Reading: Acts 1:12-14
Verse 14: “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
In yesterday’s portion of Acts 1 Jesus gives the disciples some instructions. They were to stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit was given. And they are to be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth. Now, I do not know about you, but I might have tried to tackle these in reverse order. I am a doer. It is hard for me to wait when a clear task is right there in front of me.
The disciples return to the city and gather in the place they’ve been staying. The 11 gather together with other devoted followers of Jesus: “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” This faithful group was “constantly in prayer.” There are several lessons for us to take away from these three verses.
First lesson: follow Jesus’ instructions. Trust that God has a plan and a purpose and that you are equipped for it. Be obedient to that. Second lesson: include others. Note that the 11 didn’t huddle up and shoo everyone else out. Like them, we need to realize that being witnesses is all of our jobs. It’s not a task just for the pastor or other church staff or even the leadership team. Together we accomplish this task better and more effectively. Third lesson: pray. Pray a lot – “constantly.” Pray about what was spoken to you by the Holy Spirit, by the Bible, by someone… Wrestle with it before God. Seek discernment and direction. Spending time in prayer further connects us to God and to God’s plan and purpose. This deepens our faith. And this better equips us for the task that God has laid before us.
As we all seek to witness to our faith may we be obedient to God’s instructions, may we seek out others to walk faithfully with, and may we pray, pray, pray.
Prayer: Lord God, speak to me today. Lay out your plan and purpose for me. Grant me the will, the courage, and the faith to be obedient. Lead me to those you want me to partner with in ministry. Reveal all we need to know and understand as we spend time in holy and prayerful conversation with you. Amen.