Ezra 9-10, Acts 1 • Key Verse: Acts 1:14
In today's passages are two scenes of prayer: one at a time of confession, the other at what must
have been a time of confusion. Both remind us that while we should often have times of private
prayer, we also need times of praying with others.
The people in Ezra’s day were enjoying the blessing of God’s good hand upon them. Then they
became aware of a sin that needed to be addressed. Ezra's prayer is a powerful statement of
confession before God—no excuses or pulling punches, no requests mingled in, just confession.
Most people like to confess in private, but at times we need to confess as a group before God.
The disciples had experienced a veritable blitz of contrasting emotions. Jesus died and was
buried. Sadness. He arose! Amazement.
He ministered with them for another 50 days. Excitement. They were instructed to wait to
receive the Holy Spirit. Anticipation. He ascended into heaven. Confusion. What next?
What better recourse than to pray? But notice that the disciples “joined together constantly in
prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (v. 14, emphasis
mine). Yes, they could have prayed alone, but they did not.
They established the practice of praying together, one that became a characteristic of the early
church (Acts 2:42). We do not live the Christian life in isolation but in community. We are to be
people who pray alone and pray with others.
If you want to establish a closer relationship with others, pray with them regularly and often.
You will find that the closer you draw to God, the closer you will draw to one another.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett