What a change. The resurrection and the Holy Spirit had a bit of an impact on the disciples – from fear to fearless!
Following Peter and John’s arrest and release (which I discussed yesterday), the leading disciples met to pray (Acts 4: 24-31).
And what a prayer.
Here are some tips I got from that prayer:
- Start out praying by reminding myself who God is (God already knows who He is, but it’s a good idea for me to “get in the mood” by remembering that God is the “Sovereign Lord… [who] made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.” vs. 24b NIV. And as I tell God who He is, I tell my heart and start my prayers with an attitude of worship.)
- Point out to God (and myself) how faithful He has been to His Word and His Promises. That’s a pretty awe-inspiring way to begin prayer, too. The disciples quoted Psalm 2:1-2 and told God (and themselves) how He was fulfilling that Scripture through their oppressors. Always good to know God is behind the tough stuff, too.
- And don’t forget to mention to God (and remember for me!) how even the most awful things that seem to be happening (i.e., Jesus’ death) are part of God’s bigger and awesome plan. As the disciples said, God’s “power and will had decided beforehand [what] should happen” at the Cross. (vs. 28b)
- When things are tough, don’t pray for MYSELF or MY PAIN RELIEF, but pray for God to get the glory in the circumstance and for His will to be done – for the Gospel to go forward no matter what it takes. Sort of like this:
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. (vs. 29-30)
And here’s the kicker.
Once in a while, God might just show up and answer my prayers…. in a BIG way!!
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. vs. 31
Today’s Readings: 1 Chronicles 3:1-4:43, Psalm 76:11-12, Proverbs 19:8-9, Acts 4:23-37. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).