Be sure to view the video introducing our study of Acts 3 (Lesson 3) by clicking here.
Read and meditate on Acts 3.1
I know this seems like a very slight portion of Scripture for an entire day’s meditation. But there’s much here to ponder, especially when it comes to understanding the ongoing work of Christ as He is supplanting the kingdom of darkness with the Kingdom of Light. What Luke describes in chapter 3 is a single event, one of many he might have chosen, but one that gives us insight to the impact of the Kingdom on its culture.
1. We might translate the verb here something like “would go up” or “used to go up.” Luke’s choice of the imperfect verb form, anabainon, to describe Peter’s and John’s going up to the temple, suggests this was a habitual practice on their parts. They weren’t just going up to the temple at this particular moment. They were in the habit or had embraced the discipline of going up to the temple like this. What does this suggest about the kind of discipline life in the Kingdom requires?
2. But why were they going up to the temple? Luke explains that it was “the hour of prayer.” As I have suggested, the Apostles followed the Old Testament practice of praying the psalms. Apparently they also followed the Old Testament practice of observing set hours of prayer during the day. How does this compare with your own practice of prayer? Explain.
3. Whether the hours of prayer were three set times or seven is not clear, here or elsewhere. But this much is clear: The Apostles drew aside at certain hours of the day to join with other believers – or to retreat by themselves (Acts 10.9) – for prayer. The Kingdom of God comes not only by proclamation, but across the bridge of prayer. How much does the Kingdom feature in your prayers?
4. Probably few of us can imagine retreating for prayer three or five or seven times a day. Is this because we are busier than the Apostles were? Or because what we’re busy with is more important to us than what they were busy with? Jesus taught us to pray for the coming of the Kingdom (Matt. 6.10). How might you incorporate such prayers into your prayers? What would you pray?
5. What could prevent you from establishing set times during the day to retire from your activities for a brief season of prayer? What might you expect if you began praying more often and more consistently for the coming of the Kingdom?
Seeking the Kingdom should find us often in prayer for its coming. Remember: The disciples “waited” for the coming of the Kingdom for ten straight days, praying without ceasing. Without more deliberate and consistent prayer for the coming of the Kingdom, we’re not likely to see much progress here. Make a list of things you might actually pray for concerning the coming of the Kingdom in and through you.
I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure.
I hate and abhor lying,
But I love Your law.
Seven times a day I praise You,
Because of Your righteous judgments.
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.
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