Date: July 17, 2022
Speaker: George Romanacce
Scripture: Acts 4:23-31
Series: Praying For Your Church
Good morning church. How are we doing today? Well, my name is George Romanacce. And I get to serve here as worship pastor at West Shore, Free Church and it’s my privilege to be able to preach to you as we continue our series and prayers. For the church. We’re gonna be looking at Acts for today to prayer, Peter and John the church pray during a very tumultuous time. About a year ago, Noel and I, my wife, we were able to go on this amazing trip out west, we went to Southern Utah, Zion National Park, just beautiful National Park, multiple mountains, canyons, valleys, and there’s this one area of Zion called The Narrows, and the narrows is where the canyon walls come together. You can walk through them in this creek and this creek has rocks and water about ankle deep to about chest high actually have a picture of what the narrows looks like. It was an incredible experience. That’s about a four to five mile hike, round trip, depending on how deep you want to go into the Narrows. So when I prepared for this trip, I am prepared, I love to do research before we go on a vacation. Where we want to trip, I’m looking at what are the recommendations of where to go how to do it. So when I looked up Zion, the narrows is on a list of things that you have to go see. Some reading experiences from other people and they said there’s two things that they highly recommend when you go on the Narrows, because of the way the path is. One is a great walking stick because of the rocks and two is really, really good hiking water shoes. So basically like these hiking boots that are waterproof, that you can walk on dry land with and also in the water and you just go right over the rocks. They were a couple 100 bucks, I was not going to buy a couple $100 boots just for this trip. When we go there, they also had the boots for rent for the day. They were like $40 to rent shoes for the day, which I’m not use, I go to bowling alleys spend like, what three bucks on bowling shoes. I’m not spending $40 to use these shoes for four hours on this hike. So I want to take a shortcut. Even though the recommendation was to use the shoes, I decided to go to the second best place which is Walmart and in Walmart, they had these cheap water shoes that were like $7. I mean, these things were terrible. They had no ankle support. The soles were basically like wearing copy paper under your feet. I paid for making this decision dearly. You again even though I had a map, I had a guide and how to deal with this treacherous hike. I said, I know better. I’ll take a shortcut. By the time I got back to the car, I was basically on all fours crawling, because I could not walk. So just like that hike in the narrows with life, we have the word of God that tells us what we will find in life. What are the guarantees? What are recommendations for us to live this life. Two of the guarantees that we get in the Word of God are that we will suffer and we will be persecuted for our faith. Those are not it’s their wins. But God doesn’t leave us alone to try to figure out how to traverse the journey of life in this broken world where we will be persecuted, we will find suffering, he gives us a guide. He gives us a compass. He gives us a recommendation of action. That’s what we’re going to look today and Acts for that in the face of opposition and persecution for the Christian. We have the recommendation to remedy to go to our God in prayer to ask him for help. To passages about persecution. Matthew 10:22 Jesus says, You will be hated for all by all for my name’s sake. Then Timothy and II Timothy 3. Sorry, Paul, indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. It’s a pretty strong statement is that saying maybe if you follow Christ, you will be persecuted. So you have the word, have God’s guiding principles is way to go. He says, go to Me come to Me in prayer for help during times of persecution to prepare also for the day of opposition. Not just pray but an Acts 4 what we’re going to see in this prayer and Peter and John after they are persecuted for their faith. It’s a model for how we the church should pray, the things we should ask for the things that we should declare in the day of trouble. That we can acknowledge certain truths about who God is in the worst of circumstance. essence, and pray for boldness, that we will be able to speak his gospel and his word, no matter the cost. So that’s what we’re going to look at today in Acts 4. I want to give some context to this prayer that Peter and John pray. They’re in Jerusalem, and they’re in the temple area, and they are preaching to a number of people. There’s this man who is crippled, and they pray for him, and he’s healed and he springs up and he starts shouting about how great God is for healing me. This crowd of people see all the commotion. So they start following Peter and John, and now they have this crowd. So they’re preaching to them the gospel, and it says, over 5000 people were saved at that time. Now, the high priests and the Jewish leaders did not like that they were preaching Jesus. They saw them as trouble. So they go to them, and they unjustifiably arrest them. In the next morning, after they’re arrested, they question them. They say, How did you do this healing. This is what Peter and John filled with boldness say to them, rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed. Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him, this man is standing before you Well, this Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone, and there is salvation and no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. This is a reaction says, Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceive that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. They recognize that they had been with Jesus. We’ll talk more about that leader, that last verse. So the priests are now they’re dumbfounded. They see this man is healed. They don’t know what else to do with Peter and John. So they tell them to leave it home and go away. They threaten them. They say, if you come back here, and you preach about Jesus, there will be consequences. Now Peter, and John, knowing they’re calling as the apostles of Christ, they know that their approval, that approval that they look for is the approval of God, not man. They’ve been called to do a mission. Just because they’re threatened, doesn’t mean they’re going to stop. Now, you may be asking yourself or saying to yourself, well, that’s their context. That’s great. In my context, here in America, right now, we can preach the gospel, we’re not going to be arrested for sharing about Jesus. You’re right. That should be something we should be very grateful for. But at the same time, we should be very aware of the context that we are in it may look different from Peter and John, but we have real challenges in front of us. We have real opposition, because of who we follow, and what we believe. We think about our country. It’s slide towards increased godlessness. It really shouldn’t be a surprise, as we see this increasing embrace of relativism and most postmodern thinking. We think about fact the sexual revolution that’s taking place, and how God’s design for marriage and for gender is being completely distorted and perverted, and ways that we never thought were a management imaginable. When we think about the horrors of abortion, and how now abortion is seen as something that is a moral good, it’s something to be celebrated. It’s something it’s like a badge of honor. We’ve seen increased celebration of wickedness, and immorality. Not just that, but just even the lowest hanging fruit, an overall decrease just in the belief that God exists. Gallup is an organization that does a number of polls, and one of the polls they’ve been doing since 1944, is to pull the American people to see what the pulses of belief in God and what they’ve seen in 2021. They did the poll, and what they’ve seen is one of the largest the largest decreases that they’ve seen. It’s about a 6% decrease since 2017 of Americans who say they just simply believe in God. One thing that’s very alarming about the poll, as they said, most of the groups of the groups of people that say they don’t believe in God anymore, are young people, young adults, the younger generation, the future of our country. The church is not immune from this, as we’ve seen a trend of church attendance declining throughout our country. The biggest group of people that have been affected by this are young people, they are leaving church. So we have this real challenge in front of us. That’s just here in America. When we think about throughout the world, the persecution that is taking place for Christians, it’s not just a social pressure, or, you know, us receiving mockery or hatred, but where people actually fear for their life just because they serve Christ. Open Doors International is an organization that, for years has been looking at trends and persecution against Christians. One of the things that they’ve seen from 2020 to 2021 is this rapid increase, especially that was exacerbated by the COVID 19. pandemic. They found significant increases in types of persecution, I’m just going to give you some figures here. So this is over a year increase, and 2021, over 5800 Christians were killed for their faith, which is up 24% In a year, over 5100 churches were attacked or close, which is up 14%. In a year, over 6100 Christians were arrested without a trial, which is up 45%. Over 3800, were kidnapped, which is up 124% in one year. We’re seeing this increase throughout the world. And I don’t tell you all this, so that we can just have this fatalistic view, or have a pity party, or be sad, just get mad. But for us to see the real challenges that are in front of us today, that we are at a turning point, you’re at a pivotal point in history. God in His perfect wisdom, and goodness, gives us His word and does not leave us alone to try to figure out how to traverse what we see here, taking place. But rather, he gives us this command. He shows us to pray, and how to pray for the day and in the day of persecution, and opposition. To pray specifically, for supernatural, Holy Spirit empowered boldness to speak His truth, despite the consequences in the shifting culture around us to pray, knowing and declaring that he is a sovereign God, and that he reigns over all the events of people of the world, all the nations though the rage, God reigns, to pray for him to do miracle, the miraculous in our midst, for him to heal. For him to take dead souls most wicked of souls and Hearts was cold of hearts, and turn them towards him and to pray unified as his church, looking to the founder, and perfecter, the author of our faith. You may ask still, how is this prayer? relevant for me, I mean, living in this area, with my friends and my circles, I don’t really go through persecution or opposition. I think, to answer that we can expand our understanding. Understand that this prayer is relevant for us today, no matter if on a day to day basis, you don’t or do receive hatred for your faith. But that we live in a world that is full of distractions, full of material distractions, entertainment, technology, a world that preaches you are your own god, you do as you please, as long as it doesn’t bother me or bother anyone else. You do you. So we have this isolation in society. We have this selfishness in society, where people are just wrapped up with themselves and the things of the world. We have real challenges, obstacles. This prayer is for all of us today. So let’s look at what they pray.
Acts 4:23. Start there. It says says when they were released, they went to their friends who reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and everything in them through the mouth of our father David, your servant said by the Holy Spirit, why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth, set themselves and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed. For truly in this city, there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed both Herod and Pontius Pilate along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel to do whatever your hand and your plan at predestined to take place. Now Lord, look upon their threats, and grants your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal. Signs and wonders are performed the name of your holy servant Jesus, when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together, was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Continue to speak the word of God with boldness. Let this prayer be our guide today.
First thing that we see and how to pray, the day of opposition is to pray in unity with the body of Christ. Notice that after Peter and John are released from jail, where’s the first place they go? They don’t go to be by themselves. They don’t go to find special people. They go with the people that they live with. That they love that they know that they worship with that they cry with that we rejoice with they pray with the church, the local church. They know that they can trust their brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage them. They know that they share a common bond, the strongest common bond that people can share of different backgrounds and nations that they reside under the same cross. But they love the same savior, that they trust the same God. Then when they go with their friends, what did they do? Did they rant? Were they just sad together? They steam of how to get back at these Jewish leaders that had arrested them? No, they prayed. The first thing they did, says they lifted their voice together in unity. Hebrews 10, verses 24 to 25 says, and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drawing near the Matthew 18. Jesus talks about the power that there is when his followers gather in numbers, he says For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them. What Jesus is saying is not when you’re alone He’s not with you he is. But there’s something so special about the authority of God’s people when they come together united to pray a united voice for united cause under the same allegiance to the same savior. What we do in that is we forsake small differences. We focus on what’s primary, the gospel, and the call of God in our lives, to be his voice to a lost and dying world. This has been a struggle, the last couple of years, I would say, I know. I believe and we believe that God is sovereign over the events of the world. But we have to recognize and remember that there is a true enemy and his name is Satan. He seeks to divide and destroy. The Bible says that he’s like a roaring lion, seeking to devour whoever he can. There’s nothing more that Satan would love than to divide the church to break unity. He tried to use COVID for that, that time when we were isolated. I even found in myself. It was like this slide of like how hard it was to get back with people. During that time, we could get real comfortable like, all, I need is my family, my house. I’m good by myself. So this is something that I even see the reverberations of today that we’re still on this bit of an uphill battle with this. We have to be reminded church that we belong together. We do not belong in isolation. The church did not make God. God did not make the church to be a movie theater. He didn’t. You go to a movie theater is sit in this auditorium with a bunch of people that you don’t know, just being entertained for an hour and a half. You have no connection with them, no interaction with them. Then you get up and you leave. You probably never see those people again your life. That’s not what the church is. The church is a body rafted together. We need each other and we need each other. For when that day of opposition and persecution may come or has come. We can be like crutches or one another, holding up the other who has been hurt, who has been mocked, who has been hated, remind, reminding each other. God is sovereign. God is good. He’s powerful. He will give you boldness to The field has purposes. So we pray, unified.
The second way that we’re informed by this prayer, when we face opposition is to pray for God’s sovereign will to be done. Notice that when they start the prayer, they titled God, Sovereign Lord. Now, they’re not saying that to remind God that He’s sovereign. They’re saying that to remind themselves that he sovereign, the one who made the heavens and the earth and a sea and everything in them, that he is the rightful ruler over all things over all time, past, present, and future. It’s acknowledging and believing that what just took place as they were rested, was God was fully in control. It was part of his plan. He was not taken off guard by the Jewish leaders at all. So it’s a comforting fact, as they pray. Then they asked a rhetorical question, which is a reference to Psalm 2, why are the Gentiles rage and the peoples plot in vain, and the kings have set themselves before God’s anointed. They know the answer to this. They say, after talking about Jesus, even being crucified, under the plan of God, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place, the mystery of God’s sovereignty, we don’t have time to just to break it down in detail. But the perfect balance between the fact that God is fully sovereign and fully in control, and he ordains the events of your life and the world, yet there is free will. The Jewish leaders were responsible for their wicked actions, but God still ordained what happened. So when the, when John and Peter pray this, what they’re acknowledging is that, hey, this is what you set before us the path you set before us, they don’t even ask for their circumstances to change. They just say, this is what you have for us now. So we want to serve in this environment that you’ve put us in. Really, when we pray this way, how hard is it to pray, when we go through something challenging in life, and the first place we start is Sovereign Lord, you predestined for this bad thing to happen? You’ve ordained it. That you are in control of my life. It is a very difficult prayer to pray, especially when we’re knee deep in opposition to persecution. It really is like giving up control. We are naturally just control freaks. We want to control our circumstances, when things don’t go away. We try to rewire things to make it work. When they still don’t change, we get frustrated, we get frustrated and get angry. My three year old, Matthew, he’s my youngest, he is a very cautious kid. He’s very different than my other kids. Very, very cautious. In some ways, it’s a blessing. Like I know he’s not going to dive headfirst over a cliff. One thing that he’s been afraid of his water. He’s deathly afraid of water, like he doesn’t want to swim. He just looks at it like a giant pool of danger. So we have some friends that have a pool and we go to their house, he will mainly stay out of the water. You try to take him in the water, he just screams and he’ll just run around the pool, and chuck stuff and people in the pool or spray them water guns. But he’s still young, and we’re around water a lot whether we go visit our family in Florida. We’re up here. So we decided to give him these safety swim lessons for younger kids where a teacher will teach a kid that if he falls into a pool, he’s able to turn his body over and float and knows how to stay up. Right. So we take him to this class and the first class went terribly. He was not having it. He hung to my wife like a tick on a dog. The teacher had to physically peel him off of my wife while he’s just screaming bloody murder. No, I don’t want to do this. He’s in the pool and the teacher has her hands under him. She has complete control. She’s not gonna let him fall in the pool. She’s saying, I got you. You’re safe. I got you. It’s okay. I got you. He’s still screaming No, no. The more he thrashes, the more dangerous actually it is for him. So he’s having to fight him in the pool. But then as time goes on, and he starts trusting her more, he realizes Okay, she does not she does have and then she releases one hand and then she releases more fingers to where she’s barely holding him up. He’s kicking and floating. It may not even feel like to him that she is holding him but she’s still there. I got you and your are not going to fall. This is who our Sovereign Lord is for us. That when we face opposition or suffering or challenges in life, God is there. Even if it doesn’t feel like his hand is under us, he’s saying, I got you. I’ve ordained all this to happen, I will not leave you alone, I will not let you sink. My Will in my way for your life will be fulfilled, no matter what is there just a couple of passages that speak to this Psalm 115:3, our God is in the heavens, he does all that he pleases. Job 42:2, I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Ephesians 111. In Him, we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him, who works all things according to the counsel of his will. In our context, our context, it can feel like things are spiraling out of control. That our grasp and influence in the world is falling away. As we see in our country, culture, is running towards godlessness running towards a hate and intolerance of even what we believe. It can be disconcerting, it can be worrisome can bring us anxiety or fear of the future where we’re going to be in 10 years, 15 years, 20 years from now. But what this prayer in Acts for shows us is that Peter and John, saying we don’t need to despair, the raging of the kings and the people with a nation setting themselves against God, and the church against his word. Because his hand God’s hand has ordained at all. He stands above it all, like a human adult stands over an ant. There is no comparison. In Psalm 2, which again, they reference of those rhetorical questions of why do the the Gentiles rage and the nation’s rage? Psalm 2 answers, as David says, He who sits in the heavens laughs The Lord’s holds them in derision, which means with with a mocking eye, that when he sees a scheme of man, that schemes of man that are he men are just dust, he laughs at them. You think you can challenge me? The God of the universe. You think you can come against my church, my kingdom will keep going forward in the world, no matter what challenges they come. So we pray that His will be done. As we do so, there’s peace, there’s trust. There’s hope that grows in our hearts, even though we may face opposition and persecution for our faith. Where that trust increases, then fear decreases. Then as that fear decreases action for God’s directives increase. So we pray for his will to be done. We trust in our sovereign God.
The next way that we see in his prayer. Praying the day of opposition is to pray for boldness to continue to speak His word no matter what, once again, notice that there is this ask now, what do they ask for? Again, they don’t ask for circumstances to change. They don’t ask for God’s wrath to pour out on the Jewish leaders. What they asked for is boldness. Supernatural boldness only found in the power of God, a boldness that does not allow them to shrink back against fear of man, or fear of earthly consequences, not be apologetic, or cautious about preaching Jesus to the loss. Even if it means us losing a reputation or being seen as an outsider, or causes us to be mocked or ridiculed, or hated. Or even perhaps one day like people today are facing the threat of actual death. The only one who can give us boldness to keep speaking his truth and stand firm in the Gospel, in times like that, is our God, by His power and by His Spirit. So in verse 29, they pray and now Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word, with all boldness. We even think when Peter and John are before the Jewish leaders, and what do they do? Do they scream at the Jewish leaders? Do they threaten them? No, they actually preach the gospel to them. Instead, the only name that can one can be saved under is the name of Jesus. They spoke with a boldness with an authority or even the Jewish leaders who are not believers. Notice there was something different. It says that they were common uneducated men. How did they carry such an authority? How do they have such power and intelligence in their words? Or even they recognize what does it say at the end of that part in chapter 4, they recognize they had been with Jesus. There’s something different about them. They don’t care and authority is found on Earth. It’s a supernatural one. What’s incredible when we think about it, the apostles are no different than us. They have in them, they had in them, the same spirit that is in us today. The Spirit of God, the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in us, the one that can grant us supernatural boldness, to speak His truth and his gospel. Then in all this, when we asked for boldness, like what is the motivation, because these are hard prayers to pray, especially if we’re in a thick of something, or there’s real worry that we can even lose our job, or what’s the motivation? The motivation is not to simply win an argument. It’s not to just try to add numbers to a club, or motivation is that we’ve been called by God, to fulfill the Father’s heart. Father, who is merciful, who seeks and wants and desires, the loss to come to know Him. Because what do we carry, we carry message of life, a message that says to those that are dying, that are headed, running towards hell. There is a way to reverse your direction, there is a way to be forgiven of your sin, to be cured of the sickness of sin and death. There is a way to have a hope that is so above so eternal, so above the hope of this world is hope. His name is Jesus is hope that is everlasting. That’s what we hold. Our desire or motivation for boldness is to seek those that are dead come to new life. We’re an amazing calling that is, what a privilege that is that we hold that in our hands. We carry that message for Jesus. So we asked him for boldness, boldness, perhaps, at work, where you have that co worker who doesn’t know the Lord, and you’ve been praying for them. You don’t even know how to start a conversation about who Jesus is, pray. God will grant you boldness and wisdom in order to say the words, speak with authority, and love. Perhaps you struggle with fear of being who God made you to be as one of his followers. There’s a fear of possible rejection by others could be by students at your school or co workers. Pray, and God will grant you boldness to see that your main concern is that you please God and not man. Or perhaps you’re out somewhere and you just see some random person. The Lord just taps you on the shoulder. You don’t know why. You just feel this is a function to go and pray for them. To go and share the Gospel for them. I’ve had that before my life multiple times. How many times have I just ignore it like just put it away. But in that moment, obey the Spirit of God. Pray that you have boldness to go completely out of your comfort zone. Go and pray for that person. Preach the name of Jesus that person. Perhaps you have peers that want you to join into activities that you know are against the word of God and you feel that pressure. Pray for boldness to stand for God’s design for your life. So we asked him for boldness to do His will preach His Word, due his calling. Finally we see in this prayer. We pray in the face of opposition for the impossible to take place in Jesus name. So verse 29. And now Lord, look upon your threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, verse 30, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed as the name of your holy servant, Jesus. We think of that phrase signs and wonders. I think, for us it can kind of freak us out. Signs and wonders in terms of the miraculous taking place miraculous healings, miraculous spiritual deliverances addictions being broken miracles taking place in our midst I think the challenge for us in praying something like this is that we’ve seen movements, we’ve seen churches, we’ve seen figures that have completely abused this, or signs and wonders are just the end result. So we kind of get freaked out. We say, well, I don’t want to be like them. So we shut our minds and our hearts off to what God can do the just the miraculous things beyond our comprehension that God can do. So I think there’s a couple of things that can be true, that are true at the same time when it comes to praying, the way they pray here for the miraculous to take place.
First of all, signs and wonders and healings are a blessing from God, that have taken place and can take place wherever God wills it, that whenever he moves in miraculous ways, it brings him glory. Number two, is that when God moves in this way, it can result in faith rising, and God can use it even to bring the loss to him. New Testament where talks about signs and wonders happening a lot of times it says and when the signs and wonders happen, the miracles took place it attested to God’s power. The same way, that’s a good thing. Number three, the same time experiencing signs and wonders and miracles are not the end goal for a Christian. They are not what should be the prerequisite to faith in God or a needed stamp of confirmation of his power. But rather they are a gift that once again speaks to God’s power, but are not required for us to believe in God’s power and authority. The word and the gospel are what are required for our faith, not signs and wonders. Worship always starts with the giver, and not the gifts. Even if we see something take place I’ve seen people be healed of things that there’s no explanation for it just beyond understanding. You don’t worship the healing, you worship the one who healed. That’s always start and end. Also signs and wonders if we experienced them or we see them or myths should be tested always against the word of God. As a word does say that there will be false prophets and there will be false Christ that will do signs and miracles and that will lead others astray. So if we see something take place, we can ask healthy questions as a sign or miracle, is it bring glory to God? does it align with scripture? What is the fruit of it? Who is the one that God used to do the miracle? What else are they declaring or preaching about God.
Finally, looking at this prayer, it is good for us to pray for them to take place to once again attest to God’s power, and to bring glory to the name of Jesus. If we are not balanced in our approach, and instead we allow fear and bad examples and bad theology, to take root, we’re going to completely miss the example of Peter and John in this prayer. That God is immensely powerful that he can do the miraculous, and he can heal, that he can spiritual restore. That he can open blind I see. That we should never put our God in the box ever. So we pray for him to do miraculous for His glory alone. Then verse 31, we see the result of their prayer. When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together, was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continue to speak the word of God with boldness. That’s exactly what happened. We look ahead to Acts 5. They go Peter and John, the apostles go right back to that area where they were preaching and they got arrested, and more get saved. The Jewish leaders come out and arrest them again. Actually this time physically beat them. But because they had prayed this prayer because God answered their prayer and gave them boldness help them to see that their approval is with God help him to see the motivation of wanting to see the loss come to know Him. This is what it said when they were released after just being beaten. They rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus. They didn’t stop. Why go through all this? I pray this once again. Because Jesus is worthy to be preached church. Is worthy to be shared with the world. The one who died, the one who suffered the one who was persecuted worst of all, and then who was raised from the dead and who now reigns in heaven. He is worthy to be shared with this world with this dark world that we’re in. Not only that, but he is good inclined to help us and hear our cries that he will not turn a deaf ear to his people. We see it here in Acts 4. We know that he listens to our prayers. Now Revelation 5 is a picture of the throne room of God. It says the elders, they fall down before the throne of the Lamb. They praise him day and night, sing to him, the angels, just this amazing picture in the saints, all before our God. There’s this one little part in that whole chapter where it says, and there were these golden bowls of incense, which were the prayers of the saints. Just incredible to think for a second, that when we pray. God’s collecting all our prayers in heaven, that our prayers are joined with the worship of heaven, and he hears them. He answers them, because he’s called us to a good calling. He’s a sovereign God that will not leave us alone will give us the power that we need, as a spirit in us. So there is good good news for us today church, that even if we face opposition and hate and persecution in our life, he hears every prayer, every word, every cry. He knows our suffering. He knows opposition, and is therefore trustworthy, to seek, to worship, to ask every day of our lives in every circumstance, to be power, with his courage and his boldness, to speak His word in his Gospel.
Let’s pray. Where we thank you, that we can call in your name. We thank you that you show us in Your word, how to pray, when we face opposition, when we face persecution to prepare for perhaps that day. We thank you that you do not leave us alone to figure it out. But you’ve given us your word. Not only your word, but you’ve given us your very spirit, your power that dwells in us. That we know that we can come to you when we don’t have the words to say that perhaps all we have his fear and anxiety of the culture around us. That we can have confidence that you are with us. confidence that you will give us the strength to do your will to do your calling to share your gospel with this world. We pray Sovereign Lord, as we know that your will is never thought that your plans are perfect that you ordained the affairs of the world. So we trust in you thank you God. Let me pray. Amen.