Summary: The church did not pray for the easing of persecution, but for greater courage and more miracles. They recognizes God’s sovereignty and pray for God’s will to be fulfilled.
• Peter and John healed a crippled beggar in Chapter 3. It drawn the attention of the crowd.
• Peter took the opportunity to preach Jesus and forgiveness of sin in Jesus’ Name. At least 5000 men were saved (4:4).
• The priests and religious leaders were not happy that they were preaching Jesus and His resurrection. They locked them up for one night.
• The next morning, they convened the Sanhedrin court and threatened Peter and John not to speak in the name of Jesus any more.
On their release, they went back to the church and reported what had happened.
• It was almost spontaneous. “They raised their voices together in prayer to God.” (v.24)
• This is what we want to learn to do, each time we gather to worship and pray – raising our voice together in prayer.
• There is power in prayer. There is great power in unified prayer.
• There is nothing special about raising voices in prayer, even silent prayer works. But it inspires and shows our common determination to see that God’s will be done.
They prayed to the “sovereign Lord” and said in verse 28 all these people “did what Your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.”
• It’s amazing. They trusted fully in God’s sovereignty!
• The crisis did not dampen their spirit. They believe that the God who “made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them” (v.24) is still running the show.
It wasn’t a tense moment. There was little clue of any anxiety or fear.
• Instead, it was a time of worship and prayer.
• They went on to pray for COURAGE to preach on. Help us “speak Your Word with great boldness.” (v.29)
• I expected them to pray for a change to the environment, or to remove the problem.
• ‘Make it easier for us to preach, Lord.’ But instead, they pray for courage to preach on in the difficult circumstance.
That’s a mark of the servants of God, right? If we are servants, then we here to serve His purpose and fulfil His will.
• This prayer reminds me of a written prayer I heard, called ‘A Prayer of God’s Servants’.
• It was read to us in a sermon by James Hudson Taylor III (great-grandson of Hudson Taylor, the missionary to China) when he visited TTC sometime around 1990.
A PRAYER OF GOD’S SERVANTS
We are God’s servants. We put God’s love for all people first. No race is superior to another. No government is more loved than another. No nation is dearer than another.
We do not put our nation’s economy before God’s economy. He tells us to seek first His Kingdom, He will then meet our needs.
We are driven to action daily, with the knowledge that billions do not know our Saviour. Our passion in life, our unquenchable desire, is to take God’s love to them.
No task is too small for us. All that limit us is our unwillingness to believe God can enable us to do it. We are sold-out to Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord, nothing less. We understand following Him means absolute death to ourselves. It costs everything to be His disciples.
Don’t give us blessings. Give us grace to be unquestionably obedient to Your every last command & desire.