By Pam Bush, Director of Congregational Life
I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ instruction to pray, “Your kingdom come”, that is, ‘may the reign of God be established’. (Matthew 6:10) This makes clear that the goal for the Church is the establishment of the Kingdom, and the foundation for that goal is asking in prayer. As Rev. Charles Spurgeon said, “Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom”.
Jesus spent his last forty days on earth with the apostles ”speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3) . In addition, “He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4,5)
Jesus tied the establishment of the Kingdom to the Holy Spirit. Why? Because we need the power of God for Kingdom living. Apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, the work of any church is a mere shadow of what God planned. There is a point that each believer or group of believers must reach that will accept nothing less than God’s divine intervention. What follows will be what is sought, whether it is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the power of God in their midst, the salvation of the lost or the coming of the Kingdom of God.
If it is the intention of God to pour out His Spirit, what is our response to knowing this is His will? Prayer. Prayer Gatherings – the same type of response the apostles had when the Lord told them to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Holy Spirit. As a church we can resolve to accept nothing less than God’s divine leadership when we intercede. Like the disciples, He plans for us to be given power for Kingdom living.
‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.’ Acts 2:17, 18
May it be so in your life, and in the life of this community of faith. Amen.