Praying Biblical Prayers – 13. Peter, John and Believers

 

What would it look like for you to join some of your favorite biblical characters in the prayers they once prayed and which God has preserved for us in the Scriptures? As you ponder the great prayers of God’s people, give yourself permission to personalize the words and make them your own prayer too. For example, when Moses prayed very simply “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you” (Exodus 33:13), simply join Moses and pray for God’s favor over your own life today. Praying the Scriptures in this way will bring health and vitality to your heart and soul.

 

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After the Holy Spirit arrives in the midst of the Early Church, Peter preaches to the community of the faithful ones. He proclaims what the prophet Joel once spoke about, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people…I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below…” (Joel 2)and from David in Psalm 16, “…you have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” So, the fellowship of the believers was miraculously strengthened by the Spirit, and they devoted themselves to teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer. All of them shared their resources with one another, as their sincere hearts were filled with praise for God and fellowship with one another. It was a sweet time for all to enjoy.

 

But, as is often the case, immediately thereafter the persecution begins…first and foremost by the religious authorities. It was the priests, temple guard and the Sadducees who approached Peter and John, seized them, and threw them in prison for teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. But that didn’t stop Peter from being filled with the Spirit and his message of salvation in Christ alone astonished them all.  A man who had been miraculously healed sealed the leaders’ need to free Peter and John, but with even more concern about how best to stop them in the future.

 

Upon their release – Acts 4: 23f – Peter and John return to their “own people” and report all that had occurred. Their immediate response: prayer. They raised their voices together in prayer to God…

 

Today…

 

Join Peter, John and the Early Church and pray for healing and strength for the journey of faith in the midst of persecution (Acts 4: 23-31)

 

“Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.

 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

 

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

 

 

Behold the splendor of the Lord – Believe the promises of his love – Belong to those who unreservedly trust him – Become prayerful in all you are and do.

 

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.