“On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: “ ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ’ 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.”
Acts 4:23-29 NIV
A little background for this passage. Peter and John had been walking along when they found a man begging for money. Peter heals the man and soon a large crowd gathers together. Peter uses this to begin preaching the good news of Christ. The chief priests, the captain of the guard, and the Sadducees seize Peter and John and throw them in jail. With many threats, they tell them to stop preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus. For the full story, read Acts three and four.
This brings us to the passage above. After being released, Peter and John head back to their people and told them everything that had happened. Notice the people's response? It says that they raised their voices in prayer to God. They do four things here in this prayer. They praise God for his creation, they recognize that Jesus was opposed by the people, they acknowledge that this was God's plan, and they ask to be enabled to speak God's word with great boldness. This was in direct opposition to what they were just told to do. Peter and John were told to stop teaching and preaching in the name of Jesus and now the people pray to be bold enough to speak!
Many times in my life, I allow opposition to stop me from preaching and teaching God's word. It holds me back from speaking about Jesus. This scripture helps me in overcoming this obstacle through prayer. The people prayed that their would strength come, not from themselves, but from God. They prayed that God would fill them with boldness. When faced with opposition in your faith, where does your boldness come from? Is it yourself or is it from God? This passage ends in verse thirty-one with the house where they were being shaken and the people being filled with the Holy Spirit and preaching the word of God with great boldness. Their prayer was answered right there.
Today, whenever you face opposition, remember where you get your boldness from. Praise him for being the creator of the heavens and the earth, understand that Jesus was opposed and it was a part of God's plan, and pray that God will enable you to preach the word of God with great boldness, regardless of the opposition facing you.