“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:4 KJV
Background: After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who gave the disciples power to witness (Acts 1:8) at Pentecost in Acts 2, there was a massive influx of people into the Church, who devoutedly followed Jesus as they were taught by His disciples (apostles); i believe this is why Acts 6:1 KJV describes it this way “…the number of disciples was multiplied…” Not surprisingly (as with any crowd presence), problems began to ensue because a certain group felt their widows where being neglected. The apostles understood this as a crucial need, but not important enough for it to take priority over the mission Jesus gave them in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15-18. So, they laid out some criteria for seven men to be selected that would oversee the fair distribution of food, so as to focus on their priority – prayer and ministry of the Word (see today’s text).
Yesterday, we looked at how choosing to follow Jesus gives us access to more spiritual knowledge; you can’t hear Him if you’re not His sheep (John 10:27). Today’s text shows us two more intertwined ways to access more spiritual knowledge: Prayer and Word Time! We’ll look at prayer a bit closely today:
“Open my eyes [to spiritual truth] so that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law.” Psalms 119:18 AMPC
“I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:16-20 NLT
David and Paul knew the importance of prayer in gaining access to more spiritual knowledge, so each prayed accordingly based on need i believe: David for himself, perhaps in his personal devotion time, and Paul for the Church; his Ephesian ‘children in the Lord’. These examples show us that we can and should pray for increase in spiritual knowledge both for ourselves and the Church (for both clergy and laity). Personally, i have prayed these Scriptures literally time and again and those in Ephesians 3:16-19 and Colossians 1:9-11. These help me have a more fruitful Bible study ==> more spiritual knowledge!
God can answer these prayers in a number of ways: By giving us more insight as we study the Word, by sending someone (a preacher or other believer) to address a Word question we’ve been ‘stuck’ at, by sending materials our way unexpectedly (blogs, texts, magazines, old CDs and books etc) that would help us know Him more, by YouTube suggested videos (yep, He’s ahead of our technology 🙂 and can also use it), visions and dreams (which must agree with Scripture otherwise, they should be discarded) and much more than i can think of.
Don’t limit God; just do your bit in praying.
God bless you
© Lydia Ndagilaya for PneumaWord
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