by Peter Swann
It is a dangerous thing to pray the prayers of the apostles.
It is an even more dangerous thing for a whole church to fast and pray the prayers of the apostles.
There is great expectation when that happens, and not without reason. Our God loves to answer prayers, and supremely so as they line up with His heartbeat.
This week, our prayer and fasting is over Acts 4:29-30, begging God to give us boldness in proclaiming the gospel and to accompany it with great signs and wonders. It’s a prayer the apostles prayed, although given the context in Acts 3-4, I think it’s better said that it’s a prayer the apostles pled.
It is, after all, in the face of suffering that we find what we really value. As the apostles stared down torture, imprisonment, and perhaps death, they cried out to God for what they cared about the most: the salvation of those who didn’t yet know Him.
In our consumer-driven, fast-paced, stress-packed world, that truth is rarely lived out in our lives. We’re dominated often by simply surviving the day, much less thinking about eternity. A twinge of guilt fills our minds occasionally, verifying that we do intellectually acknowledge the weight of salvation, yet our lives rarely adjust accordingly.
There are many reasons for this. There’s fear, for starters. A lack of confidence is probably in there too. And we can’t forget the significance of a lack of training. On top of all of this lies the sheer fact that the enemy hates salvation with all he has. There is undoubtedly a severe battle we’re entering every time we begin to move toward the bold sharing of the gospel.
There’s one more reason that I think stands on all of this. And that’s that we have no real culture of evangelism. We esteem it highly, but talk about it rarely. It’s like we feel we are okay with status quo, leaving evangelism to the real all-stars among us.
That, however, is not normal Christianity. Meek, timid, fearful sharing of the gospel may be 2013 America, but it’s not Book of Acts Christianity. And it’s time that we get sick and tired of not being normal Christians.
So, our whole church culture has to change. We need expectation and anticipation of the sharing of the gospel. It must be celebrated and trumpeted. It should happen constantly, with boldness and signs and wonders. And all that is fed by fasting and prayer of Acts 4:29-30.
It’s a dangerous thing to pray – no, plead – the prayer of the apostles. But when it comes to biblical Christianity, it’s time to be dangerous so we can finally be normal.