What we pray for reveals what we believe about God. Our prayers reflect our understanding of God’s power, His willingness to answer, and our perception of God’s role in our lives. The absence of prayer could signify a lack of faith in God or a belief that He does not answer prayers. If our prayers are self-centered and solely focused on our needs and desires, it suggests that we view God as a means to serve us. If our prayers are formal and repetitive, we may believe that God is impersonal or distant. Treating prayer as a last resort or something we turn to only in desperate situations indicates that we believe God is there to bail us out. However, if we believe in a BIG, ALMIGHTY God, we will pray BOLD, AUDACIOUS prayers
If we truly believe in a big, almighty God, our prayers should reflect that belief through bold and audacious requests. Praying bold prayers means stepping out of our comfort zones and asking for things that seem impossible. It demonstrates our trust in God’s power, willingness to intervene, and recognition of His sovereignty. Bold prayers show that we understand God’s limitless capabilities and that we are confident in His ability to bring about the miraculous in our lives.
In Acts 4:23-31, we see the early church exemplifying this kind of prayer. Let us delve into the importance of courageous prayers and the impact they can have on our lives and the world around us.
Gathering with the Church
In Acts 4:23, after Peter and John were released from prison, they immediately went to their fellow believers and shared everything that had happened. This emphasizes the importance of community in our faith journey. We need our church family, especially during challenging times, as they provide support, encouragement, and accountability. The church is designed to be a community, a body, where we can grow together in our faith and share the joys and struggles of life.
I love that someone in the group says, “Hey guys, we need to pray.” It’s a reminder that prayer should be our first response, not our last resort. Instead of turning to prayer only when we’ve exhausted all other options, it should be our immediate inclination.
There is something incredibly powerful that happens when the church comes together in prayer. Faith is increased, hearts are encouraged, and we learn to trust and depend on God more deeply. As a unified body, we witness God moving and answering our prayers in remarkable ways.
Praying together should be a normal and natural part of our lives as believers. It shouldn’t feel uncomfortable to kneel down and pray during worship or to grab a friend and say, “Pray with me; pray for me.” It should be second nature to us. However, for some reason, we have made praying together awkward. We have allowed insecurities or distractions to hinder us from fully embracing the power and beauty of communal prayer.
Let us reclaim the importance of praying together as a church. Let us break through the barriers that make it uncomfortable or awkward. As we unite in prayer, we will experience a deeper connection with one another and with God. Our faith will be strengthened, and we will witness the incredible ways in which God moves and answers our prayers. Together, let us make prayer a natural and powerful part of our lives, both individually and as a community of believers.
God is in control
Let’s be honest: If we found ourselves just released from jail for boldly proclaiming our faith in Jesus and facing intense persecution, our initial prayers might likely be along the lines of, “God, help me! Change my circumstances and deliver me from this oppression. And while You’re at it, please curse those who are persecuting me.” In such challenging situations, it’s natural to desire a change in our circumstances and to seek relief from the difficulties we are facing.
However, instead of immediately asking God to change their circumstances or alleviate their difficulties, the early church began to worship. They recognized and acknowledged God’s sovereignty and control over all things. This intentional act of worship revealed their profound belief in His ultimate power and their unwavering trust in His purpose and plans.
Their prayers were not self-centered or solely focused on their own well-being. Instead, they directed their prayers towards God’s glory being manifested through their circumstances. They understood that even in the midst of persecution and challenges, God could work in miraculous ways to bring about His purposes. Their prayers were an expression of surrender and alignment with God’s will, seeking His glory above all else.
This example challenges us to evaluate our own prayer lives and the motivations behind our petitions. Do our prayers primarily revolve around our own comfort, desires, and immediate needs? Or do we approach prayer with a deeper understanding of God’s sovereignty and a willingness to align our desires with His purposes?
Praying with a recognition of God’s sovereignty means acknowledging that He is in control of all things and that His ways are higher than our ways. It requires us to trust that His plans and purposes are ultimately for our good and His glory, even if they don’t align with our immediate desires or expectations.
When we pray from this perspective, our prayers become a means of seeking God’s will and desiring His glory to be revealed in and through our circumstances. We surrender our own agendas and align ourselves with His purposes, trusting that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him.
So let us learn from the early believers in Acts 4 and approach our prayers with a deeper understanding of God’s sovereignty. Let us begin with worship, acknowledging His ultimate power and control. May our prayers reflect a genuine desire for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom. As we align our prayers with His will, we can trust that He will work in miraculous ways, bringing about His purposes and revealing His glory in our lives.
Two bold prayers
1. A Prayer for Boldness
In Acts 4:29-30, we witness a powerful example of the disciples’ prayer for boldness in the face of opposition. Instead of praying for their own comfort or relief, they ask God to enable them to continue speaking boldly about Jesus.
This prayer of the disciples reveals a mission-centered mindset that puts the proclamation of the Gospel above personal comfort. They understood the significance of spreading the message of salvation and the transformative power of Jesus’ name. Their primary concern was not their own well-being but rather the advancement of God’s kingdom and the impact it would have on the lives of others.
By praying for boldness, the disciples demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the mission entrusted to them by Jesus. They recognized that in order to fulfill their calling, they needed God’s supernatural strength and courage. They acknowledged their dependence on Him to overcome fear, opposition, and the potential consequences of sharing Jesus with others.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to be bold and courageous in proclaiming His name, regardless of the opposition or discomfort we may face. Like the disciples, we can seek God’s empowerment and guidance through prayer. We can ask Him to fill us with His Spirit and grant us the boldness to speak with conviction, clarity, and love.
2. A Prayer for Miracles
In Acts 4:29-30, the disciples not only prayed for boldness but also for God to perform miracles through them. Their prayers were characterized by audacity, as they dared to ask for greater signs and wonders to accompany their ministry. They understood that to make a significant impact in the world, they needed to go beyond the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary power of God.
Their audacious prayers reveal a deep faith in God’s ability to work miracles and a fervent desire to see more people experience His healing and salvation. They recognized that it was through these supernatural demonstrations of God’s power that hearts would be transformed and lives would be touched.
In the same way, if we desire to make a substantial difference in our world today, we must learn to pray bold, audacious prayers. We should not shy away from asking God for remarkable breakthroughs, divine interventions, and transformative encounters. We should approach Him with faith, believing that He is able to exceed our expectations and accomplish far more than we can imagine.
Praying audacious prayers requires a willingness to step out of our comfort zones and trust in God’s unlimited power. It challenges us to think beyond our own limitations and to seek God’s kingdom and His purposes above all else.
As we cultivate a habit of praying bold, audacious prayers, we open ourselves up to the possibility of witnessing God’s miraculous interventions and experiencing His supernatural power. We align our hearts with His kingdom agenda and invite Him to work through us to bring about transformation, healing, and salvation to others.
In Acts 4:31, we witness the powerful response to the disciples’ bold, audacious prayers. The Holy Spirit moved in such a way that the place they were in shook, and the believers were filled with renewed courage and passion. This extraordinary encounter with God’s Spirit propelled them to go out fearlessly and proclaim Jesus to those who were persecuting them.
This account serves as a powerful reminder that bold prayers have the ability to transform us from the inside out. When we approach God with audacity and surrender, we allow Him to shake us out of our comfort zones, out of our complacency, and out of our preoccupation with our own circumstances. We become stirred to action, driven by a deep desire to make much of Jesus’ name and advance His mission in the world.
Praying bold prayers requires us to step beyond our limited perspective and trust in God’s sovereignty. It means bringing our impossible situations to Him, fully expecting Him to show up and demonstrate His power. In doing so, we align our will with His and invite Him to work in and through us for His glory.
However, it’s important to note that when we pray for boldness, we open ourselves up to His transformative work in our hearts and lives. We must be prepared for God to do something in us before He works through us. When we begin to pray bold prayers, God will challenge our comfort, stretch our faith, and confront our fears. But in the process, He will also equip us and empower us to fulfill His mission.
So, as we approach the throne of grace, let us not be timid or hesitant. Let us boldly ask God to shake us out of our comfort zones, out of our casual faith, and out of our preoccupation with our own concerns. May our prayers be infused with a passion for making much of Jesus’ name and advancing His kingdom in every aspect of our lives.