Upstairs Prayers

“They went upstairs to the room where they were staying.
They all joined together constantly in prayer.”
Acts 1:13-14

The hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer” always makes me cringe a little bit.
A whole hour?
Of prayer?

What does that say about me?
I can watch TV for an hour.
I can read a book for an hour.
I can talk to a friend on the phone for an hour.
But an hour of prayer sounds daunting, if not impossible.

Then I read Acts 1 and a mere sixty minutes on my knees didn’t seem like such a big deal.

After witnessing Jesus’ ascension, the eleven disciples walked back to Jerusalem, went upstairs, and prayed for ten days. I did the math. The resurrected Jesus spent 40 days on earth. Before ascending, Jesus told the disciples to go back to Jerusalem and wait for a special gift. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, which landed on the 50th day after Christ’s resurrection.

50 – 40 = 10

The room upstairs must have been big — there were 120 people up there, all of them joined together constantly in prayer. For ten days. Waiting for something. Not sure what.

Which begs some questions:

  • Was it the same room in which Jesus and the disciples ate the Last Supper?
  • Who owned the house where the room was?
  • Did they use old Jewish prayers or was it extemporaneous?
  • Did somebody lead or did everybody pray at once?
  • Did anybody get testy?

Which begs some more questions:

  • Could I meet with 120 church members in somebody’s attic and pray that long?
  • Would we be able to take breaks?
  • What about eating? Who would feed all of us?
  • How long would I wait around for something to happen?
  • Would I get testy?

“Whenever God determines to do a great work,
He first sets His people to pray.”
~ Spurgeon ~

Something has been stirring in my soul,
telling me to make prayer a priority this year.
Perhaps a great work of God is on the way.

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2 thoughts on “Upstairs Prayers

  1. Pray without ceasing, what does that look like?

    To help me, I look for different cues in my day, to turn me towards prayer and thanksgiving.
    Remember the story about the penny- whenever I see one on the ground, in You God I trust!!!!!!
    I climb in the car,
    I look outside the windows
    Doing dishes
    Eyes open and walking.

    Thank you Dinah for the reminder of prayer!!!
    Your gift of writing is inspiring!

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