In reading Acts 1-2, the spotlight is on the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised that the disciples would have power to witness when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8). Then, the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost and enabled the disciples to speak in other tongues, which foreign visitors to Jerusalem recognized as their own languages (Acts 2). Yet, what were the disciples doing between the giving of Jesus’ promise and its fulfillment? “They all joined together constantly in prayer…” (Acts 1:14). I don’t think it was any coincidence that these praying disciples were the first to receive the gift that Jesus had promised. In the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."
King Saul had just disobeyed the Lord (see “Partial Obedience” post) and God told Samuel that He was grieved over making Saul king. This news from the Lord upset Samuel. What did he do in his troubled state? He cried out to the Lord all night (1 Sam. 15:11). As we face challenges in life and ministry, may we be quick to pray and to commit our troubles to the One who can help us navigate through turbulent times.
One of the great privileges we have as leaders is to pray for those entrusted to our care. When the Israelites asked Samuel to pray for them, he responded, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Sam. 12:23). Leadership and prayer must go together.