“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”
— Acts 2:42
Luke makes this statement as 3,000 people accept Peter’s message of Jesus, giving their lives to him and being baptized. As brand new Jesus-followers, “They devoted themselves… to prayer.”
Prayer isn’t the “advanced course” in following Jesus, or something for a small circle of those monastically inclined. As a group of people following Jesus together in community, we pray.
Just like hockey players skate, and swimmers swim, followers of Jesus pray. If you’re a hockey player and you can’t skate, you’re just kidding yourself about what you do. If you’re a swimmer and you never get in the water, then you’re not very believable. If you say that you follow Jesus, but you don’t pray, well…
For years, I thought that I wasn’t a prayer warrior, because it seemed that this term applied to elderly saints or to those who could intercede. Then how did these brand new followers of Jesus pray? Can I ever “pray continually” as I Thessalonians 5:17 says?
I can build my prayers on the foundation of what God has told me about who He is and how He loves. Living prayerfully all day long is built on the foundation of Scripture. It’s the place where what I read meets what I think, and where what I think meets what I do!
For me, this looks a lot like a quick phrase of prayer to God anytime. Sometimes, I’m in a conversation, and I’ll say in my head, “Lord, I just don’t know what to do here. Would you give me wisdom, please?” Sometimes, it’s a sense from the Holy Spirit that I’ve just got to hold my tongue. That doesn’t sound particularly spiritual, having God tell me just to keep my mouth shut, but the integration of prayers like this into my life is how I live prayerfully all day long.
1. Commit to praying continually throughout today, so that the Spirit’s guidance will shape how you think and influence what you say and do.
2. Plan to take a few moments this evening to reflect on how God prompted you or influenced your actions today.
Brian Delamont serves as the Senior Associate Pastor at Kamloops Alliance Church, in British Columbia. He is thankful for his wife, Darlene, for three amazing sons and daughters-in-law, and for God’s patience with him.