The President and His Son
On a certain occasion, several people were waiting in an outer room of the White House for their turn to see President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office. All of a sudden, a little boy walked through the room and directly into the President’s office.The waiting visitors were indignant. The nerve of the boy. That is, until they learned that the boy was the President’s son, John Junior. Of all the visitors that day, he alone had the intimacy and the free access to his father that only immediate family members could share.
God and His Children
This story is a great picture of the freedom that the believer in Christ has to enter the throne room of our Almighty Father as His children. The blood of Christ shed for us has brought us forgiveness of sins and access to the Father by the Holy Spirit. At conversion, the Spirit of God begins indwelling the believer and by this Spirit we cry out “Abba Father” to God (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6).
We are given unprecedented freedom to enter the throne room of God in heaven through prayer. That is why we are given bold invitations like the one in Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then approach the throne room of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” The early disciples of Jesus had to grow accustomed to this new age of prayer.
Prior to Christ, only the Jewish High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies in the Jerusalem Temple. Even then, he could only go in one day of the year – the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.
Believers living under the Mosaic Covenant in Old Testament times could pray. But they did not have the free intimate access to God that we now have in Christ through the New Covenant. Christians have an incredible privilege.
The Silver Key To Heaven’s Blessings
After Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:9-11), His disciples returned to Jerusalem, where they assembled in one place, in one accord, in prayer (Acts 1:14). They waited 10 days for the Holy Spirit to come upon them with power on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). This was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise recorded in Acts 1:8, just before His ascension: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Oliver Price writes: “Assembling in one accord in prayer and waiting on God to fulfill His promise are two important spiritual disciplines. This prepared the disciples to experience life as a new kind of community that was endued with power from on high.” United and persistent prayer is a silver key that unlocks the blessings of heaven.
In Mathew 18: 19 & 20, Jesus declares: “I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” One of the greatest things we can be engaged in as a church is united, persistent prayer. One of the greatest things we can do as a husband and wife is united, persistent prayer.
My wife Colleen and I pray almost everyday together. This has been such a blessing to our marriage. It forces us to deal with any strains in our relationship as we make things right with one another. It is hard to pray in one accord if we are out of sorts with each other. Forgiveness is an integral ingredient to any healthy marriage or vibrant local church.
Being of one heart and one spirit with your spouse and with brothers and sisters in the Lord brings such joy and power to our lives. It powerfully testifies to the reality of the unity that exists between Jesus and His heavenly Father (John 17:20-23). The world will know we are Christ’s disciples by this kind of unity and love.
No wonder the Psalmist writes: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!………For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore (Psalm 133:1,3b).” Let us learn to wait on the Lord in united and persistent prayer with one another. God is still desiring to pour out His blessings on this broken and dying world.
QOTD: Is united and persistent prayer with brothers and sisters in the LORD a part of your Christian life?