“Dependents” – Acts 4:23-37

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It’s that time of year when W-2’s and other tax statements come rolling in and we go through the annual process of filing our federal income tax returns. Caroline and I are able to claim our daughters as “dependents” on our tax return for a few more years, which definitely helps ease the tax burden.

While our daughters are independent in so many ways, they still look to us for a certain amount of financial dependence, and we expect them to do so until they are able to enter the workforce after they graduate from school. If God were to file a tax return (yes I know that’s theologically incorrect and, as far as I know, the government hasn’t requested He do so!), He would claim every one of us as “dependents.” Unlike our children’s relationship to us, we are COMPLETELY dependent on God. We are dependent on Him for our lives, our sustenance and our salvation.

Some may argue and say, “I am not dependent on God!” But that is not a true statement. While some may not recognize or act as if they are dependent on God, we all are dependent upon Him. As Christians, the degree to which we recognize our dependence on God is apparent in our prayer life. That is true not only for each of us individually, but also for us, collectively, as a church. When we believe we are not dependent on God, we will also see no need to pray. When, however, we realize our total dependence on God, we will be driven to our knees in prayer. Luke wants us to see that kind of dependence in this week’s passage from the book of Acts. This week’s passage contains the longest prayer in the entire book and it shows us how God provides for the Church in response to its prayers.

We can be like that early Church and recognize the power of prayer. Not that the prayer itself has power, but through Christ and in the Holy Spirit prayer brings us into the presence of the Father who hears our prayers. Our own movement forward, as a church, will depend on that power. That’s why, beginning this Sunday morning, we are providing an opportunity to seek the Holy Spirit through our collective prayer. Matt Kantrowitz will be leading that prayer group in Stark Hall during the Sunday school hour, beginning at 9:15. We need pray-ers! We need you to join us in prayer! Will you consider joining us then as we declare our dependence on God?

Then join us for worship on Sunday morning at 10:30 as we look to God’s word for direction and encouragement in dealing with this challenging issue of prayer.

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