Vol.XX No.IV Pg.7
June 1983

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

In Acts 4:31, what relation does prayer have with the coming of the Holy Spirit? How related today? A.R.


Prayer "has relation" to whatever one may legitimately do in the course of his walk with God. Christians have prayed for "daily bread" (Matt. 6:11), an imprisoned Apostle (Acts 12:5), or forgiveness (Acts 8:22). Today, we do not pray for an imprisoned Apostle because there are no Apostles today imprisoned and needing our prayers.

In the cited text, these first century Christians prayed for "boldness" to speak God's word (v.29) — a boldness they felt would come as God continued His work of confirming the word with healings, signs and wonders (Cf. Mk. 16:20, Heb. 2:3-4). God granted their petition, and "they spake the word of God with boldness" (v.31). The confirmation of the word (establish, render valid by formal assent) has been accomplished. It is wholly inconsistent for anyone to say they believe the Scriptures have a divine source, and then expect God to continue the "confirming" signs as if such proof had never been given. Just as we do not pray for an imprisoned Apostle (see above), we also do not pray for confirming demonstrations.

Thus, prayer for signs and wonders via the H.S. were in order for saints of the early church; but are not in order for saints of today. The prayer for forgiveness (Acts 8:18-24) was in order because Simon wrongly sought the miraculous power of the H.S. — a sin modern seekers should well ponder. Dear bro. Turner:

How does one determine the time of songs sung for worship? We note a growing tendency to race through the songs being used in worship. G.I.


There are still sections of the country where brethren sing with a slow, measured pace that suggests the singers are half-asleep; but we agree that "racing" seems on the rise. My personal opinion is that the whoop-n-holler type songs in two popular songbooks are responsible for a degeneration in the quality of worshipful music heard in many churches today. It may also be that trends in popular secular music (country western, and the so-called "gospel" songs sung by country-western stars) has had a bad effect on music sung in churches. We can say, "Keep the books, but don't sing those type songs." but that invites further conflict.

We are told, "It's a matter of different tastes..." and that is true; but are we singing to satisfy our taste, or to worship God? Is there no propriety involved in public worship? Is Rock-and-Roll (with "gospel" words thrown in between the beats suitable for praise of the Infinite Being? We are increasingly shocked by races through "Have a Little Talk..." etc., that sound more like a festival than people seriously worshipping God.

The "time" of a song should fit the mood established by its words. We pray, praise, exhort, plead, give our thanks, etc., in different moods, and song leaders should adjust accordingly: in worship, not in a "hoe-down."