The following is part 4 from a blog series based on R.A. Torrey’s classicThe Power of Prayer. R.A. Torrey (1856-1928) was an American evangelist, professor, pastor, and author. He is one of the three editors of The Fundamentals, an early 20th century defense of orthodox Protestant beliefs. Find more from R.A. Torrey at the BLB.
Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2 KJV).
Turn to Acts 2:42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers.” That is a picture very brief but very suggestive of the early church. It was a praying church. It was a church in which they prayed, not merely occasionally, but where they all “continued steadfastly . . . in prayers.” They all prayed, not a select few, but the whole membership of the church; and all prayed continuously with steadfast determination. “They gave themselves to prayer,” as the same Greek word is translated in Acts 6:4.
Now turn to Acts 6:4 and you will get the rest of your answer. “We will give ourselves continually to prayer.” That is a picture of the apostolic ministry: it was a praying ministry, and a ministry that “gave themselves continually to prayer,” or, to translate that Greek word as it is translated in former passage (Acts 2:42), “They continued steadfastly in prayer.” A praying church and a praying ministry! Ah, such a church and such a ministry can achieve anything that ought to be achieved. It will go steadily on, beating down all opposition, surmounting every obstacle, conquering every foe, just as much today as it did in the days of the apostles.