The book of Acts has often been described as “The Acts of the Apostles,” “The Acts of the Holy Spirit,” or “The Acts of the Risen Christ Through His Body.” These are all apt descriptions, but we could propose another title that would also apply: “The Acts of Praying Christians.”
Luke, the author of both Acts and the Gospel of Luke, had a special appreciation for the necessity of prayer. In his Gospel, Luke provides details about Jesus’ prayer life that are left out of the other Gospels. Here are some examples:
Open Heavens: “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and WHILE HE PRAYED, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are Mt beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.'” (Luke 3:21-22)
Power to Preach, Heal, and Set Captives Free: Luke records that immediately after Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days, He “RETURNED IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT TO GALILEE…” (Luke 4:14). Then Jesus went into the synagogue at Nazareth and read the Messianic passage from the book of Isaiah: “The Spirit of The Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has send Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captive and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of The Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
Again: “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and PRAYED…And the power of The Lord was present to heal them.” (Luke 5:16-17)
Guidance: “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to PRAY, and CONTINUED ALL NIGHT IN PRAYER to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also names apostles.” (Luke 6:12-13)
Revelation: “And it happened aas He was ALONE PRAYING, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ So they answered and said, ‘John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ of God.'” (Luke 9:18-20)
Matthew adds: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.'” (Matthew 16:17)
Transformation: “Now it came to pass, about eight days after these sayings, that He took Peter, John and James and went up on the mountain to PRAY. And as He PRAYED, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.” (Luke 9:28-29)
The good news is that Jesus did not model this remarkable prayer life to show that He was the Messiah – He prayed as an example for us to follow. If we pray as He prayed, we can expect many of the same results.
THE HEAVENS WILL OPEN AND WE WILL HEAR THE FATHER’S VOICE, affirming His love for us and confirming our identity as He sons and daughters. The voice may not be audible, but it will penetrate our hearts nonetheless.
WE WIL LSEE A GREATER RELEASE OF THE LORD’S POWER to preach (share), heal the sick, and set people free from demonic bondage.
THE LORD WILL GIVE HIS DIRECTION on the important decisions of our life.
WE WILL RECEIVE A HIGHER LEVEL OF REVELATION, and through our prayers the Holy Spirit will reveal more of Christ to us and will prepare the hearts of others who do not know Him to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that we will be increasingly TRANSFORMED INTO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST as we pray and behold Him with unveiled faces.
Have you prayed today?