“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:29)

This verse is part of the believers’ prayer when Peter and John were released from prison after Pentecost (Acts 4:23-31). It is a request that is almost 2000 years old! They did not ask for protection, it is definitely not a request for some kind of evil to befall on their enemies. They were asking that they will continue to proclaim the good news with courage, conviction, and power. Their enemies will benefit from this the most. They prayed for courage to be in all circumstances the people they are by the grace of God!

The word translated as boldness has an abundantly rich meaning: outspokenness, frankness, freedom of speech, straightforwardness, openness, saying without fear what is important to the hearers. The one who speaks like this will not keep silent about any little bit of the information, not even the bits that are not received well by the hearers.

In our western tolerant and diverse society, it is assumed that it is for granted that we have freedom of speech and we do not have to have particular courage to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t, for it is not so. For it is expected that as you enter the workplace or the public arena you leave your faith outside in the cloakroom as a piece of clothing, or leave it at home as you would your slippers when you leave the house. Street preachers were arrested in the UK for proclaiming the gospel publicly, a Finnish MP was facing criminal trial this past Monday for tweeting in the past her Chrsitian views of marriage and sexuality.

To be a follower and proclaimer of Jesus Christ demands courage in every age, so it does today! Nowadays when preaching the good news of Jesus Christ is alien to the majority of our society it is more so. Boldness, total conviction, and love for our hearers is needed that we will still not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for the salvation of everyone who believes without discrimination (see Romans 1:16).

Pray the prayer of the Christians of ancient Jerusalem, as you give thanks for those who proclaim and share the gospel today – ministers, and pastors, elders, and deacons, youth pastors and children’s workers, mums and dads, grandparents, and kids – that God will enable them to speak the word of God with boldness. And you know what, spare a prayer for yourself too, that you will be bold enough to speak the good news about Him who saved you! We are counting on you! More to the point, the Lord is counting on you!

[from GV]

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