The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. 43 A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. – Acts 2:42-43
Currently, I am reading and studying two books through this season of Lent. One is via an ongoing conversation with the two men’s Bible-study groups I’m involved with; the other is playing out more as a personal daily devotion, along with some occasional on-line conversation with other people who are meeting in groups or taking the journey as individuals.
What is intriguing to me is how well the studies are interfacing.
Then at church – Wake Forest Presbyterian – we will spend the next few Sundays talking about The Lord’s Prayer. Again, there is this sense of layered study, or building blocks, telling me that God is very much illuminating and directing our paths.
Last week, in her message on the Transfiguration and the story around the subsequent “I believe, help my unbelief” confession, Rebekah pointed to the debriefing session the disciples had with Jesus. “This situation,” Jesus pointed out when his friends wanted to know why they had failed so miserably in their efforts to help the man and his son, “can only be dealt with by prayer” (author paraphrase).
It wasn’t long before the disciples followed up with the question that led to Christ’s classic, timeless instructions around prayer, “Lord, please teach us how to pray.“
And this is where we are beginning tomorrow. What better way to engage the weeks approaching Easter than by teaching, and learning, more about prayer.
We can “Reach Toward Easter” all we want, and we can intellectually immerse ourselves in the “24 Hours That Changed the World”. but these exercises are pointless unless – at the same time – we devote ourselves to prayer.
“Prayer,” as Quaker author Richard Foster points out in “The Celebration of Discipline”, “is the avenue to God’s heart.”
I would like to recommend prayer as a deliberate, transformational, and necessary approach to our experience of observing Lent. – DEREK