The Believers Pray for Boldness
 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.  And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,  who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,  to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.  And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,  while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
They Had Everything in Common
 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold  and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.  Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,  sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (ESV)
- Christ is Lord and sovereign over all of history.
When faced with persecution, the Church looked to the Word of God for help, hope, and wisdom. Specifically, they looked to Psalm 2 which reminds us that while the world rages against the Lord, he remains seated in victory on his throne and he will not be moved. While the world conspires against God, God laughs. Therefore, God’s people, though they face intense persecution and opposition, shall not be moved because Christ is the sovereign Lord over all of history.
- The Church prayed for boldness, not for relief.
One might expect that in the face of opposition, that the Church would have prayed for relief. Perhaps, at times they did, but that is not what is recorded for us in this text. Rather, what Luke tells us is that in the face of opposition, the Church prayed for continued boldness in preaching the Word.
- What does this text teach us about the relationship between God’s sovereignty and the details of
historical events? How does this affect the way you understand and relate to the specific events of your own life?
- Why do you think the Church prayed for endurance and boldness instead of relief?
- Luke tells us that the place in which the Church had gathered was shaken. Why do you think he mentions that detail? What is important to the story?
Call to Worship
The LORD Reigns
 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty;
the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
 Your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.
 The floods have lifted up, O LORD,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
 Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the LORD on high is mighty!
 Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, forevermore. (ESV)
Prayer of Confession
Lord God, eternal and almighty Father: We acknowledge before your holy majesty that we are poor sinners, conceived and born in guilt and in corruption, prone to do evil, unable of our own power to do good. Because of our sin, we endlessly violate your holy commandments. But, O Lord, with heartfelt sorrow we repent and turn away from all our offenses. Have compassion on us, most gracious God, Father of mercies, for the sake of your son Jesus Christ our Lord. And in removing our guilt, also grant us daily increase of the grace of your Holy Spirit, and produce in us the fruits of holiness and of righteousness pleasing in your sight: Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Family Discipleship Weekly Resources
Family Discipleship Weekly Resources are tools for families to use to help connect Sunday’s sermon to the rest of your week, fostering conversations and habits of worship.