Friday, May 25
Prayer for Boldness
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
Peter and John had narrowly escaped another precarious situation -- the religious leaders wanted to stop them from speaking and acting on Christ's behalf, but had refrained out of fear of the people's reaction. Peter and John immediately turned to prayer, first to lament the volatile response they were receiving from the religious leaders, and then to ask God for strength and courage to continue their work. God responded in a flourish by shaking the foundation of where they were gathered, and then by filling them all with the Holy Spirit.
We often pray before an event or during a crisis. We can also pray following an event or crisis. And it need not only be in thanksgiving for God's action. We can pray in lament over the things that did not go well. We can pray for strength and courage to continue despite the outcome of the event. And yes, we can pray in thanksgiving for God's continued faithfulness throughout all the events of our lives.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Acts 4:23-31
After they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and everything in them, it is you who said by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers have gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants 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.” When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.