United in Service
Acts 1; 2:1–4; The Desire of Ages, pp. 829–835; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 35–40
Prayer prepares us for service.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14).
Have you ever had an argument with your best friend? What did it feel like? How did it change how you felt about your friend? Was it easy to do things together after that? Jesus’ disciples argued often. Read on to find out what changed them.
Jesus chose 12 men to be His disciples, or special friends. They were with Him in the beginning when John baptized Him in the Jordan River. Every day they listened to His wonderful stories. They went with Him to the temple. They heard Him explain the Scriptures. Best of all, they saw Jesus heal people. They knew about whole towns where no sick person lived because Jesus had been there. Just imagine it. Not one sick person in the whole town! Yet in spite of all the good things He had done, some people put Jesus to death. His disciples were around when He was crucified on the cross.
Jesus had tried to warn them of what was going to happen to Him. He had told them He would die and rise again. But they had not listened or wanted to understand. They had had their own ideas. They had thought Jesus would become a king on earth. They had expected Him to set up a kingdom and free them from the Romans. And they had often argued among themselves as to who would be the most important disciple then. James and John had even gotten their mother involved! She had asked Jesus if they could sit on either side of Him when He became king. And that had made the rest of the disciples angry!
After the Resurrection, Jesus had spent 40 days with the disciples and some of His other followers. He had explained the prophecies about His birth and death. He had talked to them about the kingdom of God. They had finally begun to see that Jesus was not going to fight the Romans. They had finally understood that Jesus would go back to heaven. However, He had promised that they would not be alone. He would send the Holy Spirit to be with His followers. Before Jesus went to heaven, He had given them very clear instructions. They were to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit.
This time they listened—and they obeyed. While they were waiting, something wonderful happened. They learned to know one another better. All the old arguments did not seem important anymore. They became united in wanting to serve God. The Bible says, “They were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1, KJV). They wanted to spread the good news about Jesus. They would tell others how He came to this world and died for all people. They wanted everyone to know that Jesus went back to heaven. They were ready to tell others that Jesus is coming back to take us to live with Him. Prayer helped unite them. Prayer helped them serve God. Prayer can do the same for us today.