Eating and Praying
Verse 42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Yesterday we started going through the list of the ways the early church were a family. We have talked about their hunger for the teaching of the apostles and fellowship in the Church, today let’s look at the breaking of bread and prayer.
This breaking of bread was not just the celebrating of the Lord’s Supper. The early church often ate together as well as commemorating Jesus’ last supper. Paul even talked about the unloving way that the Corinthian Church were eating together (1 Corinthians 11:20-22). These meals had a dual purpose, as this was a way that the Church could provide physical nourishment to those that weren’t as financially stable as others.
Prayer is one of the items on the list that we would readily agree is still part of the modern church but to assume that would be a bit misguided. It isn’t that prayer doesn’t exist in every healthy church family but we often think of prayer solely in the way of praying for those in need physically or maybe the prayer that the pastor prays during the Sunday service. Prayer played a much bigger role in the early Church as they didn’t leave it to one or two people to do all the praying. This prayer was not just speaking the names on a list. We need to remember that it says that they devoted themselves to prayer.
To be devoted to prayer is more than just saying a quick word of thanks before the meal or asking God to bless so and so. This prayer life that the early church lived was not just slight moments of prayer because they understood what it was to communicate with the Lord. The Apostles had lived with Jesus daily and many of these first believers had also known Jesus and His ministry. The disciples had been so amazed at Jesus’ prayer life that they had asked Him to teach them to pray.
When He gave them the sample prayer it wasn’t so that they could repeat it over and over daily but so that they could know the things that were important in communicating with God. Not that it is wrong to pray for those going through trials but that shouldn’t be all that we pray. They knew to praise God. They understood that they were to pray for what they needed. They prayed for boldness to share the Gospel. But one of the things that they had learned from Jesus was that they should pray for God’s will over their own. This was important because God was doing things that they wouldn’t have chosen on their own.
Making It Personal
What does the Lord’s Supper mean to you? If you were to examine your prayer life what would be the thing you pray the most? Does your prayer life show love for God or self?
Making It Personal Kids
What does communion represent? What is prayer? What should you pray about?
Father, thank You for wanting to communicate with us. Father, teach us to pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.