Praying for Boldness, not Protection
Peter and John were hauled before the powerful Sanhedrin religious authority. They were threatened and then commanded to stop speaking of Jesus before being released. The power wielded by this religious body would lead many of us to pray for protection if we were in the shoes of Peter and John. Let’s look at what they prayed instead:
“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” Acts 4: 29
Boldness, not protection was their request. As we consider living lives of purpose – carrying the message of Jesus Christ to our world–we often pray for protection for ourselves or for others who go out. A prayer of protection is a prayer that focuses on ourselves, a desire to serve God only as long as it’s safe to do so. A prayer of boldness comes from a heart that is set firmly on God, a heart that is less concerned with my safety or my reputation and more concerned with making Him known.
A pray for boldness is a risky prayer. I’m ready to set aside a life of playing it safe. I want to be bold. In my 21st century-western world culture, it may not be my life that is at risk, but my reputation. Am I willing to be labeled a “Jesus freak,” as I trade in protection for boldness in my desire to live for Him?
Here’s the thing about prayer: God always answers. It didn’t take long for Peter and John to see their prayer answered:
“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and spoke the word of God boldly.”
Acts 4: 31 (emphasis added)
Are you ready to pray for boldness?