Why Tents of Meeting? Why 24/7 praying communities? Two Reasons. First, praying communities change history. Second, they bring the presence and power of God.
Praying Communities Change History!
In the mid-sixth century, Comgall, an Irish monk, founded a 24/7 praying community in Bangor, Ireland. Worship and prayer ascended to the throne room of God literally without ceasing for almost 300 years! Their intercession drove the evangelization of pagan Europe over the course of the next few centuries during the Dark Ages.
In the 18th century Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf founded a praying community in Herrnhutt, Moravia. The Moravians prayed 24/7 for over 100 years. Their prayers and testimony had a direct impact on the lives of both John Wesley and George Whitefield, and consequently the Revival in England and the Great Awakening in America. Their commitment to 24/7 prayer also birthed the modern Protestant missions movement. The Moravians themselves sent out over 300 missionaries from their small community.
Returning to the very foundations of Christianity, we see that a praying community of 120 saints birthed the Church on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 1 & 2). In Acts 13, a worshiping, fasting, praying church in Antioch birthed the first missionary movement as they commissioned and sent out Paul and Barnabas. Then, in Acts 16 & 17, a praying community in Philippi played an instrumental role in Paul’s Macedonian vision and the launch of the evangelization of the West.
Praying Communities bring the Presence & the Power of God!
The 1st-century church is perhaps the best illustration of how praying communities attract the presence and power of God. According to Acts 1:14, the early believers “joined together constantly in prayer.” Acts 2:1 describes them as being “together in one place.”
Acts 2:42 says that they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.” The word “together” is mentioned three times in Acts 2:42-47.
According to Acts 4:32, the believers were “one in heart and mind.” Prayer, togetherness, fellowship, oneness, unity and love characterized the early Church. A strong relational orientation pervaded every aspect of the life of the Church.
What was the impact of this type of community? “Everyone was filled with awe…” and “the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:43, 47) In short, the result was great evangelistic fruit.
Jesus Himself noted the correlation between relationship and power in evangelism in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus also prayed in John 17:21 that the body would be “one” so that the world would believe that He came from the Father.Millennials are longing for this type of community characterized by Relationship and Impact.
- Real, authentic friendships
- A taste and glimpse of “Jesus with skin on him” that touch the longing of the heart and stir hunger for the Lord
- A great cause to give themselves to with passion and devotion
- A purpose larger than themselves
- A corporate embrace of a vision that will make a difference in the world
Such praying communities change history because they attract the presence and power of God. If we can get Millennials into the Presence of God – with Him and with each other – they will find their God-given passion. If they pursue their passion they will discover their destiny. And if they live out their destiny, they will indeed change the course of history.