Acts 4:29 – Grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness.
Peter and John had been declaring the gospel in the Temple courtyard when they were arrested by the Sadducees and put in jail overnight. The next day they were brought before the rulers, elders, scribes and high priest to be interrogated and were asked, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” The answer was clear and concise – “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.”
Looking at Peter and John they saw common, uneducated men, but in listening to them they were astonished. They had no idea how to handle the situation or what they were going to do with the apostles. They certainly did not want anymore miracles or any further teaching to take place so they warned them ‘not to speak no more to anyone in this name’. This of course was completely unacceptable to John and Peter and they asked the leaders to judge for themselves whether it was right to listen to them or to listen to God?
The apostles were released and went back to the rest of the disciples telling them everything. There was only one thing for them to do and that was pray for more boldness. Quoting the Psalms,
‘they lifted their voices together to God and said… “the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed” …Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue 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.‘
God answered that prayer and granted their request.
May we also pray against fear to speak out for the Lord, for confidence to speak up and for courage to be His people in every situation; that we too would experience the outstretched hand of God in our community and across our land.