New Testament Prayer: Acts 4:24-30
Posted by Job on October 27, 2009
This appears to be a prayer for evangelism that perseveres and succeeds despite and in the face of persecution and adversity, both political and religious. Note that the prayer specifically asks that signs and wonders be done by God for the sake of evangelizing the lost. This prayer also centers around the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how the coming, works and resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled Old Testament prophecies.
And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
The results of this prayer are below, verses 31-34.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
This would appear to be an empowering of the Holy Spirit – a filling of the Holy Spirit if you will (consider the empowerings or fillings of the Holy Spirit in the book of Judges that were not the indwelling Holy Spirit, but rather the empowering of the Holy Spirit that equips someone to serve God and perform His work) – that gave the believers the ability to share the gospel. The Holy Spirit gave them boldness to speak the gospel, and the words of the gospel message that were to be shared. It appears that the focal point of the true gospel message is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Another result of this prayer is that the believers began to behave as a corporate community. As a result, individualism – of which materialism and the desire to acquire, possess and retain worldly things – disappeared.
Let us consider this prayer, pray it in private and in gathered fellowship, and in the Name of Jesus Christ may this prayer have the same purpose and effect for us as it did for the believers in scripture! For we know that the word of God is true, and that it is the power of salvation for all who believe.