Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 127:3-5 | 1 Kings 1:1-53 | Acts 4:1-37 | Proverbs 16:24
Today’s Scripture Focus: Acts 4
“And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give your servants great boldness in their preaching. Send your healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus” (Acts 4:19-20 NLT).
Peter and John were preaching with boldness and healing with God’s power. This upset the religious establishment. Whatever hopes they had about the message of Jesus being silenced by his crucifixion were being dashed by the power of the Risen Christ as he poured out his Spirit on his body (the Church) and they continued his work.
It was especially the message of Christ’s resurrection that troubled the leaders. Yet this was the life-transforming message of the gospel and Jesus’ followers could not keep silent about it.
So what would the young church do in face of opposition? They got together to pray!
And what did they pray? Protection? Safety? No! They prayed for more boldness to stand strong in the face of the persecution. They also prayed for God’s spirit to be poured out on the church in power. They prayed for signs and wonders that would proclaim the power of Jesus to an unbelieving world. Note that they prayed for a fuller demonstration of what had already gotten them into trouble in the first place.
Truly this was a church on fire. Bold. Filled with faith. Ready to sacrifice everything for the cause of Christ. What was their secret? It was their commitment to unite together to pray. They lived adventurous, faith-filled lives empowered by the Spirit. They knew where their strength and boldness came from. They knew how to pray! They were devoted to it!
Lord, teach us to pray. In all situations help us to continue in prayer. Give us the boldness of these early Christians and help us live adventurous, faith-filled lives as we are empowered by your Spirit. Make our churches houses of prayer, devoted to prayer. Amen.