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My question is inspired by the extraordinary example set by the early Church as recorded in Acts 4:23-31 (ESV):

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,

“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

In this passage we see how God responded in extraordinary fashion to the communal prayer of the early Church, by filling them (again) with the Holy Spirit and empowering them with boldness to preach the gospel. This divine empowerment was, without question, the key to the early Church's success in their missionary and evangelistic endeavors, in the midst of an adverse and hostile world.

Do any mission agencies follow a similar pattern, namely, wait for divine empowerment in communal prayer before embarking on actual evangelism and missionary efforts?


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UPDATE: Based on challenges to the question's assumption that the early Church was waiting for God's response, I asked the following on BH.SE: Was the early Church waiting for divine intervention in Acts 4:23-31?

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Ken Graham
    Oct 23 at 14:44
  • Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are required to receive a "temple endowment" before beginning their mission. From the Doctrine and Covenants (a Latter-day Saint book of scripture): "Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high; And from thence, whosoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do" (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32–33; see also 43:15–16). Is that what you're looking for? Oct 23 at 22:52
  • @SamuelBradshaw Answers in comments don't help the site; it looks like you have the core of a nice answer there. Oct 29 at 12:05
  • Yeah, in re your update: they were already spreading the good news. FWIW, that passage presents me with an image something like a halftime pep talk by the head coach for a football team. (Very, very rough analogy). Oct 29 at 12:08

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