In chapter 1 of Acts, the Builder goes to heaven, but before that we see Him putting together this new church—His most stupendous miracle on earth. He is following a plan all His own—a new plan. And when He ascended to heaven, He did not take the plan with Him; He left it here for us.
Moreover, He even left us a model—a full-size model, not a mini-model— in the famous upper room. It is in plain view: about 120 members, all praying together in a prayer meeting! Every member was present. Here is the crowning miracle of all Christ’s earthly miracles—His new wonder in the world, the last thing He did on earth before He ascended to heaven.
In Acts, the Lord Jesus gave us not only a model, but also a blueprint for building. This is what we need to see and study. How we build up a church depends on how we read the blueprint. Here we have the “Book of the Church,” the ecclesia, the assembly, the congregation. I must learn with Jesus how to build His assembly so that it turns out to be like His model. How is this to be done?
The model and the blueprint correspond. Our Lord builds a praying congregation in Jerusalem. His plan calls for a praying congregation to be the new vehicle for everything He has in mind. And it calls for us to be so much a part of such a congregation that we can never be the same again.
The plan calls for that Jerusalem praying congregation to dominate the book of Acts and to determine the course of the church.
Father, I long to follow Your plans and purposes always. Help me to carefully consider Your perfect plan for becoming a praying person and for being a part of a praying congregation. Sometimes I don’t feel like a very skilled builder, but I know by following Your blueprint, the instructions will be clear and easy to follow. May I be diligent in praying for the leaders of my church so that every person might see the power of Your prayer model to transform our community of believers.
–Adapted from With One Accord in One Place: The Role of Prayer in the Early Church by Armin Gesswein. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God for the depth of the riches of his wisdom and knowledge (Rom.11:33). Give thanks that “from him and through him and to him are all things” (11:36). Confess times of thinking that God owes you favors or explanations (11:35). Commit yourself to thinking deeply about God until you come to the end of your ability to understand. Ask God to help you reach that point with wonder and amazement rather than doubt or cynicism (11:33-36).
Pray that God will help all believers to be students of his ways with eyes to see and minds to understand more of his caring control. Ask that God’s kingdom will soon come in fullness.
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