torsdag 2. juni 2016

We pray for peace, but is it uneasiness we need?

After Peter and John had been at the Council for the second time "they went back to their own" to tell and to pray. Acts of the Apostles is very much about “belonging” and the need to belong. It is a place of sharing in fellowship. I would have loved to be a part of the prayer meeting that developed Peter and John’s report. It resulted in a “refilling” of the Holy Spirit. 

Perhaps part of the explanation must be seen in the situation that triggered the prayers:

When they heard it, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord
Acts 4:24 a
This brief sentence gives me important information:
• It was "uneasiness" that triggered the prayer
I think there is too little "uneasiness" in God’s people in the Western world today. We trust that our religious organizations and structures will settle any discomfort. Our ancestors used to call it "burning compassion". In his “installation-sermon” in February 2013, Commissioner Dick Krommenhoek asked the congregation to pray for uneasiness. (1)
• They prayed "to" God
A prayer is not an end in itself - it is directed towards a goal. Stop for a few seconds and think about the difference!
• They prayed with one accord
Many prayer initiative breaks down because the prayers are pointing in all directions. It is so important to know what lies on the heart of God and pray in accordance with his will. We often think how we shall formulate our prayer when it is our turn to pray. In so doing, we do not listen to the person praying ahead of us. When we do not do that – it is hard to pray with one accord.
• They prayed with one voice
The petition must have made a great impact since Luke is able to reproduce it many years later. Can it be interpreted literally? Did they all pray with the same words simultaneously and spontaneously? I believe it could have happened! Anyway, there must at least have been a feeling that it was unanimous. The words uttered, could have been spoken by any one of those present. 

'Manna' for today:
Holy uneasiness, Right target, One accord, One voice! 
Yet another dynamic combination!

(1) May God bless us with a deep uneasiness over our shortcomings, our un-likeness to Jesus, that we may allow the Holy Spirit to radically transform our lives.
May God bless us with sleepless nights over the evil and suffering in this world, that we may fight for goodness and justice.
May God bless us with sufficient naivety to believe that he can yet use The Salvation Army for the up-building of his Kingdom, trusting that he ‘is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

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