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.
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…
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.