“I can’t get around,
And I can’t run away…
I need a miracle…
— Bob Weir
Acts 4:29-31 NET - And now, Lord, pay attention to their threats [of those who oppose the Church for proclaiming the exclusivity and essentiality of Jesus], and grant to your servants to speak your message with great courage, 30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God courageously.
Two chapters after the outpouring of of the Holy Spirit was recorded in Acts 2, the early church received another spiritual upheaval and filling with the Spirit. After the notable miracle of the lame man’s healing in Acts 3, the apostles suffered persecution by the Jewish authorities for proclaiming Jesus Christ and the resurrection. Specifically, the Church was persecuted for proclaiming that salvation comes exclusively through Jesus Christ who is to be trusted, followed, and obeyed as the ultimate religious authority and pathway to eternal life given His literal resurrection from the dead. Since most of our current culture will recoil and reject when we likewise proclaim the ESSENTIALITY and EXCLUSIVITY of Christ, the description of what the Church did next should be something from which we may learn, whether or not God responds in the exact same manner or not. Consider how the early church responded when their chief spokesmen were unjustly treated (legally, physically, and verbally)…
They united as a church for prayer. But notice the way they prayed and think if we would do likewise.
They prayed for God to turn His attention to the behavior of those who wronged and opposed them.
They prayed, not for protection but for courage to keep telling others the message of Christ.
They prayed for God to perform healings, miracles, and other signs to encourage their ministry and confirm their public testimony of the name of Jesus Christ.
The result was that God shook their gathering places and filled them with the Holy Spirit, specifically so they would be able to face the rejection and difficulties while speaking the word of God with courage, boldness, and effectiveness.
Will you consistently rally and assemble together with the whole Church to pray for greater courage to speak the saving message of Christ to others? Will you consistently pray for God to encourage the Church and confirm His Word to those outside Christ by miracles, healings, and other signs?
Unity in assembling for church prayer. Prayer for God to fight our battles. Prayer for courage to speak the message of Christ to those in our lives who do not belong to Jesus. Prayer for miracles, healings, signs, and wonders. Do you think we tend to pray like the early Church prayed, or are today’s prayers somewhat different? If we long to be shaken, filled, and emboldened by the Spirit like the early Church was, what may we want to do differently?
So may we be filled and emboldened this way…
We need God’s miracles,