(Well, I goofed yesterday. I took the day off to spend with my husband for his birthday and forgot it was Monday. I missed the Acts study. I apologize and offer it a day late.)
What do you do when life seems to go completely off the rails? After Jesus’ ascension, the bewildered disciples returned to Jerusalem. And there they set the character of the church. The first congregation was a “praying church” as the disciples and followers of Jesus met together after His ascension (vs. 12-13). Verse 14 says that “They all joined together constantly in prayer.” Now, this doesn’t mean that they all sat in the same room for a prayer meeting. The phrase “constantly in prayer” means “to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing.”
I attended a church where the deacons (which my husband was) and wives (that was me) went to mandatory prayer meetings every Sunday night. We often sat behind one couple who played games on their phones the whole time. Another woman sat at the end of our row thumbing through a magazine while her husband reverently bowed his head and slept. The same handful of people prayed out loud every week, waxing elephants with their piety. I never felt less spiritual in all my life.
Luke says that all these people were together in one place with one mind and one heart, praying with one purpose – the coming of the Holy Spirit. They believed that Jesus would fulfill His promise (1:4-8) and so they waited in faith and prayer. By the way – the fact that women were present is shocking for the day as the Jewish traditions kept men and women apart for any religious activity. The fact that his brothers were there is also incredible. These were the same brothers who scoffed at Jesus and denied His claim to be the Son of God. Now they were crowded together, putting their lives on the line for a truth they had long eschewed. I posed a question at the beginning of this devotional: “What do you do when life goes off the rails? Jesus’ followers turned to prayer and faith while they waited for Him to do what He promised. There have been more than a few times I felt like everything had fallen apart in my life. I’m learning to follow their example. Beloved when everything goes wrong you can too. Pray in faith and wait.