundred seventy seven of them across North America. Because it is through His church that God has elected to move hearts, to move communities, to move nations, to move mountains. But not just any church. Not lukewarm churches. Not quarreling churches. Not divided churches. Not distracted churches. Rather, in-one-accord churches.
What would that kind of church look like? Maybe it’s time for this question: Is there anyone in your church you don’t love? Anyone you try not to have to shake hands with when you meet? Anyone against whom you hold a grudge? Anyone you think holds a grudge against you? Anyone whose life choices you criticize?
Let this inspired description wash over you: “And they were altogether in one accord.” Together together. Lord, please, as it was in the beginning…