I shared this with the RBC Pastors this morning.
Acts 6:4 says that we are to devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
A simple “and” links two equal priorities.
The plain word order puts prayer first.
But it is very rare to find a Pastor who actually prioritizes the ministry of prayer right alongside the ministry of the Word. Almost every Pastor spends more time, effort and care on the ministry of the Word. Let’s not neglect prayer.
I first read this gem from E.M. Bounds when I was starting out in ministry. I haven’t got it down yet. But I keep trying!
THE apostles knew the necessity and worth of prayer to their ministry. They chose to “give themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Prayer is put first, and their relation to prayer is put most strongly — “give themselves to it,” making a business of it, surrendering themselves to praying, putting fervor, urgency, perseverance, and time in it.
These holy apostles did not vainly fancy that they had met their high and solemn duties by delivering faithfully God’s word, but their preaching was made to stick and tell by the ardor and insistence of their praying. Apostolic praying was as taxing, toilsome, and imperative as apostolic preaching. They prayed mightily day and night to bring their people to the highest regions of faith and holiness. E.M. Bounds