By Dr. Gary J. Moritz
This season is a great time to realign, readjust, renew, and revitalize ourselves and our prayer life. Imagine if every leader during this season captured this moment to embrace the mission and what the Lord has called them to do. Imagine if every community was looking to their local church for hope. Imagine if every family in your church came to you and said, "Pastor, whatever it takes to reach our community, we will do it!"

In Acts 4:23-37, we see seven traits of a revitalized church that pivoted to make structural changes to their prayer life during a tough season, and out of it flowed everything else.  In a revitalized church …

1. Prayer is a priority.
In a praying church, there is a recognition of the supreme importance of revitalized prayer. Therefore, there is a spontaneous desire for prayer (vs 23-24a).

"After they were released, they went to their own people and reported everything the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they raised their voices together to God" -- Acts 4:23-24 (CSB)

I have heard that if you want to guarantee a small crowd at church, announce a prayer meeting. I am here to tell you - if you wish to have a revived church, have a prayer meeting. We need to repent of our lack of communication with our Lord. This must be a structural change we pivot to. We need to stand together and raise our voices to Almighty God and ask Him to move.

2. Faith is essential.
In a praying church, the eyes of faith and expectancy are revitalized towards the Lord (vs 24b-28).

As a pastor and leader, remember your call. Remember who has called you to lead at this time, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This passage states, "After they were threatened ..." Threats should not stop you. Do what the first church did. In verse 24, they raised their voices together to God. Start praying and then believe that Jesus can do it! It's not about, "Let me check with the deacons, let's wait for our next business meeting." You go to God first.

3. Obedience is natural.
In a praying church, there is a revitalized desire to obey the Lord's commission to evangelize the world (v 29). The first church desired to speak the Word with all boldness. The church right now needs to speak with boldness and stand in the gap for a spiritual structural change for our nation.

Tough seasons will produce two types of leaders, "Pioneers" and "Settlers." The Pioneer craves to check out the new territory, the original dream.  The Settler desires to just hunker down. I thank God for both, but the bold pioneering leader will be the one that breaks future ground for the gospel. It's not time to give up and quit.  Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “He who calls you is faithful; he will do it.” Now is the time to ask the Lord to grant you the ability to speak His Word with boldness.

4. The supernatural is expected.

In a praying church, there is a revitalized faith that begs Jesus to work (v 30). What are the miracles you are praying for through the name of Jesus in your life, church, and community? Let's face it, we cannot have the attitude that God cannot work in our church and community. We need to pray that Jesus will save our neighbors and our neighborhood.  What miracles are you praying for today?
5. The Holy Spirit is evident.
In a praying church, the Holy Spirit manifests His presence and power, which revitalizes us (vs 31a, c). The Bible says in verse 31, "When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God boldly." The Spirit of God brings dead things back to life. Without life, all you have is death.
Can God work in your church, or is He just something on the schedule? When the early Christians prayed, the place was shaken. Imagine if you prayed and God shook your area and the whole community pivoted towards something greater.  Remember, if you have too much of the Spirit, you blow up. If you have too little of the Spirit, you dry up. But if you stay balanced and dependent on Jesus, you grow up in Him.

6. The gospel is primary
In a praying church, there is a mighty power in the preaching of the gospel which revitalizes the mission.  Verse 31says that they "… began to speak the word of God boldly". In an auditory culture with no social media and technology, shouting to get a message across to a group of people was needed.  Preach means to proclaim, and when one proclaims, it should be bold. Then the people notice.

If people are not preaching and proclaiming the Word of God, something is wrong. The gospel needs to move from the seats to the streets and into the homes of our communities. It is time to rethink, realign, and beg God to revitalize our hearts towards a gospel mission so that people can hear, follow, and believe Jesus.
7. Grace is embraced.
In a praying church, there is revitalized and prioritized grace in the lives of God's people (vs 32-37). The story in Acts closes with great power as the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It says that great grace was on all of them.

As followers of Christ, we must be One. We must think of ourselves as one kingdom team with one kingdom dream to see people come to Christ by the thousands.  There is beauty in the statement, "And great grace was upon all of them … they were giving testimony to the resurrected Lord."

Get ready and prepare for the next season and new year. reflect where you have been and ask God where you need to go next. He has called you to more extraordinary things. Dream again and prepare well because God will do it.

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