Speaking to the Soul – June 7

Rhythm of prayer and fellowship

They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. Acts 2: 46-47

What amazing days these were! The believers were seeing astonishing things happen and, not surprisingly, their numbers were growing day by day. It was an exceptional period in every way, and they had the added advantage that everyone spoke well of them. In the days to come, the Church would be reviled, rejected and persecuted by other people, but this was a time of great favour. Amid all the excitement and encouragement, the believers maintained their regular rhythm of prayer and worship.

In these early years of the Church, the Jewish Christians continued to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem or in their local synagogue, and maintained their Jewish identity. Alongside their Jewish acts of worship, they met regularly with the other followers of Jesus. These meetings would have been in homes, which was where Christians worshipped for many years to come. The New Testament writers often refer to the importance of offering hospitality and the reason for this was that the early Church was dependent on people being willing to host meetings for prayer and worship.

Our circumstances are different from those early Christians, not least because many of us worship in church communities that have their own buildings. But wherever we worship, it is vital that we maintain a regular rhythm of prayer and fellowship. Today it would be rare for churches to meet together on a daily basis but, in these busy and distracted days, I think it is vital for us to meet together at least weekly. There is no law about this, thank God, but we do need to ensure that we are receiving regular spiritual nourishment and are able to support one another effectively. Without a regular rhythm of worship and fellowship it is so easy for our faith to struggle.

What is your own rhythm of worship and fellowship, and how might it be strengthened?

Dear Lord, thank you for the blessing of church life. Help me to be faithful in supporting my Christian brothers and sisters. Amen