Who are we?

In this blog, there will be a variety of material: thoughts on Bible books, book reviews, historical characters, aspects of Scottish church history and other things.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Acts 1:14 – Preparing by praying

Luke tells us that the believers gathered in the upper room ‘all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers’ (v. 14). It is worth noting that the before the risen Christ sent his apostles to preach a sermon, they engaged in fervent prayer. No doubt they felt burdened to pray. It is commonly acknowledged that whenever God intends to do something unusual, he sets his people to pray. A burden of prayer is a sign of blessing about to come; a lack of desire to pray is a sign that nothing is about to come from God.

The reason for this prayer meeting is obvious. Jesus had promised them that a special blessing was about to come. His promise caused them to talk to him about it. The same should be true for ourselves. There are many promises in the Bible and we should talk to God about each of them. In fact, the reason why we may not have yet received the promised blessing is because we have not talked with God about it.

There are several important words in this description of the prayer meeting in Jerusalem. One word is ‘continued’, which reminds us that they kept at it. No longer did they have to ask where Thomas was. A second word is ‘one accord’, which stresses togetherness (one powerful usage of the Greek term is that it described harmonious music and singing).  In this congregation, there were no discordant or jarring noises. The third word is ‘supplication’ which carries the emphasis of urgent entreaty; although they had the promise, they were willing to beg and implore for its fulfilment. This is the kind of prayer meeting which receives great things from God.

We are aware what kind of people they were. Only a few weeks before they had been dispirited and without hope. Yet they had been restored by the One who had first forgiven them and he had further instructed them in the things of his kingdom. They were living in a world of grace, a world in which there is the potential of experiencing the fulfilment of the King’s promises.

The same is true of us. We are always on the verge of receiving out of the fullness of the King’s resources. A lot depends what we do as we stand on the verge. If we pray persistently, unitedly and imploringly, he will answer our prayers far above what we can ask or think. Our Christian lives then will know the bounty of his provision.

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