God Horizons: Prayer of Courage

Peter and John had been very bold in their witness of what Christ had done in their lives; how their lives had become whole and Christ’s love had filled them.  God took these ordinary men and inspired them to “connect” with a man who had been lame for forty years.  This man was healed, in the name of Jesus, by the power of God’s love through these two men.  Naturally, the church council and the religious leaders were not happy about this love and energy that was permeating “their” religious camp.  But, these religious leaders could not deny the courage and boldness that had come over these two men to speak the truth about how their lives had changed since meeting Jesus.  Peter and John were acting on what they could now see from God’s horizon.  Peter and John were more concerned about what God desired to do through them, than how these people around them listening might react to what they might do and say.  This is an example of a stand of courageous love for God and people.  It is that courage for which we, as Christ followers, must seek to “connect.” The Holy Spirit is the Giver and Initiator of such courage.  Following this story, the healing of the lame man, we see the early Church (followers of Christ) ramping up their prayer for courage…

“‘…all the believers lifted thier voices together in prayer to God, “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them–you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant saying, ‘Why were the nations so angry?  Why did they waste their time with futile plans?  The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’  In fact, this has happened here in this very city!  For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.  But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.  And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your world.  Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done thorugh the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

“After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.  Then they preached the word of God with boldness.”‘ Acts 4:24-30