Reading: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” Acts 1:14

When I was a young believer, I decided before God that I would attend the public prayer meeting in my church on alternate Wednesday evenings. In my immaturity I reckoned this every-other-week arrangement with God was a fair deal. However, when the first ”off” night came, I was miserable and quickly realized that I had made a mistake—I should have been at the prayer meeting! I thought of the first disciples when they returned from the Mount of Olives: they made their way immediately to an upper room to pray. This was a place to meet with their risen Lord! The assembly for prayer became a priority for them—they had a heart to pray.

First, they had a heart to pray because they were conscious of their dependence upon God. The disciples had just been given a commission that was humanly impossible. They knew their limitations—the fear, failures, and faults of the past—and they needed to pray.

Secondly, they had a heart to pray because they had a genuine desire for the blessing. To put it simply, they longed to know the power that Christ had spoken about! When they heard him speak of the promised Holy Ghost, a burden for Him arose within their hearts.

Thirdly, they had a heart to pray because they believed the promise of God. Christ had spoken of something that had never happened before. While the Holy Spirit was active previously, the outpouring of the Spirit was something else. Christ had promised these men a fullness of power that up until now had not been experienced—and they believed Him. They had heard the promise of Christ and they went to plead that promise in prayer.

Prayer is important for the church. Let’s stop making selfish excuses to be absent, and let us, like the early church, assemble with the saints for prayer. To do otherwise evidences spiritual independence, lack of desire, and unbelief.