When It Is The Hardest… Pray. (Pt. 1)

“Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, a distance of half a mile. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room of the house where they were staying… 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.” - Acts 1:12-14

In order to fulfill our assignment on earth, in order to further and advance God’s will for our lives, we must realize that we are not able to do it on our own strength, with our own ability, or under our own power. We need God’s power. Jesus promised to give us His power, but the question becomes are we ready to receive it? 

The verse above is a story about when the believers gathered in the Upper Room and how they were preparing to receive the Holy Spirit. While we can see that the believers prayed, what is most interesting is under the circumstances which they prayed. They were in a room on a street that is the same site as the Last Supper, and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. They were assembled not far away from the site where Jesus died and from where they last ate a meal with him.

The pain of their recent past is still fresh; the trauma of their recent disappointment is very real. The reason Luke tells us that it was Sabbath day’s journey from Mt. Olivet is to get us to imagine their struggle en route to the Upper Room. Their hearts must have been heavy. Their spirits must have been weighed down. Their minds must have been recalling all of the horrible things they had witnessed, endured, and gone through.

And yet, despite their hardships and their circumstances, they prayed nonetheless. They had just witnessed the man they devoted three years of their lives to be publicly executed by the government. They must have asked themselves what does all of this mean? They must have wrestled with whether it was all worth it. And they must have wondered what do we do now that the person we loved, sacrificed for, and served, has died? 

And yet, with dreams dashed, hopes deferred, and facing ridicule and persecution themselves, they prayed. 

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