This is the beginning of a new series looking at dangerous prayers and if we pray these prayers they’ll rock our world and we’ll never be the same again.
Some context to the verses we’re looking at today is that Peter and John had been preaching and praying for miracles and saw a man who had been crippled for 40 years be healed. The religious leaders were furious at this and put them into prison. The following day at the trial they were asked, by whose authority are you doing these miracles? And we read their response in Acts 4:10. This was a a bold declaration they made.
The reaction of the religious men, in Acts 4:13, was amazement at these ordinary men and their bold proclamation about Jesus, and there was also evidence of the crippled man being healed that couldn’t be denied. This worried them so they told Peter and John not to preach or they’d be arrested or even executed. Peter and John’s reaction to this was to pray a dangerous prayer, which we read in Acts 4:29, as following Jesus was never meant to be safe.
How amazed are people at your boldness about your faith? When they look at you would they say, undoubtedly you’re a follower of Christ? Some of us would say, I’m not bold, I’m kind of timid and quiet it’s just my personality. But in a biblical sense boldness isn’t a personality trait, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you it makes you bold through the power of the Holy Spirit, bold beyond your personality, beyond your gifts and beyond what you think you can do.
Three attributes of boldness:
- Boldness almost always leads to opposition
- In v18 they were put in jail, often you hear people say ‘I’m trying to serve God faithfully, but things aren’t going well’. When we say ‘God make me bold’ there will be opposition. If you’re not ready to face opposition for your faith then you’re not ready to be used by God.
- Boldness often releases God’s miracles
- In v19 the angel opened the gates.
- When we pray for boldness you will often see the power of God at work, don’t be surprised by miracles when you walk in obedience.
- Boldness always requires faith
- This week when we pray for boldness, expect that there is a challenge coming. In v20 and v21 the angel tells them to keep doing what had put them in jail, tells them to keep going and keep doing what they’re called to do.
- Most of the time we have no idea what God sets into motion through our boldness and acts of obedience, but that’s what we’re called to do, live a life of boldness in today’s culture.
Peter and John were bold for Jesus and boldness often triggers opposition. John was arrested and excommunicated to live alone on an island. Peter was martyred for his faith in Rome by being crucified upside down.
When you pray a dangerous prayer for boldness, boldness almost always triggers opposition, but don’t worry when you face opposition, Jesus is wonderful and is our Saviour who loves us, has forgiven us and has set us free. When we have a realisation of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, we want to share that grace and love whatever the opposition
What would happen this week if every day we prayed ‘God make me bold’? What would God do in you and what would God do through you? It’s a dangerous prayer, but we can never fulfil the calling God has on our lives in the comfort zone.