Bold Prayer & Proclamation (Acts 4:29–31) - Radical

Bold Prayer & Proclamation (Acts 4:29–31)

And now, 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. And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
– Acts 4:29–31

Oh, what a powerful passage and prayer. This is one of those places in Scripture where we see a Spirit-inspired prayer, recorded in spirit, breathed Scripture. Just listen to the words, the context.

Acts 4:29–31 Narrates the Disciples’ Response to Persecution

These disciples are being persecuted. They’re experiencing persecution because of their proclamation of the gospel. And so they’re released from prison. They gather together and they start praying. There’s so much about their prayer even right before this. But then they get to verse 29 and they say, “Lord, look upon their threats against us and grant to us to continue to speak your word with all boldness. In other words, God, don’t let us be quiet when threatened. God, help us to speak your word with boldness,” which implies they were prone, they were tempted to not speak his word or to be timid.

And I hope this is encouraging to you. If we see this in scripture, God’s people, these followers of Jesus and leaders in the church, in the very beginning, they were prone, tempted to stay quiet with the gospel, to shrink back from sharing the gospel. I’m guessing you’re familiar with that. I know I am, like we are all, every follower of Jesus is prone, is tempted to be quiet with the gospel. When you have hesitation about sharing the gospel, when you find yourself being prone to being silent, when you have opportunities to share the gospel, you’re not alone. This is for followers of Jesus over the last 2,000 years.

So pray. In that moment, God, I pray for supernatural power to speak your word with boldness. And that’s what I love about verse 31 and why I didn’t want to stop and just reading that part of verse 29. When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together with shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they did what? They continued to speak the word of God with boldness. God answered that prayer.

Acts 4:29–31 Encourages to Follow the Disciples’ Example

So let’s pray that prayer. Let’s trust God to answer. God, we pray today for boldness to speak your word. God, I pray this in my life, I pray this for every single person. I think about the opportunity I had just recently to share the gospel with someone and I was nervous for some reason and I was hesitant. Then the door just opened wide. And by your grace, by your grace, you provided boldness in that moment. And this person, it sure seems came to faith in Jesus as a result.

Oh God, I pray for that God of boldness all day long today in every interaction with people around me. And God, we pray this over each of our lives. God, we pray knowing 2 Timothy 1:7, you have not given us a spirit of timidity, the spirit of power and love and self-discipline. So God, we pray, help us to speak your word out of the overflow of a spirit of power and love and self-discipline in us. Oh God, by the power of your Holy Spirit in us, we pray for boldness today. Help us to have boldness to share the gospel with somebody today, in person, over text, over social media, over email, write a letter. God help us. Help us to speak your word today with boldness.

Praying for the Bashkar People

And God, we pray for the bold proclamation of your word. To the ends of the earth through us as your church, we pray specifically today for the Bashkar people of Pakistan, 227,000 of them, no known followers of Jesus. God, we pray for this completely unreached people group that you would raise up a lay brewers to go to the Bashkar of Pakistan. Maybe even to some of us listening to this right now, and our churches.

And we pray that your word would be spoken to them in the power of your spirit with great boldness by your people in ways that lead to their salvation. God, we pray this for the Bashkar people and for people right around us today. And we pray for ourselves, may it be so exactly what we read in Acts 4: 29-231. God grant to us boldness to speak your word today. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

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