Experience - Day 4

Acts 1:12-14 NLT

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. 13 When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. Here are the names of those who were present: Peter, John, James, Andrew,
Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (the zealot), and Judas (son of James). 14 They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.

Few things can bring people together more than tragedy. I can remember that after the terrorist attacks on the United States, on that infamous day of September 9, 2001, our country rallied together in a way I hadn’t witnessed it do before. Flags were flying on houses in neighborhood after neighborhood, churches were holding prayer vigils, and even the
different political parties in government were crossing their ideological divides to embrace one another. It was a beautiful time. And it lasted about three, maybe four weeks, before we started at each other again. We started to place blame, point fingers, and put up walls.

What I am most impacted by in the passage for today is the line that they “all met together and were constantly united in prayer.” Oh how I wish that happened more often. How I wis that in this in-between time, in-between Jesus resurrection and His final return, we could be more united in prayer; across political divides, across theological disagreements, across behavioral differences. But more and more, we draw lines in the sand and seem to care
way more about other people knowing how right we are, then we care about getting to know the person we disagree with.

I just wonder what would happen if prayer once again became the driving force behind our gatherings, our conversations, our jobs, and our worship? I wonder what kind of people and communities we’d be, if we stopped bickering over our differences, and started uniting under the banner of love and our humanity? I bet we’d do a better job living in the in-between,
depending on God, growing in trust, and letting Him worry about the big stuff, while you and I care for one another and love, as He loves us. Man, just imagine, what a world that would be. Maybe that is the most important of our calls as we live this life, in the in-between; in-between the now and the not yet, what we can see and what we can’t, and what we long for, the next
coming of Jesus.

1. What are some of the most common disagreements or divides that you have with those around you (family, work, church)?
2. Do you think it’s possible to set an example of laying those things down in order to seek commonality? If so, what is one thing you could to today to work in that direction?
3. Have you ever had a season in life where you were united with others in prayer over someone or something? What was that like? And if you don’t have that opportunity right now, what’s stopping you from reaching out to people to begin a weekly prayer experience right now?

By Pastor Paddy McCoy

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