keep-on-prayingActs 1: 14 says, “They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”

The disciples gathered in Jerusalem to pray and wait for the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This was Jesus’ last request of them so they might fulfill their commission and become the witnesses they were meant to be. For forty days after his resurrection, Jesus had met with the disciples, eaten with them, given them evidences to remove their doubts, and spoke to them of the kingdom of God.

But, in the midst of this waiting group of disciples a few more people are introduced. The ones I want to observe in particular are Jesus’ brothers. It was only after the resurrection they are counted among the disciples. Proximity had not produced intimacy. Time and teaching had not served as the best healer.

No, it was the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus that finally made the difference. This is why we keep on praying for other people. We can’t predict when this difference will be awakened in those for whom we pray.

It may be quickly as the Word of God finds good soil to be planted, cultivated, and fruitful in a person’s life. Others for whom we pray may have thorns that choke the Word of grace and something has to happen to bring the light of Christ to a point of breakthrough in their life. Others may have tried to receive the Word of God lightly, holding it alongside their own will. We keep on praying that a day of decision will come when the trouble or persecution because of the Word clarifies for them that Jesus alone is the Risen Lord.

We keep on praying. Some lives are dominated and devoured by the birds of hell that peck the Word out before it can take root in their heart. We keep on praying and following Jesus. We die to ourselves brand new each morning. We bury ourselves in loving and witnessing to others. We rise to tell them the truth. We keep on sowing. We keep on praying. We meet with them, eat with them, and offer them evidences to remove their doubts, and speak to them of the kingdom of God.

We keep on praying until they are joined together with us in prayer.

We keep on praying.