Posted by: morgan1965 | May 18, 2013

A Season of Prayer Leads to Pentecost

The second chapter of the Book of Acts tells us about the coming of the Holy Spirit. This biblical passage outlines a miraculous story about the disciples and their empowerment by God. The Day of Pentecost is described in this way: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:1-2).

The gathered disciples saw tongues of fire and a “tongue rested on each of them.”
“Each person was filled with the Holy Spirit.” The result was that each person, then, began to speak in a nonnative language. It was the Holy Spirit that gave them this ability.

The international crowd of devout Jews were bewildered and amazed because of what they saw and heard. Cross cultural communication was taking place, and they were eye witnesses. Regardless of their native language, the Galileans were understood by the devout Jews.

The eyewitnesses to this Day of Pentecost asked a question: “What does this mean?”

Others in the crowd sneered: “They are filled with new wine.”

To be sure, the disciples were acting in a different manner because they were going through a personal transformation, wrought by God. The Holy Spirit had come into their very being and empowered them to do the work of ministry.

Let’s pause and glance back into the lives of the disciples to capture a picture of their activities prior to the Day of Pentecost. First, Jesus called each one of the disciples, just as he calls each modern day pilgrim disciple to be in some form of ministry. Second, Jesus took time (three years) to train his disciples. He taught them by precept and by example. He provided them with three years of in-service training.

The third dynamic is couched in the practice of prayer. From time to time Jesus would step aside from the rush of life and spend time in prayer. He taught the disciples to use his model prayer: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matthew 6:5-15). The disciples spent many days in prayer after the Resurrection and preceding the Day of Pentecost. Fourth, Jesus told his disciples to remember, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Jesus promised that he would be with them in their ongoing ministry. Previously, Jesus told his disciples: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

A fifth dynamic is the fact that after the resurrection, Jesus instructed the disciples to stay in the city. “And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Jesus baptized the disciples with the Holy Spirit. That is what happened on the Day of Pentecost.

What is this Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit can be defined or described in a variety of ways. Let me suggest that when we describe the Holy Spirit we are thinking about the very presence of God. We are talking about God’s awesome activity with us on a daily basis.

When I celebrate the Day of Pentecost, I am reminded of the reality that the Day of Pentecost was preceded by a season of prayer. The disciples of Jesus Christ allowed the Holy Spirit to work within them; therefore, they were able to do the work of ministry that Jesus had given to them (“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. [Matthew 28:20]).

Pentecost is about the power of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit comes through prayer. So in the words of the popular children’s song,

Whisper a prayer in the morning,
Whisper a prayer at noon.
Whisper a prayer in the evening,
He will keep your heart in tune.
God answers prayer in the morning,
God answers prayer at noon.
God answers prayer in the evening.
He will keep your heart in tune.

Whatever the time or the situation, God will answer our prayers. That is the power of prayer.

So call on the Holy Spirit in prayer and let’s have a Pentecost in our churches, our families, our communities, and our nation.

[Pentecost Sunday – May 19, 2013]

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