Prayer and the Word

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4 KJV).

Any ministry worth anything must have these two elements—prayer and the ministry of the Word.

When the book of Acts opens, Israel’s Little Flock grows more and more. Please note that while early Acts has absolutely nothing to do with us, the Church the Body of Christ, we can still learn a valuable lesson. As these Jewish kingdom saints are pooling together their wealth (Acts 2:44,45; Acts 4:31-37; cf. Luke 12:31-33), goods are being distributed to needy believers. They are living for one another—a picture of God’s earthly kingdom yet future!

Chapter 6 of Acts, the context of today’s Scripture, says: “[1] And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians [foreign Jews] against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. [2] Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. [3] Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. [4] But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.”

The 12 apostles, unlike so many (clueless) church leaders today, actually knew their priorities. It was not to distribute funds to those in need. Rather, they chose seven honest, Spirit-filled, wise men to undertake that task. The 12 apostles were very much aware of the importance of prayer and the ministry of the Word. They were to continue talking to God in light of His Word to them, and they were to continue telling others His Word to them. Every other responsibility could be delegated elsewhere.

Philanthropic issues are all well and good, but when our churches are too busy organizing blood drives, clothing drives, food drives, et cetera, they are ignoring prayer and God’s Word. They need to get their priorities straight, lest their “ministry”—void of God’s words and power—vanishes!