And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles (Acts 2:42-43).
The early Church was diligent in their obedience and adherence towards the apostles’ doctrine. Prayer was obviously an essential part of what was taught and exemplified in their midst. They dedicated themselves to obeying all the apostles taught them and as a result of their devotion, obedience, and prayer, the Holy Spirit built them into a powerfully effective community. The fear, awe, and reverence of God came upon each of them as they experienced signs and wonders in answer to their prayers.
We might be prone to think of the early Church as a phenomenal, over-the-top, unusual, awe-inspiring, super-star church, but I offer to you that what they did was normal for all who have faith in Jesus Christ. These miraculous signs that followed obviously built their faith and also molded them into community, the likes of which the world had never seen. Nothing could break their bond; nothing stopped the construction of this God-ordained edifice, for its foundation is Jesus Christi. In reference to this community, the apostle Paul says, “who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? […] Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:35,37). As we face trials as a community, we pray, God answers miraculously, and our faith is built up as we grow together. God compacts us together, and we are further shaped through prayer. The “amazing” results to prayer such as angelic visitations, the paralyzed and the blind healed, and the dead raised should be normal to us. Years ago, Watchman Nee wrote a book entitled The Normal Christian Life in which he asserts that such manifestations should be normal in the life of a Christian. Why? They should be normal because nothing is impossible for God.
God’s desire is to create us into one. One way He does that is through His answers to our corporate prayers. He builds corporeity according to what Paul describes in the following verses: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a swelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).