When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness. - Acts 4:31 (ESV)
Acts 4:23-31 recounts the events of Peter and John who, after receiving a stern warning from the Sanhedrin to no longer teach or preach in the name of Jesus, were released. I find it interesting that upon their release from their night of detention, they immediately went to their own fellowship. This fellowship was in essence their “small group,” their “Sunday school class,” or maybe even their “house church.” It is evident that they went to where they knew they would find love, encouragement, support, and faithful prayer partners.
As they reported all that had taken place in their overnight ordeal, the immediate response from the group was that they agreed TOGETHER in prayer on behalf of their brothers, Peter and John. In other words, they were in one accord as they approached the Throne of God in prayer on behalf of their brothers.
There are several things that I would deem as noteworthy in this prayer. Consider the following: they acknowledged God as Master and Creator of all, they prayed according to the inspired Word of God, they prayed according to the Will of God, they prayed for boldness to proclaim the gospel, and they prayed that the name of Jesus would be exalted as God continued to perform healings, signs and wonders.
As I reflect upon this experience of Peter and John, I am challenged greatly. First, I am challenged to be a completely surrendered servant of the Lord who called me out of darkness and into His marvelous light. Secondly, I am reminded of the importance of the “fellowship of believers,” my church family. Also, I am challenged to know the Word, do the Word but to also pray according to the Word. Finally, I am challenged to pray with confidence that God will hear and respond to the prayers of His people.
How did God respond to their prayer? His response was to shake the place with His presence, to fill them with His Spirit, and empower them to be bold witnesses of His power and might. WOW!
Father, my desire is threefold today: that you would find us to be in one accord just like our brothers in the early church, that we would be more concerned about Your will than our own, and that You might shake us, empower us, and fill us with Your Holy Spirit to be bold witnesses for You today.