Your First Move is to Pray

Like many others, the first century disciples questioned whether or not Jesus truly was the Son of God.  The cross made no sense to them.  They were bewildered, confused and you may even say, disturbed by it all. However, the physician Luke recorded the events of Jesus interacting with His followers shortly after His resurrection. 

He wrote, 

3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 

14 They all were continually united in prayer,  along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. – Acts 1: 3-9, 14. 

Note something very important.  Once the disciples encountered Jesus after His resurrection, they were never the same again.  All their doubts disappeared.  Did that mean the community would now believe their report of the resurrected Messiah?  No.  Would their message be received with open hearts and open minds?  No!  Would the political figures in charge of the country announce Christ as Superior?  Not in the slightest!

The world around these disciples did not change, but they changed!  Now, approximately two thousand years later, much of the skepticism concerning Christ by non-believers remains.   Yet, those who have had a personal encounter with Christ through faith can testify that He is very much alive and has transformed them and given their lives purpose and a peace about eternity. 

A stirring takes place once you have a personal encounter with the risen Christ. Speaking to Nicodemus, a first century religious leader, Jesus taught that at the moment one places their faith in Him, they are spiritually reborn!  With this stirring, the temptation is to run to the streets and pronounce to everyone, or just to anyone, who will listen about the new life you have in Christ.  Yet, it may do us a good service to slow down and take notice to what Jesus said to the first followers.  

Jesus told the disciples to wait until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit (vs. 4-5).  Then in verse 14, we read how they waited, they gathered together and they prayed!

Are you stirred for Christ and ready to step out of your comfort and into your mission, then your first step is to PRAY!

Your first inclination may be to say, “I need to Go!”  No!  You need first to Pray!

Your first inclination may be to say, “I need to Tell Someone!” No! You need first to Pray!

Hebrews 10: 24-25 says, And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.

When you read the New Testament you quickly find that whenever God has done a mighty work through a people, they first had spent time with God in prayer.  Now, you might  as well have told the sun not to shine or the birds not to sing or the waves to no longer crash against the shore as to tell these disciples not to pray to their resurrected LORD!

Are you waiting for God to empower you for service?  Then may I encourage you to not forsake assembling with God’s people in a local gathering and spend time together in prayer. 

Pray to be Empowered by the HOLY SPIRIT.

Jesus gave them instructions to gather and pray until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit.  

I am sure they were remembering what Jesus had taught them of the Holy Spirit.

  • He is a PERSON, not a force. – The 3rd person of the Trinity, co-equal with God the Father and God the Son
  • He is our Comforter and Counselor
  • He Opens our Understanding to the Scriptures
  • He Empowers our Witness for Christ
  • He gives us Boldness
  • He Guides us
  • He Teaches us
  • He gives us Gifts to Use in Ministry for Christ
  • He Seals our Adoption into the Family of God
  • He convicts us of Sin. 
  • He Remains with us forever.

After 10 days in prayer, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them and they left the room where they were staying and went into the streets and proclaimed the Name of Christ to the masses. 

Today, there is no need for us to pray for the Holy Spirit to come, He has already come.  Our prayer now should be to be filled with Him.  Our great desire ought to be to surrender completely to His presence in our lives and allow Him to empower us to be a witness for Christ. 

The great question of the hour is not whether or not you have all of the Holy Spirit, but rather, does the Holy Spirit have all of you?

Look at that first group of disciples.  They were a strange bunch to give the responsibility of sharing the greatest message to ever be proclaimed. Peter was an uneducated galilean.  Thomas was full of doubts.  The brothers, James and John were full of pride.  Matthew was a tax collector and viewed as a traitor to his own people. Simon the zealot was a radical nationalist.  Yet, when they met the resurrected Christ, they were stirred and when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit, they were changed and God used them to spread the Good News of Jesus to the world! 

Why do we need to pray for God to empower us with His Holy Spirit? 

Because God can do the miraculous IN YOU and THROUGH YOU when you Seek Him and Surrender to His Authority in your life!

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