In Acts 1 Jesus has just ascended to heaven and left the disciples with the instruction to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit. While waiting for Jesus’ promise, they prayed; they prayed together and they prayed constantly. The disciples knew that they were living in pivotal times and sought God through prayer for what He was about to do.
Meeting in the same place, at the same time with a shared love for God, they were united in belief and their prayers were also. These were a people passionate about spreading the Gospel and they grew quickly in number.
Paul’s letters to the early church also upholds the importance of persevering in prayer, with him instructing the church in Thessalonica to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5.17) and again encouraging those in Rome to be ‘faithful in prayer’.
As we consider Paul’s instructions on prayer today, it would be inconsistent with what he writes about the unmerited nature of God’s grace, for us to take them too legalistically. Rather, let us allow Paul’s words to encourage us to develop an attitude of prayerfulness that is characterised by persistence and consistency, and that comes from pursuing a personal relationship with God and being in His presence throughout the day.
THEY ALL JOINED TOGETHER CONSTANTLY IN PRAYER, ALONG WITH THE WOMEN AND MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS, AND WITH HIS BROTHERS.
Acts 1:14 (NIV)
BE JOYFUL IN HOPE, PATIENT IN AFFLICTION, FAITHFUL IN PRAYER.
Romans 12:12 (NIV)