“The Priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard them, for their prayer reached heaven, his holy dwelling place.”
2 Chronicles 30:27
If you were to read the preceding verse in context, you would quickly see that there was a lot of preparation happening in order for the final result of their prayer reaching heaven. They were celebrating joyfully. It reminds me of the book of Acts. The earlier followers of Jesus soon discovered that the most fruitful part of their ministry was prayer and the Word. It brought about tremendous results! The book of Acts is literally an account of a series of prayer meetings and what happened as a result of those prayers. When they prayed – things happened!
When the busyness of life began to press in upon the apostles they looked for help because they could not allow their prayer time to be crowded out. They knew the importance of the ministry of prayer and the Word. In Paul’s writings throughout the New Testament, it is evident that he counted time spent in prayer as time well spent. I am amazed at how often he mentions his prayer ministry:
“God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you.” - Romans 1:9
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. “ - Ephesians 1:16
“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy “ - Philippians 1:4
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,” - Colossians 1:3
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. “ - 2 Thessalonians 1:11
“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. “ - 2 Timothy 1:3
Notice how Paul says, “constantly,” “always,” “never ceasing.” In order to pray for all these people he had to spend a good time praying. The leaders of the early church counted prayer as their most important work. Prayer came before the ministry of the Word. This is the correct order.
Starting next Wednesday at 6:30am, we will be starting our Front Row Ministry back up in the Worship Center. There are plenty of things to pray for as we come together. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit descended in power, a multitude came together, heard the Word and were saved. That is something the Spirit of God wants to repeat today. As a matter of fact, God wants to do that each and every Sunday as we gather together to worship. This Sunday is going to be a great day as we baptize many believers. God wants to do a brand new thing amongst us and He wants to begin with you.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene