Harry Reeder demonstrates that, with various situations demanding their time and efforts, the leaders of the Christian church in the book of Acts sought to preserve the priority of ‘prayer and the Word’, appointing others to deal with the other works which the church had to perform.
Helpfully, Reeder shows that this priority of ‘prayer and the Word’ was not a novelty initiated by the leaders of the church, but, rather, was a continuance of principles observable in the life of the covenant community in times past.
This is important because it is possible for a church and its leaders to set aside the sources through which our spiritual life comes and is nourished, in order to focus on activities which may be needful, but which have no power to bring or grow the Christian life.
Read all of Harry Reeder’s post Two LifeLines Preserved by True Leadership here.
An excerpt from near the end.
Why did the apostles realize the importance of “Prayer and the Word” as the foundational “LifeLines” of the church? I would suggest five reasons.
The Old Testament. The ministry of Prayer and the Word was central to the vitality of God’s people and provided the heart and impetus for ministry in general and the mercy ministry in particular. The revivals in the Old Testament such as in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah were always preceded by protracted times of Prayer and the Word.
Christ’s life and ministry – The Apostles were continually discipled under the modeling and mentoring ministry of Christ which highlighted by example the priority of prayer and the primacy of God’s Word. His prayer life was so profound and they would call upon Him to “teach us to pray.”
Disciple making – the Lord not only exhibited the “LifeLines” of Prayer and the Word before His Disciples, He also ignited, inspired and instructed them by Prayer and the Word for three years.
The History of the church at Jerusalem. The importance of Prayer and the Word was clear to the Apostles since the church at Jerusalem was conceived in a prayer meeting (Acts 1) and birthed in a sermon (Acts 2).
The Lifestyle of the church. The lifestyle of the church at Jerusalem is summarized in Acts 2: 43 as being “devoted to the Apostles teaching” (Ministry of the Word) and to “the prayers” ( Ministry of Prayer).
As a final thought, such careful, responsive and thoughtful leadership continues to be a great need in today’s church. But, the question remains, “Where is the “priority of Prayer and the Word” in my life and in the life of my church?