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The Scriptorium

Don't Know How to Pray?

We can learn to pray like the apostles.

Acts (1)

Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts by clicking here.

Read and reflect on Acts 1.15-21.
We’ve all been in a prayer group or prayer meeting when the leader says, “OK, let’s pray.” And every other prayer is some variation of, “Lord, we really just praise You.” Sincere, no doubt, but insipid. What do you expect? We don’t know how to pray as we should (Rom. 8.26), so why should we expect our prayers to be any more profound, moving, or inspiring than that?

For reflection
1.  I think it’s quite possible – we’ll see why in chapter 4 – that those folks in that upper room were praying through the psalms, because, after all, they didn’t know how to pray as they should any more than we do. Have you tried using psalms in your prayer life? Do you pray the closing prayer psalm for each day’s study? What advantages might there be for us in learning to pray the psalms?

2.  It’s interesting to note that Peter quotes from the psalms – in the order they appear – to call a pause in the meeting in order to take care of some business. Psalm 69 may have piqued Peter’s thinking as they prayed through it. And when they got to Psalm 109, Peter became convinced that the Lord was speaking to him through His Word. How did praying these psalms direct the disciples during their period of waiting? Is it reasonable to expect that praying the psalms might provide such direction for us? Explain.

3.  Something wasn’t quite in order. Some further preparations were needed before the promise of the Father would come. What did Peter direct them to do? Note that they didn’t head off into this task willy-nilly. They set some standards, and then opened the floor for nominations. Why these standards?

4.  The Lord speaking through His Word, clearly, so that we know exactly what we ought to do? Is this the way you experience the Word of God, or prayer guided by the Word?

5.  Note, too, how Peter assumes the lead role here. We might think he’d be a bit gun-shy after his denial. But Peter took the Word of Christ seriously in John 21, and regardless of what others may have thought, he was not going to fail the Lord again. He stepped up to tend and feed the Lord’s lambs, and to set the flock in order for what was about to occur. Is Peter acting presumptuously here? Why not?

As we are waiting on the Lord, He can speak to us about matters that need to be taken care of right away, so the Kingdom can continue its advance through us. But we need to read the Word of God, and listen for His voice as we pray the Word into our lives, fully expecting that He will lead us this day into some work of obedience. How can you begin to read the Word and pray more like this?

Closing Prayer
Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.

Psalm 25.4, 5

T. M. Moore

Each week’s studies in Acts are bound together into a free PDF that you can download for personal or group use (click here). Each week also features a video related to the studies of the week, which you may find helpful as you work through our studies Acts.

Acts is the record of Christ’s ongoing work as King and Lord. For more insight to His work in our here and now, order the book,
The Kingship of Jesus, from our online store by clicking here.

Please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Or, you can click here to donate online through credit card or PayPal.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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