Prayer and Ministry of the Word
John Telgren

The Jerusalem church leaders emphatically and unapologetically communicated that the focus of their ministry was prayer and ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). In order to be “devoted” to this, they had the people appoint servants to take care of the administration of an important ministry among the widows. It is likely that they saw the model for this focus in the “Good Shepherd (Jn0 10:11),” Jesus Christ.

In Luke 4:31-43, word got out about all the good things Jesus was doing at the beginning of his ministry, people came from everywhere to him. Jesus helped many people by ministering to their needs and teaching the word to them.

Jesus does something we might not expect. At one point, he simply walks away! They had to go and look for him until they found him in a secluded place (Mk 1:35). Luke says that this type of prayer time was a typical for him (Luke 5:16). With all the work that had to be done, Jesus disappeared, then walked away even as they tried to convince him to stay. But he had a mission, which his alone time helped him to stay focused on.

In our priorities, we need to recognize that there are times when prayer is more important than ministry. There are times we need to simply “walk away.” The leaders in Acts 6 recognized this and so should we. The point of this reflection is this - In all our activity, let’s not forget that our first priority is prayer. If it is not, our ministry will suffer.