Daily Archives: October 29, 2008

Pray for Boldness not Safety

23On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
” ‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.’ 27Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people[e] of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 4:23f – The response of the church to the report of Peter and John regarding their persecution by the Sadducees was to pray “O Sovereign Lord”. The only request they made was to be able to speak the Gospel with boldness (v. 29). They do not pray that God would perform miracles. They assume that He will, “Give us boldness while you perform healings, signs and wonders”… . The lesson here is that what matters, even when I am opposed and threatened is to remember that it has happened in the providence of God, by His sovereign control, for His glory. No matter what happens I am called to faithfulness. Nothing that happens to me is meant to stop me from praising God for His sovereign control, and knowing that He is at work. Note also that they quote Scripture confirming the opposition of unbelievers (v. 25f). The remarkable thing, of course, is that they do not pray that the persecution/opposition, will stop. God has promised that they would suffer and they do not expect anything else. Why pray for it to stop? The Word says it, prophesies it, promises it. Then why should I think that I can avoid it? God is faithful to His Word. If He has said, and He has, that we are called to suffer for His sake, then we can praise Him for His faithfulness to His Word and know that He will be just as faithful to the parts of the Word that promise good to us. God also told them to give the Gospel, so they pray that they will have the necessary qualities to do that. And God answered their prayer.