PETER AND JOHN WENT TO THE TEMPLE IN THE HOUR OF PRAYER
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. Acts 3:1
The early church was a prayerful church. Prayer was their lifestyle. Prayer was their maxim, motto and dictum. Oh dear, prayer was their emblem. Peter and John were offshoots of this movement. It was customary for brethren to meet in the temple in the designated hour of prayer.
To the early church, prayer was spiritual respiration. This should be the attitude and attribute of every Christian. Prayer should be seen as spiritual oxygen and carbon dioxide. Without prayer, death is in the offing.
Prayer keeps the believer spiritually healthy and agile. The devil and his cohorts hate you with passion. They want you dead this very minute if they have the opportunity and power to strike. Prayer is the force that restricts him. A believer who prays will be spiritually healthy and alert just like a natural man who has enough oxygen to breathe in. Lack of oxygen can suffocate a person. Lack of prayer can spiritually suffocate a Christian too! This is the suffocation, spiritual lethargy and stupor that many believers are enmeshed in right now.
The book of Acts clearly shows a movement that was unstoppable. What we have today is monuments. Prayer was a culture too entrenched to be eroded. It began from Jesus, our perfect example. He demonstrated a dynamic prayer life. It was not a spur-of-the-moment exercise like the hit and run and fire brigade approach we have today. It was a lifestyle; an attitude and a norm; rising up early in the morning to pray.
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Mark 1:35.
His prayer experience was a regular habit. He prayed early in the morning and throughout the night. Prayer was the atmosphere He lived. Just like a fish in the ocean, prayer was His habitat.
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12.
What the Bible says about praying without ceasing was true of Him. He prayed always. He often resorted to the garden to pray. He also taught His disciples to pray. By His practical demonstration and teachings, they imbibed the prayer culture. They had enough practical experience of the upper room. This was the experience they exhibited after His departure. This was the experience that characterized the book of Acts; the Acts or activities of the Apostles. This was what took Peter and John to the temple this particular day in Acts 1:9-13.
The disciples were with Jesus on Mount Olives when He was literally translated into heaven. He departed from them but they did not depart from the legacy He left in them: the legacy of a prayer culture. When He left them and went to heaven, they returned from the Mount straight to the UPPER ROOM. They returned to their prayer chamber.
This is the significant difference between the early church and the MODERN church of the 21st century. The early church was truly a MODEL church that wailed in the upper room to bring untold waves of revival, the modern church of today wallows in the supper room. The supper room is a place of refreshment. The situation today calls for serious business.
There are Christians who are perpetually in the supper room. They feast when they should fast. They play when they should pray. They gist when they should groan in the spirit. They are cumbered with welfare when they should engage in warfare. They interfere when they should intercede!
The disciples imbibed prayer as a culture. They continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. The upper room was their rendezvous. That was their meeting point every day. Acts 2:1-4