And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord… Acts 4:24 (KJV)
Every Christmas I get the opportunity to go and hear the Ballymena Chamber Orchestra playing their classical pieces by candlelight. It brings the community together and provides respite from the hustle and bustle of the season. But imagine a totally different scenario. The conductor is set to lead the orchestra in Vivaldi’s Winter. The string section have tweaked and tuned their instruments. The brass section are in position. The woodwind are prepared. The percussionists are ready and waiting. Everyone has a perfect copy of the score to be played. The guests have taken their seats and the lights are dimming. The conductor steps forward and with a wave of the hand the signal is given to commence. However, instead of a beautiful rendition of Winter, each member of the orchestra has decided to play their own personal refrain and they ignore the conductor. The result is total cacophony, chaos and confusion. Everyone is disengaged and the air is filled with a disarray of discordant notes.
Let’s move from the concert setting to the prayer room. Is it possible that the above scene I have described could also apply there? Everyone has gathered for the purpose of prayer. But instead of praying in unity and with direction, each prays as he/she likes. The result is a display of independent thoughts and dissonance. When we pray, the Holy Spirit is the One who should be the conductor helping us to express a beautiful rendition of earnest, heart-felt, united, fervent prayer, all for the advancement of God’s kingdom. In the early church we are told that the believers assembled with united purpose for prayer – no discordant purposes or selfish agendas.
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (a ‘concert of voices’ to God), along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:14 (NASB)
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Acts 2:1 (KJV)
And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose… Acts 2:46 (AMPC)
In Acts 4:24 we see this united purpose again.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord. Acts 4:24 (KJV)
The Greek word for “one accord” is homothumadon. It literally refers to a concert of voices that are in a state of union, with one mind and one passion. It’s a musical term that means to strike the same notes together. It produces a harmonious prayer of beautifully coordinated hearts and minds.
We have a common score in God’s Word. When we, as God’s instruments of righteousness, submit to the Holy Spirit as our prayer conductor and use the sheet music of Scripture to guide us, there is harmony and cohesion. We are told to pray in the Spirit. We should be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication”. This type of prayer shook prison doors open in the book of Acts. It brought above exponential growth as many were added to their number. When we pray in accordance with God’s Spirit, we can pray according to God’s will and be confident of His perfect answer to our requests. May we sound the same note and see God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.