“And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue 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.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:29-31
What is the difference between a walkie-talkie being used by the army and people using the intercom in their hotel room to phone reception? Both are communicating with someone who is in a different location, but the difference between the two is to do with their context. One is in the context of war; the other is in the context of comfort.
It was John Piper who said that some prayer is more like a wartime walkie-talkie than it is a domestic intercom. We pray because we are in a war, and Acts 4 shows us the mouth-watering prospects of what can happen when we do pray.
It was John Newton who said: “Thou art coming to a king, large petitions with thee bring; For his grace and power are such that none could ever ask too much.”
The believers in Acts 4 ask God to do two things:
- To grant them boldness to do the very thing they had been commanded not to do by the authorities (i.e. minister in the name of Jesus). One commentator has suggested this could be translated “grant us the highest possible degree of boldness”.
- For God to stretch his hand and “heal” and to perform signs and wonders, which, in the context of Acts, speaks of powers over the demonic.
Some Christians want boldness and never expect breakthrough; whereas others are always looking for the breakthrough but minimize the need for boldness. Scripture contends for both.
These are days for boldness. We need the supernatural ability to declare the whole counsel of God – our land needs it. But our land needs breakthrough as well. Strongholds of sectarianism, humanism and New Ageism have many gripped in their vice. Our land needs Christians who pray with boldness like never before. Join me in this prayer as an act of faith in God’s promises:
Lord God, who shakes the mountains with Your presence, Your people desperately need a fresh filling today. Our land needs a fresh encounter today. We pray O God that You will fill us with boldness to declare Jesus’ exclusive reign, to declare the need to repent and believe. To declare there is such a thing as right and wrong yet our declarations are not enough. Lord Jesus, on the authority of Your own promise – stretch out Your hand! We pray for healing, we pray for deliverance, we pray for breakthroughs so You would be glorified. Amen