Father, I thank You for the gift of my church fellowship and all those who encourage me in my faith.
Read ACTS 4:23-31
 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.  When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heaven 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 take their stand and the rulers gather 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 miraculous 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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did these folks pray for?
Just imagine the prayer meeting! They sang Psalm 2 together, with its reminder that God is more powerful than any human ruler. In their worship they reminded each other that God is the Sovereign Lord. The word they used describes a ruler whose power is so great that no other ruler can challenge it.
Worship is about gaining a right perspective on who we are as human beings—with all the dignity that God invests in us—and who God really is, too. That kind of worship changes us. Putting God into his rightful place releases us from the struggle to be what we were never meant to be.
If I’ve completed a difficult or scary job my prayers often amount to: “Thanks for getting me through that, Lord; now please give me a break!” These disciples prayed: “Lord, you’ve seen how tough that was for us. Now give us courage, and do some more!” And after they prayed the place was shaken (31)—a strangely reassuring sign from God. As the fourth century theologian John Chrysostom wittily pointed out, “the place was shaken … but the disciples were not!” (Chrysostom: Homily XI).
Take a moment to evaluate your prayers. How do they compare to the one offered here? How could they improve?
Lord, I want to grow in my faith and my praying. Continue to teach me so I won’t be shaken.
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