Texts: Acts 4:31

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

When you think of prayer – what do you normally associate with it?

  • Peace?
  • Serenity?
  • Guidance?
  • Hope?
  • Comfort?

Or do you think of …

  • Power?

I have a feeling that it is our Pentecostal brothers and sisters who tend to associate that word with prayer.

Many of us may value prayer, practice it as a spiritual discipline, seek out meaningful – and comforting – time with God through it.

But do we think of how it can empower us?  Do we remember, and act on faith, that through an active prayer life we might literally find our lives “shaken” – just as the early followers of Christ did?

I am not talking about treating prayer as some magical incantation, some way to invoke lightning from heaven by saying the right words in the right order.

I am talking, though, about recognizing that this vital way of connecting with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe can , and often does result, in life changing events for us and others.

We can be bold; “prayer warriors” is how some might put it, in the face of persecution, confusion, chaos, disorder, illness, death, and a thousand other challenges.

The first believers of Christ rocked their world – or better put – God rocked their world by the simple, direct, faithful action of taking their prayer life seriously.

Dare we be so bold in our own spiritual lives?

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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