Prayer               Acts 1:12 

Visualization and preparation are a huge part of the athlete’s life. Before events and heats, they are visualizing themselves riding the waves making maneuvers, even winning the event. They run through scenarios in their minds to prepare their thoughts and reactions for the actual event. It is said that if you fail to prepare you prepare to fail.

The Christians in acts are called to prepare for the coming of the spirit but it is not a psychological visualization they edge in but the vital act of prayer. Simply talking to God re the things ahead and the things that have occurred preparing their hearts and spirits for what is next.

Let’s look at Acts 1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. 13 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. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

Here we see that the faithful have gathered waiting just as Jesus had instructed. They are changed after the resurrection they gather together to pray not in fear like (Jn 20:19). We see gathered the 11, and others Mary Jesus’ mother and another woman some suggest; (Mary Magdeline; Mary and Martha, Salome Mary the wife of Clopas & the apostle’s wives). Yep, the apostles had wives and families 1 Cor 9:5 tells us that the other apostles (not Paul) were accompanied by believing wives.

The greatest evidence of the change and encouragement the disciples received after the resurrection is found in the fact that Jesus’ brothers are gathered there as well. Joining with the disciples in prayer waiting for the promise of God. We know who they are from Mark 6:3 (James and Joses and Judas and Simon).

James who went on to lead the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17 & 15:13-22) & Jude or Judas who wrote the epistle carrying his name. We could assume Jesus’ sisters may be numbered in the heading ‘the women’ also.

Jesus brothers are new believers changed since his death and resurrection we see their unbelief in Jn 7:5 For not even his brothers believed in him.

So this group gathers to pray, wait and appoint leadership there are 120 in the upper room.

Leadership will be the topic next week. Jesus had taught his disciples how to pray.

Matt 6: 5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.Pray then like this: The Lord’s Prayer follows this statement. the Lord’s prayer is a prayer to be emulated not repeated endlessly as a liturgy. It is a model of prayer containing Praise and adoration/supplication to God’s will/petition for personal needs / and forgiveness. continuing with guidance and deliverance of grace. These elements should be in our prayers as a template of sorts.

But mostly we pray, ‘Hi God you’re great and my name is Jimmy and I’ll have everything you can give me. amen roger over and out.’

Imagine if we listened in prayer rather than demanded. If prayer was a true conversation not just a list of stuff.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.    Soren Kierkegaard

True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is a spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.  Charles Spurgeon

The story of Christian reformation, revival, and renaissance underscores that the darkest hour is often just before the dawn, so we should always be people of hope and prayer, not gloom and defeatism. God the Holy Spirit can turn the situation around in five minutes.    Os Guinness

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
Soren Kierkegaard