Monday, January 28, 2008

Holy Boldness: Acts 4

The reading today is from Acts 4. It is the story of the aftermath of a healing that Peter and John perform in the temple courts. The healing is reported in chapter 3 and raised such an uproar that it got the attention of the religious leadership in Jerusalem.

Peter and John are dragged before the court, they are questioned and they speak boldly. The court is baffled by their speech since they are obviously unlettered men. They take note that Peter and John had "been with Jesus". There are few court room go arounds when, finally, Peter and John are ordered to stop speaking about this Jesus person. They tell the court, "We cannot stop talking about what we witnessed."

Then comes the part that gets into my heart. Peter and John join a gathering of the church for a prayer meeting. The church prays for Peter and John. I am moved by what they DO NOT pray for. They do not pray for comfort, they do not pray for the end of persecution, and they do not pray for deliverance. Instead, Acts 4:29 says "And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus."

I find myself praying the same thing. Help me, Lord, to not shut up, to not weigh the politics, and to not consider the personal cost. Help me Sovereign Lord, to live life radically for you.


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