May 14, 2018

The Foundation of Prayer

Acts 1:12-14

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

—  Acts 1:14

Jesus has ascended to heaven, and a waiting period for his followers has begun. On the day he ascended, Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:4). They would have remembered that this gift would be the power and presence of God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), but Jesus didn’t say when the Spirit would come. So, what were they to do while waiting?

A lot of action transpires in the book of Acts, but one of the first recorded actions of these believers after Jesus’ ascension is that they join together in prayer. We are not sure how all this is organized or what the form of their prayers is, but we do know three things.

First, they join together. This group that scattered and fled from the Mount of Olives when Jesus was arrested are together again as they now walk back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

Second, they are constantly in prayer. There is an everyday consistency that marks their life before God and one another.

Third, even the brothers of Jesus who did not join in following him as disciples now join with this group of believers.

God is preparing his people, and he does this through prayer.

Dear God, so often our prayers are about our needs and wants. Please forgive us for our self-centeredness even in prayer. May we join together in prayer for the needs of others and for your church, seeking your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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