Together in Christ: 'Prayer, Pentecost, and Power' — Acts 1:14, 2:1-4

Sunday, August 6, 2023

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.

. . .

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

— Acts 1:14, 2:1-4 NLT

Key Thought

The day of Pentecost — fifty days after the Passover feast and after the Lord presented himself alive for forty days after his resurrection [1] — the Holy Spirit gave birth to Jesus' church. Three thousand people repented of their sins, called on the name of the Lord, were baptized into Christ, and each received the gift of the Holy Spirit. [2] Our Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem. [3] They did and began to pray fervently. [4] During their prayers, the Lord fulfilled His promise to pour out the Holy Spirit upon them, and they spoke in languages that people from all over the world could understand. [5]

In some ways, the events of Pentecost could never happen quite the same way ever again. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit has repeated several vital movements of grace that were present at that Pentecost at crucial turning points in church history when Jesus' followers: [6]

  • Gather together in unified prayer.
  • Powerfully proclaimed the Good News of Jesus.
  • Invite God to act powerfully and redemptively.
  • Celebrate God bringing salvation to lost people.

God wants His family to grow larger by reaching more and more people and people groups across the whole world. [7] As we focus on our relationships in Christ — especially in the book of Acts this month — we should expect the Lord to do similar things in our day!

I believe we can see similar movements empowered by God's grace in our time! How do I know? God made them happen then, and he has done it throughout history. Jesus' disciples must come together in prayer, encourage one another in love, and expect our Lord to move in mighty ways!

[1] Acts 1:3.
[2] Acts 2:38-41. Some have questioned how the apostles could baptize three thousand people at the Temple in Jerusalem. Recent excavations near the Temple mount have revealed over 300 mikvehs — pools for ceremonial washing of people about the size of a large hot tub today.
[3] Acts 1:4-8.
[4] Acts 1:12-14.
[5] Acts 2:1-8.
[6] Acts 8:8-17 with Samaritans. Acts 10:24-48 with Gentiles. Acts 19:1-7 with twelve disciples of John the Baptizer in Ephesus.
[7] Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:7-8.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, please move in our day the way You have in the past. We want to see the lost come to Jesus. We want to see Your people unified in prayer and live missionally for Jesus. Please, dear Jesus, pour out your Spirit. Purify and empower us past our deficits, faults, imperfections, weaknesses, and short-sightedness. Together, we pray the prayer of Habakkuk:

Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known... [Amen.]
* Habakkuk 3:2 NIV.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 24:44-53; Acts 1:1-10
  • Ephesians 3:14-21

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 1:14, 2:1-4 NLT — 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.
. . .
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.