As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— You spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, Your servant, saying, ‘Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the LORD and against His Messiah.’
In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, Your holy servant, whom You anointed. But everything they did was determined beforehand according to Your will. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, Your servants, great boldness in preaching Your word. Stretch out Your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”Acts 4:23-30
These witnesses are still being witnesses. The story is still being carried forward by the testimony of those who were there and saw and heard about the healing. As I said in an early Gem at the time of the healing at the temple, the text tells us about Peter and John. But there is every chance that the other disciples were there as well. Whether they were or whether they weren’t does not matter to the key part of the account. This message is going to go out from Jerusalem to the world. It was passed by word of mouth from those who were there and bore testimony to what happened. Since the healing in the temple, Peter and John have not been with the other disciples. The term “other believers” infers that there were more besides the other ten disciples. Oh, they were included but there were others in addition to the twelve closest followers of Jesus. They haven’t seen Peter and John since the moment the Sanhedrin arrived and took them into custody. They were held overnight and then on the following day have given their answers and explanation to the religious leaders of the nation.
The other disciples and believers who have joined them have not heard what happened behind closed doors with the Council. As the text tells us, Peter and John told them what the leading priests and elders had said.The fact that they didn’t tell them what happened in the temple court area concerning the healing infers they knew about the healing. The focus of their talk, reaction and prayers now was the ultimatum passed down by the Council. This was a critical moment, a pivotal point in the history of this fledgling church. From this point on, all their preaching and teaching must be in direct violation of the prohibition given by the highestlegal power and authority in the Jewish nation.Peter and John have clearly told the others what they said to the Council. “You must decide whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God,for we cannot stop talking about what we have seen and heard.” I wonder what the other disciples thought after hearing what Peter and John had told the Council. Did any of them think they had gone too far? Now they were in trouble, pitted against the might of the Council who were instrumental in having Jesus killed.
I don’t think so. I only asked the question to spark your thinking. I don’t think they worried about that at all. Immediately they turned to the Higher Power that Peter and John made reference to. They appeal directly to the LORD, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the power they told the Council about. God Himself. Why did I say I don’t think any of them worried about what Peter and John had said? Notice what Luke tells us in his account. When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God. After hearing the boldness of Peter and John they joined together in prayer to God. The word [homothumadon] has a variety of meanings, all of which indicate the unity of those involved. Basically, the word means “together”, but together how? It could mean together “with one voice”, meaning all prayed at the same time in unison. Or it could mean with one accord, with one heart, with one mind, with one purpose or with one impulse. Now there are a range of possibilities which can give us an insight as to what is behind this text. Whichever it is, the point is that they were unified. Unified in prayer? Certainly! Unified in heart and mind? Again, certainly. With one purpose and one accord? Undoubtedly. With one impulse? What does that mean?
Let’s return for a moment to the matter of prayer. What actually happened when they prayed together? Did one person pray on behalf of all those gathered or did they all pray together in accord, meaning they were all praying similar things with a common intent? Of one mind, I guess you would say. All focused on the same topic, wanting the same outcome. Or did they pray simultaneously at the same time, inspired by the Holy Spirit to be of one spirit? Some have even dared to suggest that they opened their mouths and all prayed the same words at the same time. What do you think it means? What is the nature of their oneness expressed here?
After we have addressed the nature of this togetherness, we will look at the content of the prayer that was prayed. So that gives you an indication of where we are heading and what to spend time on for yourself.
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.Anon
It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.Tony Robbins
I believe that God grooms us for greatness in the stockades of struggle.T D Jakes
Spiritual warfare intensifies only because you are getting closer to the manifestation of God’s will in your life! Press on!Rick Godwin
He that is in you is greater than he’s that after you!T D Jakes