Note from JesusDear Disciple,
Yesterday I shared with you that while the key ruling council tried to intimidate My people, they were undaunted. Here was their answer to the threats of the religious leaders:You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.My disciples responded to the threats of the ruling council with prayer! They reached back and incorporated part of Psalm 2 in their prayer recorded in the verses below, and they trusted in the promise of the closing lines of this prophetic psalm:But blessings await all who trust in Him. They will find God a gentle refuge.
(Psalm 2:12)Notice the focus of the prayer My disciples prayed. They didn’t pray to have their difficulties cease, but that they be given strength and boldness to declare My message:And now, Lord, take note of their intimidations intended to silence us. Grant us, Your servants, the courageous confidence we need to go ahead and proclaim Your message while You reach out Your hand to heal people, enabling us to perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.They didn’t back down. Instead, they were “praying up” their work of sharing the good news and bringing My healing to those who were broken and lost.
I had promised in My earthly ministry that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to those who asked (Luke 11:13). I promised I would never abandon My disciples as they shared My message (Matthew 28:18-20) and testified before hostile audiences (Mark 13:11).
My early disciples believed in these promises. They believed in the power of the Holy Spirit. They believed in the great importance of their mission. Do you?
Enduring persecution, they rejoiced and they prayed. Facing intense scrutiny, they testified to the truth. Being threatened with death, they were undaunted. They chose to be My faithful witnesses no matter the cost. Do you? Will you?
Great blessing comes to those who are faithful under trial. Pray and ask for boldness. Seek the “courageous confidence” you “need to go ahead and proclaim” My message and do My work in your broken world. One of those blessings is experiencing the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit in your midst as you are empowered and inspired to do My work and speak My message. And notice, dear disciple, that this power and inspiration are for you, and not just a holy few who lived long ago:All the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began speaking God’s message with courageous confidence.Verses to LivePrayer is powerful because you place your trust in Us — Father, Son, and Spirit. You trust that We will enter into your world and into your lives. You trust that We will do Our will through you by the power of the Holy Spirit working through you.
We long for you to invite Us to do in you, and through you, the very things that Our sovereign will longs to do. Often we are waiting for your faith to be displayed and for your prayers to ask Us to act. Look what can still happen when My disciples display that faith and, through their prayers, invite Us to act:Jewish Leaders:What do we do with these fellows? Anyone who lives in Jerusalem will know an unexplainable sign has been performed through these two preachers. We can’t deny their story. The best we can do is try to keep it from spreading. So let’s warn them to stop speaking to anybody in this name.The leaders brought the prisoners [Peter and John] back in and prohibited them from doing any more speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. Peter and John listened quietly and then replied,
Peter and John:You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.The council threatened them again, but finally let them go because public opinion strongly supported Peter and John and this man who had received this miraculous sign. He was over 40 years old, so his situation was known to many people, and they couldn’t help but glorify God for his healing.
Peter and John, upon their release, went right to their friends and told the story — including the warning from the council. The whole community responded with this prayer to God:
Community of Believers:God, our King, You made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything they contain. You are the One Who, by the Holy Spirit, spoke through our ancestor David, Your servant, with these words:Why did the nations rage?
Why did they imagine useless things?
The kings of the earth took their stand;
their rulers assembled in opposition
against the Eternal One and His Anointed King.</This is exactly what has happened among us, here in this city. The foreign ruler Pontius Pilate and the Jewish ruler Herod, along with their respective peoples, have assembled in opposition to Your holy servant Jesus, the One You chose. They have done whatever Your hand and plan predetermined should happen. And now, Lord, take note of their intimidations intended to silence us. Grant us, Your servants, the courageous confidence we need to go ahead and proclaim Your message while You reach out Your hand to heal people, enabling us to perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.They finished their prayer, and immediately the whole place where they had gathered began to shake. All the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began speaking God’s message with courageous confidence.
(Acts 4:16-31)Response in PrayerO Father, give Your disciples today the courageous confidence to proclaim Jesus and live before others as witnesses of Your grace. Fill us even more with the Holy Spirit, Who now lives in us. Fill us to overflowing so that not only will we display the fruit of the Spirit in righteous behavior and gracious compassion, but that we also will be bold in declaring the message of Jesus no matter the opposition or hostility we face. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.’A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware. © 1998-2022, Heartlight, Inc. ‘A Year with Jesus’ is part of the Heartlight Network.All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Source: Passion for Praise