A most unselfish prayer:Acts 4:23-31:
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
‘“Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.”
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ 31 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.
Here was a prayer God was pleased to answer. They made a specific request (29) and received a specific answer (31b). When you pray, it is important to know Who you are speaking to: God is the controller of all things: ‘’Sovereign Lord’’ (24);
He is the creator of all things: ‘’…you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them’’ (24). Because He made them all, He can move them all according to His will;
He communicates (25, 26): What He communicated prophetically came to pass (27); what He spoke, He brought about (28). Here is solid evidence that He is control. Someone said, ‘He moves behind the scenes; and He is behind all the scenes that He moves.’ Naturally speaking, the crucifixion of Jesus was the worst atrocity in history; the most terrible travesty of justice ever perpetrated by mankind. Yet we see that God, in His sovereignty, was in total control: ‘They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.’ It couldn’t be clearer.
Knowing to Whom they were praying, the believers prayed a most unselfish prayer (29; see 18, 21). Essentially they said, ‘Give us the courage to play our part (29) and do what only you can do.’ They were under threat, but they wanted to be brave. They didn’t want to be intimidated into silence and secrecy. They also knew that God was there; that He was real. They wanted Him to show Himself for the glory of His Name; to confirm the gospel message they preached. Through the verses on this page of your Bible you see reflected the sunshine of Heaven’s smile on this prayer time.
Prayer: ‘To make our weak hearts strong and brave, send the fire…’