Verse of the Day Devotion. Acts 1:14
“These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” – Acts 1:14
After the ascension they went back to Jerusalem, as Jesus told them. He had commanded them to wait there until they received the gift promised to them by Jesus. “And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, which, He said, you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5.
They obeyed this command from Jesus and they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. And when they had entered, the eleven remaining apostles went to the upper room where they were staying. But not just them, for we see in an earlier verse, “along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.” Luke 1:14b. So those in the upper room were the eleven apostles, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Jesus’ brothers. The women mentioned included Jesus’ mother, and various others. We see in Luke the following. “And it came about soon afterwards, that He began going about from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God; and the twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.” Luke 8:1-3.
And the purpose for being there is found in our focus verse. “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer.” Acts 1:14a. In Acts, Luke gave a generalized review of the activity of the Christian community. The primary characteristic that marked their life together in this period was prayer, as they anticipated together the promised gift of the Spirit. However, prayer was a hallmark of the church in its early days. The time before Pentecost was a time for waiting, a time spent in prayer undoubtedly for the promised Spirit and for the power to witness. There is no effective witness without the Spirit, and the way to spiritual empowerment is to wait in prayer.
In this post, I want to ask this very important question. As the early Christians, is prayer truly a hallmark of the church in these present days? Do we see prayer as simply something we do because that is what Christians do, or is it a devoted time to spend with the eternal God who created everything that exists, including ourselves? I also ask these questions of myself as well. They are not words meant to convict anyone but to encourage us all to strengthen our relationship with Him. Of course He knows everything. He knows the deep feelings of our hearts. We should desire to spend time with Him, ourselves with God, to develop a closer relationship with Him. And we must always remember that prayer is not a one-way street. Yes, we come to Him and share our needs, desires, and our feelings. However, we must also be still and quiet, and let God speak to us as well. I find these times of comfort and joy, but also times of learning and correction. Remember what is recorded in the psalms. “Cease striving (be still) and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10.
Throughout the Book of Psalms, we see this type of relationship between David and God. He shared everything with God, and God provided what he needed; be it things, comfort, correction, etc. And David welcomed it all, and thus his relationship with God was strong and intimate. I encourage us all to look at Psalm 25. David bears his heart to God, asking Him to guide him in every aspect of life. God desires this type of relationship with us. Take the time to pray, speaking and listening to Him. There are great blessings in both aspects.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.