It is intriguing to me to stop and wonder what the band of 120 followers prayed about for ten days after the ascension and prior to Pentecost. I asked that question in a small Bible study the other day, and someone said, “They were praying for the Holy Spirit to come.” Since I wasn’t there I cannot say conclusively, “No, they weren’t.”
But in my heart I believe they weren’t. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until the Promise was fulfilled. And He reminded them that promise was of the Holy Spirit coming. He had told them before His crucifixion, “It is good that I go away, so the Holy Spirit can come. You know Him, because He has been with you. He will be in You.” He had returned to the Father, and the Holy Spirit was going to come. So there was no need to pray for that.
Jesus had told them when He left, they would continue to do His work. In fact, He had said, you will do greater things than I have done. Jesus is leaving the responsibility of the Great Commission in their hands. I think they were praying, “God get us ready. Help us keep our eyes on you. Give us courage. Help our unbelief, and things of that nature.”
What is amazing to me is they were “of one heart.” Now I had missed this all along. In the same small Bible Study the other day, a relatively new believer said, “That is before the Holy Spirit comes.”
I had read that passage many times, and even preached on it many times. But that observation had escaped my attention.
They were different individuals from different backgrounds. Some were fishermen. Some were tax collectors. Some had come out of pretty wretched past lives. They had different personalities. Likely their dreams for their lives had been differing. But their prayers are One. They had united around a common Vision. A revelation from the Lord of the mission that was before them.
The church is like that. We are different. We have different dreams. We have different pasts. We may be different politically, economically, and ethnically. But can we not be One around God’s mission? Jesus had a priority. He had come preaching “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.” He spent His last 40 days on earth illuminating the things of God’s Kingdom. He told us, “Seek first God’s Kingdom.” When we embrace His priority, and we join our hearts in common purpose around His Commission, I believe we can experience the blessing of God that brings the power to bring the church to life, and to advance God’s Kingdom.