Much value has been on united prayer, Christians joining their hearts in prayer, sometimes praying worldwide for serious matters that grab our attention. Prayer circles, prayer meetings, prayer chains, prayer emails, even Facebook has scattered prayer requests by friends who recognize the value of united prayer. Whether it’s intercessory prayer for others, or prayer for one’s own circle of believers, prayer gets our attention.

But I’m struck by the fact that we hear so little about united Bible study. Aren’t prayer and Bible study to go hand in hand? How can we have our united voices constantly reaching to heaven without reaching out to hear what God has to say to us corporately in His Word?

Few of our church members would deny that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was founded on as much Bible study as it was on prayer. Sometimes the pendulum swings, but we must keep ever before us the two avenues that has made our church grow and will continue to make it grow. Unity in prayer and Bible study are vital.

We’ve got to incorporate both Bible study AND prayer, especially on the personal level, which eventually affects the whole church. It has to start with us personally, every day spending some time in the Word and then sharing our findings with our church friends (which is precisely what I’m attempting to do with my blog series, The Teacher’s Notes).

The Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I’m sure there must be other denominations as well, figured this out almost from the beginning of its church history. In 1889, the first adult Sabbath School lesson guide in more than one language was published. It appeared in English, Danish, Swedish, French, and German.

Our Adult Bible Study Guides, as we now call them, are published four times a year (hence the name quarterly) in 85 languages and dialects. In many areas of the world these precious documents are extremely valuable to church members, who have little access to other Adventist literature.

Why aren’t we utilizing this valuable tool more than we are? To have the whole world focusing on the same page doesn’t mean for a minute that we will all become robotic, brainwashed idiots, fed from our church leaders, as some may fear. It just means that we are all delving into the same Bible themes, combining our study thoughts and ideas with others in a small group setting that can immensely deepen and enrich our personal Bible study. It’s an avenue of unity for our church that we must not overlook or undermine.

I pray this coming quarter that others will join me in studying as deeply as possible the topic of the sanctuary. The sanctuary, designed by God to teach the world about salvation, is full of symbols that will help us understand not only prophecy and doctrines, but will give us another picture of our loving Lord and Savior.

In a closet at home, I came across some copies of old Sabbath School study guides from the 1920s. See what others before us have studied. The most popular study book of all the archives throughout the years has been The Acts of the Apostles, and the most favorite topic has been the life and teaching of Jesus. It’s where our heart’s at, folks. The church sharing Jesus.

rescued from a church attic, what a find!

rescued from a church attic, what a find!

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