Read Acts 4:23-33
Peter and John leave their jail cell, returning to their friends to tell them how God had intervened. Their release causes the elders to “raise their voice to God with one accord.” The word raise implies audible prayer at a considerable decibel range. Interestingly, the word is voice not “voices,” to indicate unison.
For what do they pray specifically?
Lord, You are God, Maker of heaven and earth, Creator (v. 24). THEY PRAISE GOD, RECOGNIZING HIM FOR WHO HE IS: BIGGER THAN THEIR PROBLEMS.
Lord, You prophesied about this for centuries (vv. 25, 26). You’re aware of our struggles. We’re not the ones on trial. Your truth is. NEXT THEY TELL GOD ABOUT THEIR PROBLEM, ASKING FOR INTERVENTION.
Be aware of the threats against us (vv. 27, 29a). Grant us boldness to speak Your truth (v. 29b). THEY DON’T ASK HIM TO REMOVE THE PROBLEM ENTIRELY—JUST FOR HELP DEALING WITH IT.
We want what Your will has for us (v. 28). THEY SUBMIT TO GOD’S LEADING, BASING THEIR HOPEFUL EXPECTATION ON THE LIFE OF JESUS.
May signs and wonders be done through the name of Jesus (v. 30). THEY APPEAL FOR SUPERNATURAL OUTPOURING TO TURN AROUND THEIR SITUATION.
Result? The place is shaken—by the Holy Spirit, not an earthquake (v. 31), as they’re filled AGAIN with the Spirit: a new, fresh filling for people who hadn’t been saved on the Day of Pentecost and for all those who had. They are filled with boldness (outspokenness, utterance, freedom of speech, candor, v. 31b). They press through their fears that hinder them.
In order to shake off your fears today, go back and pray the italicized phrases above. Expect to be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.
By Dr. Clint Bryan, Professor in the English Department