Prayer served a vital role in the life of the early church. In the Book of Acts, Luke records many times the believers prayed to God in Jesus’ Name. I am sure these are only a short glimpse of the prayer lives of the early church, but we stand to learn from them.
In all things, at all times, pray!
There’s no time like the present to learn how to become a prayer warrior. Read on for 10 powerful prayers we see prayed in the Book of Acts, along with the verses where they are recorded in Scripture.
10 Powerful Prayers from the Book of Acts
Book of Acts Prayer 1: Prayer in Waiting, Acts 1:14
All these were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and His brothers.” Acts 1:14
The first prayer we see in the Book of Acts is a corporate prayer. The apostles and women that followed Jesus gathered together in the room where they were staying and prayed continually. They fed on the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ while they awaited the Holy Spirit He promised them.
While we wait on the things that the Lord promises us, whether in our personal lives or the promises of Scripture for all believers, we should give ourselves to the habit of prayer.
Book of Acts Prayer 2: Prayer for wisdom in choosing leaders and teachers, Acts 1:24-25
Then they prayed, “You, Lord, know the hearts of all; show which of these two You have chosen to take the place in this apostolic service that Judas left to go to his own place.” Acts 1:24-25
The Lord knows the hearts of men and He knows who is suited to serve Him in leadership and in shepherding His people. He provides discernment when we have big decisions that we need to make in leadership for His Name’s sake.
Should we not pray to Him first then? Absolutely!
Book of Acts Prayer 3: Prayer for boldness to teach in Jesus’ Name, Acts 4:24-30
And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30
Following Peter and John’s strong admonishment not to speak in Jesus’ Name the believers prayed, raising their voices before God, crying out to Him, asking that He would embolden them to continue to proclaim the message about Jesus.
The Book of Acts teaches us to pray for boldness when we face intimidation or censorship of any kind. We must pray that the Lord would give us grace to be bold for Him when the times comes for us to stand up for His Name.
Book of Acts Prayer 4: Prayer for Those Who Are Selected to Serve the Church, Acts 6:6
They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.” Acts 6:6
The apostles, recognizing a need, chose men to serve the growing church. As they did, they chose men of great character and prayed for the Lord’s blessing on them.
Do we pray for our deacons enough? Do we pray for our church staff enough?
There are men and women who labor in the work of every ministry in our churches and we must not neglect to pray for them faithfully. Set aside a time and lift them to the Lord in prayer. Pray for their renewed strength in the work for which the Lord has chosen them.
Book of Acts Prayer 5: Prayer for Those Who Treat Us Wrongly and Persecute Us, Acts 7:60
Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin!” And saying this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:60
In Stephen’s final moments, he prayed that the Lord would show mercy and forgive those who were responsible for his death. What amazing love do we see reflected in the attitude of Stephen!
He showed an image of Christ that we all should aspire to reflect toward those who wish us ill and those who hurt us. It takes love to turn the other cheek, but we must learn to pray for the repentance of those who persecute us.
Book of Acts Prayer 6: Prayer for Healing and Miracles that Only God Can Do, Acts 9:40
Then Peter sent them all out of the room. He knelt down, prayed, and turning toward the body said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.” Acts 9:40
Instances of a person regaining life in the physical body are few and far between, even in Scripture. But, these stories are there to teach us that we can trust God for the impossible. He is able to heal the sick, restore life to the dead, restore the brokenhearted. He is able to reverse death. He has reversed death forevermore for those who believe through Jesus Christ.
God can do those things that just are impossible to us, according to His will and the portion of our faith.
Do we pray for the impossible? Do we pray when the doctors have said our loved ones only have days left to live? Most definitely!
Pray because nothing is impossible to our Lord!
Book of Acts Prayer 7: The Prayer of Praise, Acts 11:18
When they heard this they became silent. Then they glorified God, saying, “So God has granted repentance resulting in life even to the Gentiles!” Acts 11:18
The believers at Jerusalem glorified God for granting salvation to both Jews and Gentiles. Glorifying God for His goodness is one way the Book of Acts teaches us to pray. We have so many reasons to thank God and glorify Him, and in our prayers, we should rejoice in the wonderful grace that God shows to all.
The Lord deserves our praise and our worship.
Book of Acts Prayer 8: Prayer of Intercession for Believers in Chains, Acts 12:5
So Peter was kept in prison, but prayer was being made earnestly to God for him by the church.” Acts 12:5
Peter was in prison for the name of Jesus and while he was in chains, we are told, the believers prayed for him earnestly. The church supported Peter in prayer. Interceding on behalf of others who are facing a trial is yet another way the Book of Acts teaches us to pray.
Pray for persecuted Christians around the world fervently.
Book of Acts Prayer 9: Prayer for the Missionaries Our Churches Send Out, Acts 13:3
Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off.” Acts 13:3
The elders in the church of Antioch prayed for Paul and Barnabas before they left for their first missionary trip. In the Book of Acts, the elders of the church teach us to pray for those among us who are called to take the gospel news to nations near and far.
We must pray for them, for the message that has been entrusted to them, and for the people with whom they will share. We must pray God’s protection on them, as we pray for the salvation of souls.
Book of Acts Prayer 10: Prayer for the Lord to Receive our Spirit, Act 7:59
They were stoning Stephen as he called out: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Acts 7:59
Our final prayer on this side of eternity, when it is all said and done and we are ready to meet Jesus in glory, is “Lord please receive my spirit!”
What a comfort we have in death knowing that Jesus Christ stands ready to receive us into eternal life with Him.