Welcome Home – 40 Day Fast Devotion #15

Priority in Prayer

Matt Destry – Communications Pastor

Scripture

Acts 4:29

“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness”

Insight

An Olympic shooter had progressed through the preliminary rounds and found himself shooting for the gold medal. All he had to do to win gold was get his final bullet anywhere on the target. It didn’t need to be a bulls-eye, it just needed to make it onto the piece of paper. He took aim and fired, and the crowd was surprised to see that his target did not move. The target int the next shooting-lane, however, had been hit right in the middle – he had hit the wrong target!

We learn from our passage today the importance of our ‘target’ in prayer. Our effectiveness in prayer will be much increased if we aim our prayer in the right place. Often, when faced with a challenge, we can get so focused on the obstacle that we forget about God. We can tend to focus on what hinders, rather than the One who enables.

The disciples here have been released from prison, and are joined together in corporate, united prayer. The writer of Acts then gives us some insight into the contents of their prayers. Read the passage: the disciples pray and acknowledge God’s goodness, they quote Scripture, they assert God’s control of the situation. Then, regarding the challenges of the previous day, they simply pray ‘consider their threats, and enable us to speak with boldness’.

Their focus is clearly on what God is doing, and not on what the enemy is doing. Their target is the grace and glory of God, not the harassment of men or devils. They simply entrust themselves to God and ask for more power in order to preach and teach more boldly. They will hit the target in their own lane.

O, that we would focus on the task at hand, and not on what obstacles there are to face! We will never be sufficiently ‘hassle-free’ to live out our calling unhindered. We push and fight, war against dark angels, scrap for spiritual territory and forcefully advance as the Kingdom advances. But, let us maintain a right focus on the God who fights and pushes for us, on Jesus who has won the victory, and on the Holy Spirit who enables and brings power for boldness and courage.