Have you ever struggled in prayer? I don't mean with the practice of getting before the Lord here, although that can be struggle of its own. But, here, I am talking about the words to pray to the Lord in certain situations. Those times when we think we know what we need to be praying for, but we are not sure that we are saying to the Lord just what we need to be saying.
In the Book of Acts, we see the followers of Jesus being persecuted for preaching and teaching in the Name of Jesus. Peter and John have been arrested and told "not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus' (vs.18). After this strong threat from the religious leaders, they were let go.
Now, after this , I would have gone out and prayed to the Lord for my protection. My prayer would be something like this "Lord, place a hedge of protection around me and my family as we do you work. Keep the enemy far from us and lead us beside the still water, far from the valley of the shadow of death". We hear prayers similar to this in the church all the time. We pray prayers like this all the time. Protect us Lord. Defend us Lord. Save us Lord. All good prayers, but not what the early church prayed in this time of great persecution.
Listen to what they praying vs. 29 of Acts 4, "And now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to CONTINUE to speak your word WITH ALL BOLDNESS". Wow! What a wonderful prayer! They prayed for boldness as they walked into the trouble, not provision to take them out of it! And this has me thinking. Have I been praying wrong for far to long? Have I been praying for deliverance when I should be praying for boldness? Have I been praying for rescue when I should be praying for strength? Not that praying for deliverance and rescue are necessarily bad prayers. They have their place. But how often do I pray to be taken out of the fire instead of the boldness and power to stay in and fight? To fight the good fight? To take a stand against a real enemy?
After this prayer for boldness, the Bible says thin in vs. 31 "And when they prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the Word of God WITH BOLDNESS". You see, they got what they prayered for! BOLDNESS!! And maybe we don't get what we pray for because we are praying for the wrong things! Today we need bold Christians boldly proclaiming the life giving, eternity altering message of hope that is only found in Jesus Christ! And the more we do this, the more the enemy will send those who want to silence us. But, instead of running away praying for protection, let us pray to the Lord who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can think or ask for BOLDNESS in the face of opposition. Let us boldly take a stand and boldly proclaim the Good News!
Be BOLD in Him today my Christian friend. He hears you and He holds you in this time of need.