Day 11: Be careful what you pray for! (Acts 5:17-42)
Today’s Passage: Acts 5:17-42
Seriously, be careful what you pray for.
I am not sure what your prayers are dominated by. Most of mine, if I look back, are prayers of asking God to move in the lives of people I care about. Less often are prayers of offering myself to God.
Prayers like, “God use me as you will” or “Not my will, but yours” or “Lord send me where ever” or how about “Lord, have me speak boldly, in Jesus Name”, these prayers do not dominate my prayers to God.
In the moments I pray those prayers to truly be God’s servant, I can get of tinge of concern, even fear. I wonder, “How much will God ask?”.
Why bring this up?
Because one chapter ago, in 4:29, Jesus’ followers prayed for boldness—and I think we read his answer today.
What a scene!
Consider: people in power “filled with jealousy” (v.17). Our heroes locked up in jail. An angel orchestrating a jail break.
It doesn’t stop there.
Our men return to the scene of the crime, and it what might be described as an “in your face” move, they not only repeat their crime, they get in the face of those in power. You would expect swift and complete retaliation. Instead there is a moment of wisdom from a minor actor, (Gamaliel 5:36), and our heroes escape, after receiving a beating.
It’s all rather exciting—when viewed from afar.
As I think about this part of Scripture, it would be easy to conclude, I am just not worthy to follow Jesus unless I abandon all I am doing and go become an itinerant preacher.
I don’t think that is the point.
Certainly, if God calls you to “go”, then you really need to pray through and follow his leading.
But perhaps we need to look at this episode differently. Do we, right where we are living, pray for boldness to speak the Name of Jesus? And boldness looks differently depending on where you are situated.
If you work in an office, would having a few things around your desk that proclaim his Name be bold? It could be. How about not swearing when everyone else does? Might it be that you read your Bible at lunch. I did that for years when I worked in an office. Amazing how loudly that can speak.
How about telling people you will pray for them? Right now, consider the myriad of ways you can let people know you are a person of faith—and person whose faith is on display.
These, and many more, position you to speak. The process is TWO-fold. Pray for boldness and direction to speak, and then speak when you have the opportunity.