Now That Was a Prayer Meeting!
So upon leaving the “courtroom,” Peter and John went to their friends and “reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.” Isn’t it wonderful that they first went to the church (i.e., the brethren) after being released? Isn’t this the way it should be? One gets the impression that church was where Christians ever were, “attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes” (2:46); that is, not meeting in a building but ever with one another in fellowship and prayer. But wherever they were, Peter and John knew where to find them.
And when the apostles told them what the chief priests and elders had said, we are told that the people prayed. They did not scheme, they did not lay plans, they sought not some high official’s protection; they sought the God and Father of their Lord Jesus Christ. They saw the threats that these had levied against them as simply fulfilling the Scriptures, specifically Psalm 2, in which David envisions the nations plotting in vain against the Lord and His Anointed. They think to war against him, to burst their bonds apart, to rebel and defeat the Lord of heaven and earth. David continues the psalm writing that the Lord laughs at them and will soon give the nations to His Son as a heritage. Those gathered together applied this psalm to themselves: Indeed, the chief priests were gathered together against the Lord’s Anointed, and indeed they did hand him over to the Romans, and they could have added that indeed he was crucified by them.
But the Church makes bold to proclaim that these only did “whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” In other words, whatever the heathen do against God’s Church, they only fulfill His divine will. No one ever thwarts the will of God. And then what do they pray? God protect us and don’t let them hurt us? No. They say, “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness.” In other words: Lord, do not let us become fearful and afraid to speak your word; Lord, do not let us shrink back; Lord, give us boldness. Moreover, they pray that God would continue to heal and work other signs in the name of Jesus so that more would come to saving faith. And then we read that when they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken, and also that God answered their prayer with greater boldness. I’d like to experience that kind of prayer service, but then maybe I’ve never prayed from my heart such a prayer, which concern is not for anything other than boldness to speak God’s word and the salvation or men.