Written by Nathaniel Krause / August 2015
Acts 4:29-31: “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
This is my favorite Bible account about prayer. The apostles Peter and John had just been commanded by the Jewish council in Jerusalem to not proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ any longer. Peter and John then went to the other believers who were gathered together and told them what had happened. It is then that they cried out to God in prayer, but they did not pray that the persecution would end. They did not pray that their trouble and hardship would be easier or that they it would end sooner. They did not pray for their own safety or for anything concerning their own well being or comfort. No, they prayed for BOLDNESS. They wanted to be able to endure the fullness of the persecution, and they did it joyfully knowing that they were suffering for Christ, and that He would be glorified in their suffering. And God granted their request.
Sometimes we don’t know what the answer to our prayers will be. But when we pray for spiritual strength, we know that we will receive the Holy Spirit because our Father in heaven loves us, and it is that perfect love that motivates us to BOLDLY be His witness to the world.
Being able to pray for something as powerful as the boldness to preach the Word of God to others in face of imprisonment takes a very strong trust in God. In these situations prayer is especially powerful. When you feel alone, or you feel like there is no end to the ridicule that you receive for your faith, or maybe you don’t know how to answer questions being put to you about what you believe, pray for the BOLDNESS to proclaim God’s truth, and to proclaim it in His all-encompassing love. The Christians of the early church then received the Holy Spirit, and God promises that He will likewise be with us: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” It is the boldness that Christ gives us through His word that allows us to be that powerful witness to others!
There is such a great lesson that we can learn from those disciples. And we know that when we ask God for the boldness to tell others about how He sent His Son for us miserable sinners, to set an example for others, to show others that Christ IS the true Light of the world, God our Father will not turn us away. We know that when we ask, we receive, when we seek, we find, and when we knock, the Lord will open to us the bountifulness of His grace. No father gives his son a stone when the child asks for bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish. Sometimes we don’t know what the answer to our prayers will be. But when we pray for spiritual strength, we know that we will receive the Holy Spirit because our Father in heaven loves us, and it is that perfect love that motivates us to BOLDLY be His witness to the world.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”