Praying with Purpose Sermon Series Part 4
Intro: They were dealing with a variety of issues.
They remembered the words of David in Psalm 2:1, 2 and quoted it in their prayer.
A. Vocal Indignation – vs. 25 – why did the heathen rage?
(Starts in verse 2…the leaders were grieved)
B. Vain Imagination – vs. 25 – and the people imagine a vain thing
They may have been unlearned and ignorant men according to the world’s standards, but not God’s!
They had been with Jesus.
That is far more of an education than anything the world has to offer!
C. Violent Insurrection – vs. 26, 27 – and the kings of the earth stood up, rulers gathered against the Lord…
Their struggles, their persecution, the threatenings of the authorities did not create a comfort zone for these Christians. It did the opposite! They began to pray for boldness because they did not want to lose it!
We shouldn’t wait until there’s a need to pray; we can pray precautionary prayers. Preemptive strikes if you will!
I. Notice their Recourse
Different people respond different ways during a trial.
You can tell a lot about a person or a church to see how they respond to persecution and adversity.
A. Their Assembly – vs. 23 “And being let go, they went to their own company…”
The first thing they did was headed to church!
There is a strength; a solace; a supernatural encouragement when you get with “…your own company…”
B. Their Accounting – “…reported all that the chief priest and elders had said unto them.”
There was a huge need to keep the church informed of the status of the persecution.
An informed people can be an interceding people.
Knowing what is going on prompts the desire to talk to God.
That is why we highlight missionary prayer letters each week.
We want you to know what is going on, so you can pray.
They are called Prayer Cards and Prayer Letters for a reason!
C. Their Appeal – vs. 24 “…when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord…”
Hearing about it wasn’t the end.
They lifted up their voice to God.
When they heard that, they lifted up their voice…
II. Notice their Restraint – vs. 29 “…behold their threatenings…”
- Acts 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.”
- Acts 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
- Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
Multiple times in this chapter we find that they were dealing with threatenings.
Yet, not once in their prayer did they ask God to remove the threatenings.
Not once did they ask God to give them relief from the persecution and the adversity.
Instead, they prayed for boldness!
III. Notice their Request – grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.
A. It was a Passionate Request – that will all boldness we may speak thy word
It wasn’t their message or their word they were wanting to proclaim; it was God’s Word.
They wanted to fulfil the Great Commission; they wanted to fulfil their calling with God’s divine help.
B. It was a Pleasing Request – there is no question that they were praying in the will of God!
There may be times God’s people pray selfish prayers, and self-centered prayers, but this wasn’t one of them.
They were sincere and fully being led by the Spirit to pray this prayer.
They were asking for God to perform signs and wonders in the name of Jesus so that people could be healed.
There was nothing self-serving or carnal about this prayer!
C. It was a Precautionary Request – they were clearly already speaking God’s word in all boldness!
I was amazed to see these men of God praying for boldness when they already very clearly had boldness.
There was nothing remotely weak about their preaching; their witnessing; their stand for Jesus Christ.
Yet, instead of praying for the battle to weaken, they prayed for them to be stronger.
They didn’t pray for the enemy to back off; they prayed for them to press on.
They didn’t pray for their circumstances to change; they prayed for God to change them!
IV. Notice their Results
A. The place was shaken (unusual moving of God)
Multiple places of Scripture, we find a supernatural shaking.
When God was doing something amazing, the place would shake.
- There was a shaking at Calvary – Matthew 27:54
- There was a shaking at the Resurrection – Matthew 28:2
- There was a shaking in Philippi at the jail – Acts 26:16
We need a shaking!
B. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost
It is important to notice that this wasn’t the first time he was filled.
See Acts 2:4
Notice verse 8. “Then Peter, Filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them…”
C. They spake the word of God with boldness
They had already been doing that!
- See Acts 2:14
- See Acts 3:12
- See Acts 4:8
- See Acts 4:13
But they knew they were going to need boldness to KEEP on preaching.
Notice how God answered their prayer:
- Acts 4:33
- Acts 5:12; 18; 28, 29; 42
- Acts 6:8
Conclusion: Again, their struggles, their persecution, the threatening of the authorities did not create a comfort zone for these Christians. It did the opposite! They began to pray for boldness because they did not want to lose it! We shouldn’t wait until there’s a need to pray; we can pray precautionary prayers. Preemptive strikes if you will!