"Peter and the Believers" by Christoph Weigel
Image from Pitts Theology Library
TO CHEW ON: "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." Acts 1:14
Before He chose His disciples, Jesus spent all night in prayer. In our reading today, the believers were at a crossroads in spiritual time. Jesus had told them to wait in Jerusalem for the baptism of the Holy Spirit "not many days hence." And then He ascended into heaven.
And so the group of faithful—the eleven remaining apostles, the women that accompanied Jesus, His mother and brothers (about 120 in all)—waited in an upper room. Three things stand out about their gathering:
They met "with one accord." [The word is homothumadon. It means " being unanimous, having mutual consent, being in agreement, having group unity, having one mind and purpose. The disciples had an intellectual unanimity, an emotional rapport, and volitional agreement in the newly founded church. In each of its occurrences homothumadon shows a harmony leading to action" - Dick Mills, Word Wealth, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible p. 1490.] Their unity must have had Jesus rejoicing (John 17:20, 21).
They spent time in prayer. The NKJV says "prayer and supplication." When we supplicate, we ask humbly, by earnest prayer, beg, entreat.
3. They did the next thing:
Their one-accord prayer meeting led to a recognition that there was something they needed to do to fulfill scripture, that is, replace Judas (Psalm 109:8). And so they did the next thing as they waited for the Holy Spirit's coming.
We too can braid these three strands into our personal lives and the life of the church. They are a good trio to keep in mind whenever we arrive at a personal or church bend in the road. (When we're wondering whether to apply for a different job, sell the house and move, build a new church, etc., maybe it would be a good idea to also actually take a break from regular life as we do the above, like the disciples seemed to do here.)
Staying united, keeping short accounts with each other and with God; praying much and earnestly; and doing the next thing God shows/tells us to do are also things we can do throughout our entire sojourn on earth as we await the big-picture fulfillment of God's promises and plans for us.
PRAYER: Dear God, it's hard to wait for the return of a prodigal, the prospering of a business, the revival of a church, the healing of a mind or body … Help me to follow the example of these early Christians in my times of waiting. Amen.
MORE: "Wait on God and He will work"
"Wait on God and He will work, but don't wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you! Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God? To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest - August 1 reading.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.