I’ve spent the last four days with roughly 4,500 church leaders and planters and many more from over 100 countries who watched the Exponential Conference online. It was striking to think about the number of people involved in God’s work around the world. Looking through my notes there are so many things I hope to share with you in the coming weeks but leading into this weekend I wanted to share something Pastor Oscar Murui talked about on the last day of the conference.
It begins in Acts 4:23.
23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.’
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 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.
Pastor Murui pointed asked a room full of church leaders and planters if our prayers sound like the one in verse 29 and do you what happened? There was silence. He silenced a whole room of people who are known for talking for a living!
So let me ask you the same question. Do your prayers sound as bold as this one? Do you pray asking God to enable you to speak his truth, his words, his love, his power into the world even when the world is looking to keep you quiet, push you to the margins, or get rid of you all together? I know, that last part may not even be your reality – very few of us live in a place where our lives are in danger every day – but the point still stands. Do we pray with such boldness?
Now take a moment to read again verses 29-31. The disciples prayer continued with them asking God to do only what God can do – heal people and then, the place was shaken. God showed up among the people when they prayed boldly asking God to do only what God can do.
What are you asking God to do that only he can do? Are you praying with such boldness that God’s presence shows up and even those around you are shaken?