While the cry of “God is dead” is often associated with Nietzsche’s “The Parable of the Madman,” many have missed the cynical rhetorical question about the lifelessness of his contemporary church: “What are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?” But such cynicism and critique could hardly apply to the vibrant worship in the early gatherings.
There’s no doubt that Jesus’ followers in Acts are people of prayer; Luke tells of 30+ times the believers being at prayer. There is no doubt that prayer is an integral part of church life and its group gatherings because it connects Jesus with His people who are sent to carry out kingdom work under His Spirit’s guidance and empowerment
Here, the reasons for the early Christians to praise God in prayer are clear: The supernatural infusion of the Spirit’s indwelling and power embolden the first believers to proclaim the message of the Messiah and participate in kingdom work. And the evidence of life-change in individuals, families, neighbourhoods, and city transformation is vividly captured.