Praying Through Controversy

Praying Through Controversy

After healing the lame man on Solomon’s Porch, Peter preached the gospel to the crowd that had gathered and many obeyed. Unsurprisingly, the event caught the attention of the Jewish leaders. They arrested Peter and John and commanded them to cease preaching in the name of Christ. How did the church react to this challenge? The answer may surprise you. Acts 4:23-31 tells us that they prayed. 

They prayed together (v. 24a). Peter and John “went to their own companions” and they “raised their voice to God with one accord.” Truly, they understood the importance of being unified in all things but especially in a time of crisis. Does the church today still place the same value on unity and come together through turmoil? 

They appealed to God’s power (v. 24b). In prayer, the church addressed God “who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” They knew that the God with the power to create the world also had the power to help them through their struggle. Do we?

They appealed to God’s wisdom (v. 25-28). The church appealed to the wisdom of God by citing the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 2. They believed that the God whose infinite wisdom crafted the scheme of redemption would certainly know how to help them. Do we have the same measure of faith?

They asked for help (v. 29-30). They simply prayed that God would grant them boldness and that He would help them in their task. God does not work miraculously today, but He still works (Phil. 2:13). Certainly, it is appropriate for us to ask our Father to help us as we serve Him, especially in difficulty. 

God answered (v. 31). God wants His people to pray to Him and when we do so, we must have faith that He will answer (1 John 5:14-15). Sometimes the answer is not what we expect or when we expect it, but we must have faith. 

What about the church today? How do we respond to challenges? Why not begin by uniting in prayer to a powerful and wise God and trusting Him to help us?