“Waiting upon the Lord for power”
“They all joined together constantly in prayer…” ( 1:14)
Once in a small, country church the priest called a special meeting of the congregation to approve the purchase of a brand new chandelier. After some discussion of pros and cons, an old farmer stood up and said, "Buying a new chandelier may seem like a good idea to you, but I’m against it for three reasons. First of all, it’s too expensive and we can’t afford one. Second, there isn’t anybody around here who knows how to play one. And third, what we really need in this church is a new light fixture." Too often our lack of understanding or even our selfish notions serve to divide us and thereby hindering the growth and purpose that God intends through His Church and each one of us. In this passage, we find that the disciples in obedience to Christ (Acts 1:4) returned after the Ascension to Jerusalem as a faith community emboldened through a new understanding of unity.
Unity of Believers, as the witness of Christ
The concept of true unity is quite powerful. It essentially suggests priority rests not in personal differences but, in a greater purpose and vision. For the disciples and the women (1:14), this was fulfilled through the empowering commission of Jesus Christ. Thus, Christian unity is not about “us” as much as it is about Christ. We may observe in this passage that they traveled together, stayed together and all continually prayed together. There is no sense of individualism here but, a mature realization of community. Therein, their witness was revealed through actions, mutual relationship and faith in Christ above their words. Do we tend to limit our Christian witness to words that do not match our life? Our witness as Christians must exude from a selfless and faith-centered experience of unity.
Prayer, an experience of deep faith
“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Acts 1:14)”. This prayer meeting reflects an intimate fellowship of disciples, close family and followers of Christ who encouraged and strengthened each other in prayer. Their constant prayer signifies that it was not their physical needs that took precedence in prayers but, the spiritual desire to be in communion with God. Thus, their prayer expresses their dependence on Christ as they wait for upon the Lord for power. Prayer must always flow through a deep experience of faith; it is often less about speaking and more about listening. Do we too often dismiss the true power and depth of prayer in our life? Our prayer and fellowship with each other must seek to heal and encourage as we are led by God’s power in our life.
Prayer: Almighty Lord God, we thank you for your sacrifice which binds us in love and for your commission which leads us in a your direction. Enables us to grow as a true community of faith in unity, faith and prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thought for the Day: “Whatever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man.” Edmund Burke
Rev. Jaisen A Thomas, MTC, Virginia