According to the Church Calendar, this coming Sunday, 28 May 2023, is Pentecost Sunday. It was on the first Pentecost after Christ’s Ascension that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Acts 1:14 reveals one thing that they did leading to it. The verse said, “These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.”
This band of disciples went together with the Lord to Mount Olivet, and there they saw Him ascend into the sky. After what they had seen and experienced, we are told that they took a Sabbath day journey back to Jerusalem. What’s a Sabbath journey? It’s the distance stipulated in the Jewish Mishnah that allows a person to walk on the Sabbath day. It’s about 1,100 meters and would roughly take about 30-45 minutes or so.
It is not difficult to imagine that on their journey back to Jerusalem, they would be full of joy and excitement. With renewed hope, they probably discussed the different things Jesus had taught them during the 40 days leading to His Ascension. They must also be encouraged as they recalled what the two white dressed men, that appeared in the sky, had just said, “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Full of excitement, they walked back to Jerusalem. We know that they did not forget the words of Jesus, captured in Luke 24:49. He said to them, “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Hence, the first thing they did when they reached Jerusalem was to make a bee-line for the Upper Room.
This was likely the same room where they had the Last Supper with Jesus. What a fitting place! To be praying in the room where they had their farewell meal with Jesus their Master. This was also the room where Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit upon them after His Ascension. Furthermore, this was the very place that the Holy Spirit would be ushered upon them soon. Eventually, 120 people gathered to pray, and there they received the Holy Spirit. Hence, this must be a large room to accommodate that amount of people.
In Acts 1:13, Luke listed the key people who were present at the impending revival. These included the remaining eleven Apostles, the devout women who followed Jesus all the way from Galilee, and the Lord’s mother and earthly brothers. Tender-hearted, the expectant entourage came together for prayer. They prayed unitedly, persistently, continually, and devotedly. They did not stop till the Holy Spirit came on them. Like them, we also must come to an “Upper Room” to seek and pray to our Risen Lord.
None of us can go any further with Him in our spiritual walk without the wind of the Spirit on the sails of our lives. We need to pray, as well as hoist up our sails, to catch the wind of the Spirit. Individually and corporately, the Church needs the Holy Spirit and prayers to effectively carry out the mission entrusted to us by the Lord.
It’s time for us at Lighthouse Evangelism to hoist our sails and be in constant prayer. How else can we catch the wind but through united, persistent, continual, and devoted prayers? While the focus of this passage is on corporate prayer, it is just as critical that we schedule a time for our own personal prayer each day. Personally, we need to be bold in prayer. Persistently, continually, and devotedly, we need to ask the Lord to keep filling our cups to keep us overflowing with the living stream of the refreshing Spirit. Let’s do it till He ignites a revival in our midst!
Monday: Luke 24:49
“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Tuesday: Mark 11:24
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.”
Wednesday: Matthew 7:7-8
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Thursday: John 15:4
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
Friday: Romans 12:10-12
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer….”
Saturday: Philippians 4:6
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Sunday: Colossians 4:2
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving….”
All Scriptures are quoted from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).
By Pastor Clarence Goh