lørdag 4. juni 2016

The prayer that is powerful and effective*

The record from the prayer-meeting continues: 
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Acts 4:31
Here we see many things happening at the same time. As on the Day of Pentecost, it stated that the disciples were "filled with the Holy Spirit". But it was hardly a new 'baptism in the Holy Spirit'. I take that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is the first surrender to, and experience of, the Holy Spirit in and over the life of the believer. The fact that the disciples shortly after needed “refill”, is a healthy sign. I need to be filled, again and over again. 

The second thing I notice is that this time is the physical manifestation completely different from those on the Day of Pentecost. It says nothing about tongues, sound, wind or fire - but a shaking. Thus, all the most common physical signs of God’s revealed presence found in the Old Testament are mentioned in connection to the Holy Spirit's revelation in Acts.

It is important that the Holy Spirit is not bound to any of them. He could have come in "fragile sound of silence". But regardless of strong manifestations or absence of them, the important thing is the effects. The most interesting conclusion from the prayer-meeting in Jerusalem is that the effect is the same as on the day of Pentecost: 

They spoke the word of God with boldness! 
That's the main thing. It was also what the disciples had prayed for (cf. Acts 4:29) – it is a prayer after God’s heart. The other signs are just “side effects”.

One of the privelidges I have had as a Christian, is to be part of prayer-fellowships where the main purpose is to seek the heart of God. The results are powerful and effective. I will write more about praying with mind and spirit tomorrow.

'Manna' for today: 
"The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."*
 * James 5:16

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