After Jesus ascended into heaven, many of those who followed Jesus gathered together in an upper room in Jerusalem. Acts 1:14 says the apostles and “these all gathered with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” During this intimate time with God, the women of Jesus’ earthly ministry gathered with His twelve apostles and family to pray for the continuation of His ministry. Considering that fact that the church is continuing over 2,000 years later, one can determine these women’s prayers were heard and honored. In Paul’s first letter to Corinth, he also gives specific instructions on how women are to pray in the church (1 Cor 11:5,13). We can see that prayer was a key element to women’s involvement in God’s Word.
Women continue to have drastic influence with prayer. In 1877, Mrs. Darwin James became burdened for the spiritual regression in America and initiated a prayer movement across Protestant denominational leaders. Many church leaders in the United States joined her in her prayers that “justice and decency might rule our national behavior.” In the early 1900’s, Helen Barrett Montgomery and Lucy Waterbury Peabody took the prayer movement even further. On an international trip with their daughters, these women were humbled by the intense prayers of women around the globe. They started what is now celebrated as the World Day of Prayer. The offerings given on this day were used to take Christian literature to women in less fortunate countries. Their vision and efforts continued to grow. By 1961, the offerings taken on the World Day of Prayer helped to establish 11 women’s Christian colleges around the world.
Prayer ministries are a great dynamic within the local church. Women can be involved in continuous prayer for the church staff and lay leaders, the active ministries of the church, and the lost people in the community. History shows that prayer makes a dramatic difference, as prayer often results in God moving mightily. Many people ask today, "Does God still move in mighty ways, like by parting the Red Sea?" The real question we should ask is, "Do we still seek God as much as believers like Moses did?"