When Peter and John were released from custody, they returned to their group and shared all that had taken place. Upon hearing the news that persecution was breaking out against the gospel, their first response was to pray.
“When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God” (Acts 4:24, NLT).
More than 20 years ago I participated in a study on prayer that was written by Peter Lord. His “2959 Prayer Plan” provided Christians with a comprehensive method to systematically pray for personal needs and to intercede on behalf of others. One of the first principles that Peter Lord taught was that believers should make prayer “their first response, not their last resort.”
That principle made a lasting impression on me. Reading this verse reminded me of how critical it is for each of us to pray first when our world gets topsy-turvy. It was convicting to reflect on my life and to see how often I try to fix things myself or depend on my own resources and resourcefulness as my first response. Too many times our attitude toward prayer is that of the final, last ditch effort when all else has failed. Not the apostles. They were so dependent and desperate for God to work in their lives as they spread the gospel that it was natural for them to pray. It was quite childlike. May we never mature beyond the point of childlike faith and desperate dependence.