23 April, 2013
Post By : David Lindner
Yesterday, we talked about praying for God to give us the right word of truth to speak. Today, we talk about praying for boldness in making that proclamation.
They called on God for boldness in proclamation.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Eph. 6:18-20)
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. (Acts 4:29)
We get tied up in the difficulty of proclaiming to gospel to our peers, and I understand that it’s difficult. But, have you ever stopped to consider the price that those in the early church paid for sharing the gospel? During this time of prayer, we are joining in with the early church in how they prayed. And there is a lot of talk going around church circles nowadays about trying to regain a lot of what the early church was like. But, I have to question if we really want that.
We say we want it, but do we really? In all sincerity do we want it? We say we do. We say we really want to see God move in the way he moved in the early church. But, are we willing to do whatever it takes to see that happen?
We live pretty comfortable lives. Even those of us who aren’t well off live way more comfortable lives that most of those in the early church lived. We really don’t want for anything. We have everything we need and 100 times more than that. Think about what things would have been like. The necessities wouldn’t have even been a sure thing. Water wasn’t guaranteed. Neither was food. But we have more water than we know what to do with, and most of us (like myself) have eaten more in this last year than they would have eaten in many years.
I don’t think we need to live in poverty to be able to share the gospel effectively. But, we do need to have the right way of thinking. The problem is that we think we need all the things we have and they become our pursuit instead of the gospel. We think we need more of this or that, more square footage, more yard space, more TV’s, more computers, more phones, more cars, more money. And it’s this kind of thinking that is problematic for the gospel.
One of the reasons it becomes problematic is that we become unwilling to give all that up. We start weighing the consequences of sharing the gospel against what it might cost us in terms of status. And we decide it’s not worth it. So we don’t do it. If we are truly followers of Christ, we have to be willing to pursue the great commission at any cost. We can’t allow any of our things to be what keeps us from doing that. And if they keep us from it, then we have to be willing to get rid of it so we can have the right focus.
It’s not that we can’t have things in this life. It’s just that they can’t be more important than the gospel. Are you willing to proclaim the gospel boldly to any who need to hear it? If not, why? Is it because you fear losing your social status and are worried about being labeled as a religious freak? Are you worried it might cost you your job because your boss doesn’t like Christians? Are you worried about anything besides furthering the gospel? If so, I’d argue that we need to pray for boldness in our proclamation. Not just in proclaiming the gospel, but in our willingness to leave everything and follow Christ.
The Three for Morning, Afternoon and Evening.
“Now for Next” Prayer
What do we need to do now as a church to be ready for what God has for us next.
“What’s My Role” Prayer
Pray for God to show us the role we will play individually in accomplishing that mission.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.