We are living in a time of unprecedented global crisis. All around us world leaders are having to make difficult decisions that they never would have had to make just months ago. And it is not only political leaders.
Leaders in various working fields are now having to make difficult decisions. Economists, small business owners, CEOs and health care professionals are faced with the unpleasant task of making choices that will affect the lives of millions of people in their care.
When the early church was just starting out, they too faced seemingly impossible challenges. As the church grew and the needs of the members diversified it became harder and harder to meet everyone’s expectations.
Soon there was conflict. Acts 2:44 (NKJV) describes one aspect of the organisation of the church. Speaking of material possessions, the Bible says, “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common”.
The Bible goes on to explain how this system operated. In Acts 4:34-35 it says, “Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need”.
Funds were brought into a communal stockpile and then distribution was made to church members according to their needs. This communal distribution was at the centre of the first recorded conflict in the church. Acts 6:1 tells us this,
“Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.”
There seemed to be favouritism in the ranks and an unfair distribution of necessities, and complaints were brought to the apostles. In an attempt to better organise the church Peter suggested that they set apart seven men who would be devoted to the task of managing this particular work of the church.
Seven men were chosen and then before they could begin their work the church gathered around them and the apostles prayed over them. The prayer was an appeal to God to equip them with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they would be able to accomplish the work before them effectively.
And the prayer worked. The Bible tells us in Acts 6:7, “then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
The changes to church structure were necessary and the prayers of the members equipped the men in charge of the work to do their jobs well. As a result, the church began to grow and flourish.
The lesson we can take away from this snapshot of the early church is this; it is important to pray for those in positions of leadership. We need to ask God to send His Holy Spirit to give our leaders wisdom and strength to do the work that they have been called to do.
This doesn’t just apply to leaders in government but in every area of life. We need to pray for health care workers in positions of authority that God will give them the wisdom to make the right choices regarding patients.
We need to pray for business leaders and managers and small business owners that they might be able to make good decisions for both their business enterprises and the thousands of employees in their care.
During these challenging times we need to spend more time on our knees praying for our families, and also for those who are on the front lines, making tough decisions. Prayer can make a world of difference in equipping and empowering our leaders to rely on God and make good decisions.
If you would like to find out more about prayer and how it can strengthen your relationship with God and guide your life, then I’d like to recommend the free booklet we have to share with you. It’s called, Steps to Christ. Please contact us by phone, text, or going to our website to receive your free copy. Here’s the information you need.