“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer,...”
Acts opens up with an amazing scene. You’ve probably played it out in your mind as well. Jesus tells his followers that they are going to receive power to be His witnesses when the Holy Spirit shows up and soon after He’s riding a cloud out of their sight. I can only imagine the disciples standing there watching Jesus ascend into heaven and what must have been going through their minds and hearts. I’m sure there was element of okay, what do we do now? I’m not sure who spoke up first, but the group decided to head back to the upper room in Jerusalem. It was here they waited and prayed.
As I was reflecting on this passage I couldn’t help but think what I may have done in this situation. It was sobering to think that my first inclination wouldn’t be to do what the disciples did, but instead it would probably have something to do with beginning to put together a strategic plan of how we were going to move forward into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. I’m convinced it would have been a pretty good plan, too, especially with the fire power there in the upper room. We’d have a mobilized force ready to move by morning and ready to take the world by storm. Good thing I wasn’t the one in charge. Instead, the disciples devoted themselves to prayer. Hudson Taylor got it right when he said, “When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works."
Ten days later Acts 2 arrives and with it the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church. The rest of Acts we see the gospel expand and churches planted as the disciples move forward with the mission of being witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and even the ends of the earth. When thinking back to this massive gospel explosion I can’t help but think what led up to the beginnings of the church. A sinless life, a cross, and a resurrection led the disciples to an upper room and as a prelude to pentecost I see two big themes emerge from today’s text. First, they were together. Second, they prayed.
My hope for these 50 days of prayer is that we would pray together. While we won’t be getting together daily in an upper room somewhere in downtown Houston, we can still pray in one accord. Praying together for the mission of the church and connecting with God’s heart for lost and broken people. It is my hope and prayer that we will see God do great things here in Houston and new churches birthed to reach every nook and cranny of our city.
Would you pray along with us these next 50 days? There is a different theme each day of the week and we will post daily devotionals as an opportunity to reflect and pray together. I look forward to watching how God answers our united prayers.
Lord, thank you for coming to earth. I pray as we reflect on the resurrection today that we have a renewed sense of the purpose of your church. For the next fifty days between Easter and Pentecost I ask that you would encourage us to pray in one accord for the mission of the church here in Houston. Today, we pray for your mission. We pray that we would share your heart for the lost and broken and ask as churches we would be unified to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel to every man, woman and child in greater Houston. Thank you for the resurrection and the hope and confidence that a living Savior brings to being on your mission.