Devoted to Prayer

Read Together: Acts 4:23–31

As we saw on Sunday morning, the first followers of Jesus devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14; 2:42). In Acts 4:23–31, we get to hear one of the prayers of the early church. This window into the prayer life of the earliest Christians can help form our own patterns of prayer as we seek to make it a priority in our lives.  

Acts 4:23–31 is the conclusion of a story that begins in Acts 3 when Peter and John (on their way to the temple to pray) heal a lame beggar. This miracle gives Peter a preaching opportunity which in turn leads to Peter and John being arrested by the religious authorities. Peter again speaks the gospel boldly, and they are released with a warning to stop preaching. They then report to the church what happened, and the church responds with prayer.

Notice three important elements about their prayer. First, they begin their prayer with a confession of who God is: the Sovereign Lord and Creator. Second, they pray the Bible, quoting from Psalm 2 in their prayer. Third, they pray with gospel priorities. Their main request is that God would help them continue to preach the gospel with boldness as he works miracles to accompany the Word. Verse 31 reveals that God answers their prayer: they do continue to proclaim the Word with boldness as those filled with the Holy Spirit.

As we kick-off our 21-Days of Prayer, we can learn a lot from this brief prayer. Let’s pray, individually and together, in a way that is God-exalting, biblically-saturated, and gospel-centered. Let’s devote ourselves to prayer and ask God to fill us afresh with his Spirit that we might live and speak boldly for Jesus.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the main request of the church’s prayer in Acts 4?
  2. How can this prayer inform our own prayer lives?
  3. How does this prayer challenge and encourage us to make prayer a priority?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read the prayer of the church in Acts 4:23–31 with your children (consider using a simpler translation like the NIrV to help with comphrension). If necessary, also summarize the prayer for them in your own words in a way they can understand. Ask your children: What are these Christians praying for? What does this tell us about how we should pray?

Memorization: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

Song: Listen to “A Christian’s Daily Prayer” (Sovereign Grace Music). This is surely a gospel-centered prayer we can pray each day: “Let every effort of my life/Display the matchless worth of Christ/Make me a living sacrifice/Be glorified today.”

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is our Creator and Lord and that no plot against Him can succeed!
  • Confess before God our tendency to fail to make prayer a priority.
  • Give thanks to God that he does invite us to pray and answer our prayers.
  • Pray that God would fill us with his Spirit and help us to pray according to his will each day.

Go Together

  • Set aside another time this week to pray with your family or another believer. Pray in light of the truths and requests we see in Acts 4. Seek to make regular prayer with other believers a priority as you seek to pray diligently with gospel-priorities.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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