How to pray when threatened

We were reading that early passage in the NT book Acts where the authorities–the high priests and religious elites of Jerusalem–interrogated and threatened Peter and John not to proclaim Jesus any longer and the two leaders being let go, joined a house full of other believers and they all prayed . . . .

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.  They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.  Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.  Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

The authorities were conspiring, but not against Peter and John or the believers in the resurrected Christ but conspiring against the Lord’s anointed one.

But there are enormous consequences for their attitude, their opposition, their actions.

We can see that Jesus and his people who obey him, are one. Jesus taught that to act against his servants is to act against the King and the Rule of God. We who truly act in his name in obedience to his word are in an indissoluble union with him.

Acting against his people is to act against him. Not very wise.

The disciples could see clearly and proclaimed that these authorities were actually doing “what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” What confidence in the living God! They knew, prayed and lived out Psalm 2!

We realize we can live in that reality. He knows what he is doing.

“All things are working together for those who love God, who are the called according to his purpose”!

The living God cannot be defeated. He may be mocked but it is all in his stride. He will turn men’s plans to suit himself and he will have the glory.

Authorities today are making laws and threats of prosecutions against us who are led by the Holy Spirit. They seek to change the unchangeable, what IS and act as if they are gods. They are calling good evil and evil good.

They are acting against the Lord’s anointed, the Christ.

The living God is not taken by surprise! Politicians think they are in control. But they do not realize that God has decided beforehand what should take place. And at the same time they have chosen to act improperly and without the counsel of the Almighty.

If God is for us who can be against us, the apostle Paul excitedly and emphatically stated.

We looked and marveled at how these early believers prayed.

They asked for power and boldness in proclaiming the truth that saves. And at the same time, for God to stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders . . .

Both are necessary — us together boldly making the saving word known, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, and powerful signs following the words of life by the hand of God. Truly an exciting partnership!

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.

And that scenario has never been withdrawn.  Is there is any sensible alternative for us, for you, for me? But to pray like that and expect the Mighty Presence with us.

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