What really jumped out to me today in reading Acts 1-3 was how much time was devoted to prayer in the early church. There were ten days between the ascension and the day of Pentecost that we are told the disciples spent in prayer. They prayed over Judas’ replacement. They were praying when the Holy Spirit came upon them. They devoted themselves to prayer among other things. Peter and John went to the temple at the hour to pray. There is no doubt about it, the early church was a church at prayer.
This caused me to reflect on how little or much the church places an emphasis on prayer these days. It seems like if you don’t want anyone to show up, you call it a prayer meeting. One of my pastor friends had joked as the virus was beginning to spread and we were trying to figure out how to meet safely, “there is plenty of room to socially distance at the prayer meeting on Wednesday night.” Why is there so little regard for prayer these days?
As I contemplated, I couldn’t help but realize the transition that had taken place with the disciples from a month and a half before when they too had issue focusing in prayer and kept falling asleep. In that month and a half they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, ascended into heaven, and all the promises of God coming true before their very eyes. I imagine the recognized their need and dependence on the Lord more than ever. I guess that’s really what’s at stake when we are lazy toward prayer, we don’t recognize how much we need that vital connection with the Lord.
Father, how sweet it is that we get to approach you with such familiarity and dependence. Thank you that we can call on you in prayer at any time. I confess that too many times I’ve been lazy in prayer because I’ve taken things for granted. I confess my deep need for you. By your grace let me be humble yet bold in my approach to you, knowing that you are a good father desiring to give his children good gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.