Devoted to… Prayer

Today is the last of a series of four messages based on Acts 2:42 on the subject ‘Devoted’.

"They DEVOTED themselves to the APOSTLES’ TEACHING, and to the FELLOWSHIP, to the BREAKING OF BREAD and to PRAYER."

Acts 2:42

PRAYER

Pastor David opened his message with a few questions but first warned us that the questions might give us a degree of discomfort and even a sense of guilt or a feeling of failure.

  • How is your prayer life?
  • How is it practised and prioritised in your own day to day life?
  • What has prayer looked like in your life in the past week – on your own and with others?

The disciples were devoted – fiercely committed – to their four essentials. Over the past three weeks we have been challenged to ask, are we devoted to the:

  1. Teaching of all Scripture
  2. Fellowship – sharing with one another
  3. Breaking of Bread
  4. And today – PRAYER

 

Devotion to prayer is mentioned in at least three other places in scripture:

"THEY ALL JOINED TOGETHER CONSTANTLY IN PRAYER. (Acts 1:14) BE… FAITHFUL IN PRAYER. (Romans 12:12) DEVOTE YOURSELVES TO PRAYER. "

Colossians 4:2

The first Christians were absolutely, consistently devoted to prayer.
Are we consistently devoted? Not just interested, dabbling or now and again.

Prayer is: A Jesus thing
What is the priority of prayer in the life of Jesus? Whoever claims to live in God must live as Jesus did. Jesus prayed in the early morning, all night. He was anointed while praying, transfigured while praying, he prayed in the garden and even died praying. Being devoted to prayer is a Jesus thing.

Prayer is: A time thing
We are told to pray without ceasing. We need to give it time. Daniel prayed 3 times a day. Giving time to prayer is a great help. The disciples constantly devoted themselves to it.

Prayer is: A corporate thing
The disciples devoted themselves to pray together. The church would assemble and pray together.

Are we a praying together church? Coming together to pray is a fundamental thing – a priority. Prayer meetings were the arteries of the early church. Even the prayer given to us by our Lord was a corporate prayer:

"OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN… GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD. FORGIVE US OUR SINS AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO SIN AGAINST US."

Matthew 6:9-13

Prayer draws people together and unites us in prayer.

Prayer is: A tough thing
It is so unnatural to us. Prayer requires discipline, a spiritual discipline. Unless we allocate a time to it, it will not happen. How much time each week do we give to prayer?

The result of the devotion demonstrated in Acts 2:42 was:

Awe – an attitude of reverence and worship
Love – they responded to the needs of those around them
Joy – breaking bread together with glad and sincere hearts
Favour – enjoying the favour of all the people
Growth – God added to their numbers


Challenge Point: Are we a praying together church?

Isobel Thompson

Isobel Thompson

Isobel Thompson