Praying for More
You can learn a lot from the believers in Acts 4.
In verses 8-12 Peter testifies for Christ, saying there is no other name by which we can be saved.
In verses 19 and 20 John and Peter confess that they just can’t help but tell people about Jesus. (Wouldn’t you just love to overflow with love for Jesus in a way that you couldn’t keep it to yourself?)
But the most powerful part of Acts 4 comes in verses 23 through 31. Peter and John were threatened and released from the council that had questioned them, and what did they do? They gathered with other believers to pray, and here’s what gets me, they didn’t pray for their safety, but for strength to continue proclaiming the word of God with great boldness, and for Him to work through them while they did it.
They didn’t ask for God to keep them safe.
They weren’t praying for God to provide a way out of a difficult situation.
They didn’t even pray for God to change the hearts of those who threatened them.
They prayed that God would give them strength to fulfill the calling He had placed on their lives, no matter what came their way.
They prayed that the threats against them wouldn’t cause them to hold back their message.
I can’t help but think, they prayed that they would be motivated by Christ, and not hindered by the world.
How much more do I need to pray that prayer than these early believers that spent time face-to-face with Jesus.
These men shared a meal with our savior. They are the guys who God used to write the New Testament and build the early church.
Oh, how I need to echo their words here in the 21st century.
Yet, so often, I get stuck in my prayer rut. I pray for the safety and salvation of my family. I pray for situations I am in. I pray for God to change me and make me more like Christ. All good prayers, to be sure. But I wonder if my first prayer should be to overflow with a love for God in a way that can’t be contained. To be motivated by that love and not hindered by the world. Not hindered by what is going on in my life, my family, or my community. I wonder if sometimes I am so focused on the here and now, that my good prayers become a hinderance to what God has really called me to do?
Now, I am NOT saying we shouldn’t pray for those other things. Like I said, they are good prayers, I am just wondering if they should be secondary requests that we leave at God’s feet, while asking for Him not to let them hinder us from fulfilling the calling He has placed in our lives, no matter what His will for those situations may be.
My question for you:
Do you find it easier to pray for circumstances or grace and boldness to proclaim God’s Word?