Unity In Prayer Among the Brethren

Tonto and the Lone Ranger were riding through a canyon together, when all of a sudden both sides were filled with Indian warriors on horses, dressed for battle. The Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and asked, “What are we going to do?” Tonto replied, “What you mean & … More

Unity

After the Lord ascended the disciples immediately returned to Jerusalem from nearby Mount Olivet and had a prayer meeting (vv. 12-13). When we face a difficult task or an important decision we shouldn’t rush into the work and hope it will turn out the way we think it should. Instead, our first step should be to pray for the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance. The reference to “a Sabbath day’s journey” is interesting. This distance was less than one mile. It points out how thoroughly Jewish these first disciples were. God had simply set the Sabbath apart as a day of rest, but the Jewish rabbis had made what should have been a blessing into a burden. They had added  hundreds of additional rules like this “Sabbath day’s journey” rule, which had nothing to do with obeying God.

However, their going back to Jerusalem was a step of obedience. The Lord had commanded them that they must not depart from Jerusalem, but wait (v.4). They did not know how long they would have to wait, but they were willing to wait as long as it would take for the Lord to fulfill His promise of sending the Holy Spirit. They assembled in the upper room, which many think was the house  of Mary, the mother of John Mark (v. 14). Note that at this time Jesus brothers were with the disciples.  Before the resurrection they did not believe He was the Messiah. There were approximately 120 people (v. 15). This is the company of people that in ten days would be filled with the Holy Spirit, and God would use to change the course of history forever.

The key phrase of this passage is, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” We see here a wonderful unity that bound them together in Christ. It has been said that prayer is both the thermometer and the thermostat of the local church. The “spiritual temperature” either goes up or down, depending on how much God’s people pray.

 

Application

What do you think these people prayed for during this time? A good question to ask myself is, “What would I pray for under similar conditions?”

Acts 1:12-14 (English Standard Version)

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »