11 September 2019

Hello, it’s Mick here and welcome to Wednesday’s podcast. We continue in our reflections in Acts today; hearing again the story of how the early church began – how a group of ordinary, committed people became disciples of Jesus and began a movement that changed the world.

Today’s reading is Acts1: 9-14 – here it is.

Acts1:9-14

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.  They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’  Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

REFLECTION:

v14 they all joined together constantly in prayer

Today is a great bible reading. It describes the Ascension – the time that Christians believe Jesus left this earth and ascended to be with his Father in heaven. Always remember, there is a man in heaven – the risen Jesus – praying for you now. What to do now? v14 is the verse for today  ‘They all joined together constantly in prayer’.

The original words mean ‘together, they constantly devoted themselves to prayer’. I love the way the Message Bible puts this verse: ‘They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included.’(! – my exclamation)

Two things to reflect on today: firstly, it is not only good but vital to our spiritual life to pray with others. Having your own prayer time is right – just you and Jesus at some time during the day. If you have small children, or a demanding work schedule it may be just a few moments you get some days to be with Jesus, to say thank you to him and ask for his guidance, wisdom and blessing. However, it is also vital to pray with others. So, if you are in a cell group make sure you spend plenty of time praying together. If you are not in a cell group, join one!

Secondly, devote yourself to prayer. sounds a bit radical doesn’t it! Not really because the word simply means ‘persist’ – make your mind up what to pray for and then stick to it. In these verses today Jesus’ disciples were ‘persisting’ in prayer – asking the key question ‘what next God?’ That’s why I love our prayer times at STC – daily prayers at 9am and 3pm but also nights of worship and prayer were we as a church family ‘persist’ in prayer. It should be a great encouragement us that as these first followers of Jesus persisted in prayer together – the Holy Spirit cane upon them and the church was born! More of that on Friday.

Let’s persist in prayer together dear fiends and see what happens!

PRAYER:

Lord, thank you for the gift of prayer. Thank you that the Holy Spirit helps me to pray – even when I’m sometimes not quite sure how to pray. Lord, help me in my life and help us as a church family to persist in prayer. Amen

READING: Acts 1:9-14

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’

Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.