“After 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 4:31).
The Jerusalem church was facing a crisis. The authorities had commanded them not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus. What should they do? Their first response should be the response of every congregation of believers everywhere. They prayed. And oh, what a prayer!
These early Christians based their bold prayer on Psalm 2, acknowledging the hostility of the authorities to the Messiah, while affirming the Father’s promise to the Son that He would receive all nations as His inheritance. They boldly asked God, not to step in to protect them, but to empower them to be witnesses in the face of opposition. They even asked the Lord to confirm their message with signs and wonders.
God’s pleasure with their prayer is evident. He shook the building, filled them with the Holy Spirit (again!) and they immediately began to speak the word of God with boldness. Within weeks of this prayer meeting, even their enemies were saying that they had filled Jerusalem with their teaching (Acts 5:28).
When will the Church today pray such a prayer? In order to do so, we must be a people who are more interested in the Kingdom of God that in our own comfort. We must be more concerned about the advancement of the cause of Christ, than about our retirement benefits or bank accounts. Are you willing to pray bold prayers that stir the heart of God to change circumstances and shake buildings?
Mighty Father, teach me to pray like these early believers prayed. Help me to lay aside my fears and apprehensions and boldly pray and preach as they did. Lord, help me to not worry about opposition, but to pray in the face of it. Help me to not seek comfort and protection, so much as the proclamation of the message of Christ. Shake churches once again with Your power. Fill me again with Your Holy Spirit so that I may proclaim the word of God boldly.
–Adapted from Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations by David and Kim Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
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Praise God for the depth of his wisdom and knowledge, and for his unsearchable judgments. Thank God for guiding and directing your ways. Confess any resistance on your part to do his will. Commit yourself to acknowledging him in all your ways (Prov. 3:5-6). Ask God for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better and have the eyes of your heart enlightened, to know the hope to which you are called, the riches of his glorious inheritance (Eph. 1:17-18).
Pray for the Spirit of love in your church that believers may be one, even as the Father and Son are one, so that the world may believe that God sent Jesus Christ (Jn. 17:21).
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