My eyes shot open. I could hear someone in the house. I looked at the clock. It said 1:00am. Since, I had been married for roughly 8 days at this point, I elbowed my beautiful bride and said, "Amanda, did you hear that?" She was not phased one bit. So I waited, and then, "thud, thud, thud!" There was definitely someone in the house. I elbowed Amanda again and she said, "I heard that!" So we both were wide awake at this point. Being the brave man that I am, I looked Amanda straight in the face and said, "Go see what it is!". After a back and forth conversation, she convinced me that it was indeed my job to go and investigate. Acts 4 is a pivotal point for the early church. They are growing but at the same time they are becoming more and more ostracized by the leaders in their community. At the threat of imprisonment, the early church prayed. What did they pray for?
23 As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24 When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— 25 you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
26 The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.’
27 “In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. 28 But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. 29 And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.30 Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
The prayer was not for safety or escape. The prayer was for boldness in preaching. The prayer was for God's hand to stretch out to provide healing and miracles. Do you have the same prayer for your community? Do you pray for safety or do you pray for bold people to enter the darkness? Do you pray for safety or do you pray for God's hand to heal the broken? Do you pray for safety or do you pray for God to do the miraculous? Do you pray for great boldness?
With sincere love for each of you,