Read: Acts 1:4-14
. . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. (v. 8 NIV)
In today’s reading, we hear again Jesus’ instruction to and his promises for his disciples. They ask him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom of Israel?” But he redirects their curiosity and gives them not pointers to a date but promises power to bear witness. Then, he is taken up before their startled eyes.
When the believers return from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, they go upstairs to a large room where they were staying. Each of the apostles, along with a number of women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, plus Jesus’ brothers, all join together constantly in prayer. This is vitally important to note. Jesus has promised them that the Holy Spirit will be given to empower them, but they do not wait idly for that to happen. They see the promise as a powerful call to prayer, and all of them join in that constant, urgent appeal to God for what he has promised.
I want this to speak to me and to all of us about how we deal with the promises of God. They are always God’s invitation to the prayer of faith. He wants us to pray without ceasing as God-seekers have always done, saying to our faithful God, “Do as you have said!” This wonderful circle of early believers was determined to keep on praying until the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. And they did! —Bill Brownson
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to prize your promises by turning them into believing prayer!