Thursday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Acts 4:23-31

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.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

Leave a Reply