When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things? ‘The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
After the disciples were released, they found power in two different places: prayer and each other. In Acts, believers boldly prayed as they faced persecution while sharing the gospel. Prayer is a powerful but underrated strategy. Imagine if you were in Peter and John’s shoes: would prayer be your first response after being released? Most of us would find a lawyer or call a friend for comfort. But the disciples got on their knees and went to God because they understood that He had power that they lacked. It was His power that would lead them forward.
Having embraced God’s plan in their prayer, the believers now requested God to perform a great and visible work. They asked that God would consider the threats from their opposition, give them boldness in witnessing, and show miracles in answer to their prayer. God’s will might not remove us from difficult situations, but when we pray God will strengthen us and make us more effective for Him in those situations.
Because they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the disciples began to speak God’s message with boldness. God responded to their prayers with His own demonstration of power—the whole room shook and they were changed. Such power only comes from God and can only be unleashed through prayer.
- Do you value prayer as a source of power? What do your actions reveal about the power you find in prayer?
- What circumstances in your life need your urgent prayer?
- Pour out your heart to God for the gospel to move forward today.