“O Lord, hear their threats and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30
Reading Acts 3 + 4, you will find that this prayer, this declaration didn’t come lightly. Jesus has already been resurrected, Peter and John had just healed the lame man by the temple gates and this prayer came right after they had been released from prison, confronted and warned by the priests. Which, can I take a second, the priests in our day are the highest authority in our area… just so you are catching the impact. They arrested and warned them, why?
vs. 17, “But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.
I love Peter’s boldness and response, vs. 19, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
Ok, I have a confession, the Lord asked me to do something yesterday… gather a group of women to come over and intentionally pray over our marriages. I delayed the text all day, “What if this? what if they think this? What if…?” I of course still had good intentions to send it, but I kept waiting for the right time. That “right time” never did come. So when I woke this morning to pray, it came to mind. “Ok Lord, if you are asking me to do this, I will.” Then I read this chapter and was blown away by the boldness of these two disciples. They faced prison overnight, warning and confrontation from their city leaders over their obedience… not at all what I am up against, but isn’t it just like our human nature to shrink back, to be more overcome with what others think, how they will feel and react, than to walk in the obedience that Christ has called us to? And not for nothing, obedience, and boldness because of what was done for us and how He has transformed our entire lives?
My prayer post reading this became, “Lord, I’m sorry. Transform my lens, recalibrate it, so that I might have an eternal perspective, eternal value, adding to your kingdom, and not the desire or mindset to be liked and accepted or live in fear that I will in some way be rejected. You have already chosen me, you are doing a new work in me, that is the truth on which I stand on. The truth which I get to proclaim and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Give me boldness in preaching your word, in showing others the healing and saving power that comes from the name of Jesus!”
If you are finding yourself in an opportune moment as I did, a moment where God is asking you to step out for His name, I want you to know you are not alone, I am doing it with you. God will go before us. He will supply us with His power when we need it and when we walk in obedience, His truth will not depart from us, so that is the victory we need to cling to as we walk forward in obedience. Not that we would be made great, but that the Jesus within us would be known, and that the community of believers would grow.
Praying boldness and courageous obedience over you today sister!