Prayer is so vital to the life of a Christian. It must not be neglected any more than food, water, or sleep should be neglected for physical life. Not only should Christians resolve to pray more, but should resolve to prioritize prayer through praying early, praying often, and praying without ceasing.
As the nation once again is in the wake of more tragic violence, it’s important to take a moment and consider how we as Christians should respond to that violence. When we think about what Jesus taught concerning violence, it is clear that we should respond with love and prayer.
The Lord’s church is the church for which Christ died. He shed his blood to purchase the church. Unfortunately, when man gets involved, he sometimes departs from the way that God has laid out for his church. It behooves the child of God, therefore, to ensure that he is in the church that Christ purchased with his blood.
This Mother’s Day, throughout the church there will be special sermons that are designed to honor those wonderful women who wear the name “mother.” No doubt, many lessons will focus around mothers that we read about in Scripture. Many will preach lessons from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Others may look to Hannah, or Ruth, or perhaps Lois and Eunice (Timothy’s mother and grandmother). No doubt there are other mothers who will be considered as God’s Word is proclaimed today.
Consider for just a moment one mother who is barely mentioned in Scripture, and whose role and example, because it is small, may be overlooked. Mary, the mother of John Mark, should be considered an example for her hospitality and her dedication to Christ’s church. In Acts 12, though the focus is on Peter, his imprisonment, and his subsequent release, Mary’s role cannot be ignored. While Peter was in prison, it was in the house of Mary that the church had gathered together and were praying (Acts 12:12). We might assume that they were praying for Peter’s situation (Acts 12:5).
One cannot help but consider what kind of impact this mother, and her love for God’s church, may have had on her son. It was Mark who departed from Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13), and because of him Paul and Barnabas were divided, and went their separate ways at the start of the second journey (Acts 15:36-40). Later, however, we read of Mark being considering useful in the work of ministry (2 Tim. 4:11), and to Peter, Mark was considered a son in the faith (1 Peter 5:13). Mark’s connection with Peter is well known in the history of the church, and it is often understood that much of Mark’s gospel account is based on testimony that he had received from Peter.
It is impossible to say with certainty how much influence Mary had in her son’s faithfulness. There is no doubt, however, that Mark’s mother set an example for him, to love the brethren and be available to serve God’s family in whatever capacity one is able. Thank God for Godly mothers.
“When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.” – Acts 12:12 ESV
Christians are fighting a battle with the evil. We know our adversary the devil is a dangerous foe, and we have to be ready to face him. We have to put on our armor and be prepared for the fight.
In the wake of senseless violence that continues to plague our world, it is important for Christians to step back, to step away from the political discussions for a moment, and consider what the Bible says on the subject of violence. This lesson considers just a few things that we can glean from God’s Word.
“Pray without ceasing.” That is what Paul had written in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Not only did he write it, he lived it, and we see that come out throughout his letters. There are many times that Paul records specific things for which he is praying. In Eph. 3:14-21, we notice three specific things that Paul prayed for. Join us as we study God’s Word Together.