Prophets and missionaries!
Scripture reading for May 22nd: Acts 13
I have been a pastor for many years and know that calling a prayer meeting with fasting was not something that most people liked to do. Attendance at prayer meetings was usually very low. Could this be part of the reason for a lack of power and workers in the church?
But the early church met often for prayer and fasting. As the church at Antioch gathered worship, “the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” Prophets in the early church would be moved on by the Holy Spirit as the church worshiped. In this case, a word of knowledge confirmed what the Holy Spirit had already told Barnabas and Saul. After the word was given, the church continued in prayer and fasting until the leaders felt directed to lay hands on them and send them off.
There is great power when the church gathers for prayer. Through the various gifts given by the Holy Spirit, the work of God is confirmed and the backing of others in Christ’s body is arranged. When hands are laid on, anointing of the Holy Spirit is given and identification and confirmation of God’s will through His body brings greater faith and boldness on the part of those sent. God wants to reach the lost of the world and has told His Church to go! How beautiful when the Church works together through worship, prophesy, prayer and fasting and the laying on of hands!