Thursday 23 April 2015

Bible Book:

“When they heard it they raised their voices together to God” (v. 24)

Acts 4:23-31 Thursday 23 April 2015

Psalm: Psalm 143


Today's passage is the last episode in this story that beganwith the miraculous healing of a 40-year-old crippled beggar andhas involved Peter and John having to defend themselves before theSanhedrin for their part in the healing (Acts3:1 - 4:22). At risk of punishment by the Sanhedrin they tookthe opportunity to witness boldly about Jesus' death andresurrection and about the power of Jesus' name to heal.

Having been released from custody by the Council, Peter and Johnwent straight to join their fellow believers. Having recounted allthat had happened to them they, and the fellowship, "raised theirvoices together"and praised God and prayed.

They prayed using Psalm2:1-2, which they saw as being fulfilled by these recentevents. They praised God for God's own creative power and for thefact that God had spoken through the Holy Spirit in the past aboutthese days through which they were now living. They saw that Godhad a plan and was in control. Believing this encouraged them intheir situation.

It is noticeable that in their prayer they do not pray for Godto deliver them from being arrested and tried again. Neither dothey pray for punishment for those who are against Jesus or who mayharm them. What they pray for is boldness to carry on speaking andhealing in Jesus' name. Their whole concern was for the continuedspread of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God answered their pray with by sending the Holy Spirit, so muchso that the whole room shook. The company was filled by the Spiritwhich gives them the boldness that they sought.

To Ponder

  • When times are difficult do you find the church community to bea place of welcome and support? What support do you need? And aspart of the church community what welcome and support can youoffer?
  • When you come to pray do you always remember to praise God aswell as to ask for help and guidance? When we do praise God do wedo so mainly for what God has done or for who God is?
  • How has prayer helped you to face difficult circumstances?

Bible notes' author: The Revd Ros Watson

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