Why the Apostles Prayed
A Sermon on Acts 6:1-4
Choosing of the Seven
1Now at this time, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint developed on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3Instead, brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
1And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
The priorities of the Christian life, according to Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones, are the gospel and prayer. In this sermon on Acts 6:1–4 titled “Why the Apostles Prayed,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones continues his series on the book of Acts and specifically looks at the apostles’ emphasis on prayer. “Even Orthodoxy is not enough; it needs prayer,” says Dr. Lloyd-Jones. The early church knew that they ought to pray and preach the word of God because the primary task of the church is to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. But how? How should they faithfully fulfill this purpose? Dr. Lloyd-Jones compares this dilemma with the modern church and strictly warns against churches relying on human methods rather than on the method of God. While the method of humanity will try to improve their own abilities and comfort in communication and programs, the method of God ultimately seeks after God’s power, wisdom and Spirit to work in hearts. By praying, the apostles sought power and strength from God’s Spirit to change the people’s hearts. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones urges and pleads with Christians to show dependence on God through prayer.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.