“We can and we should bear our hearts before the Lord. And yet for the Christian, there is sometimes a better prayer to pray than the prayer for deliverance. It’s this different prayer we see being played out in Acts 4.”
Perhaps you are walking through a season of difficulty. Of challenge. Of stress and pain. If you aren’t right now, then you soon will be because that’s the rhythm of life. We should not be surprised this, especially as Christians, because we know that being saved from sin does not mean being saved from pain. Our citizenship is secured elsewhere, but our residency is here in this world. In the world that is broken by sin, and while we live here, we will feel the effects of that brokenness in our bodies, our relationships, and our circumstances.
Pain is the common denominator of humanity.
When you find yourself in a season like this, there is usually one thought that reverberates in your prayer life. It’s the desire for relief. For change. For deliverance.
This is a fine thing to pray. We can and we should bear our hearts before the Lord. And yet for the Christian, there is sometimes a better prayer to pray than the prayer for deliverance. It’s this different prayer we see being played out in Acts 4.
Here’s the context: Peter and John, the two big dogs of the early church movement, have been put in jail. And though the authorities couldn’t punish them because of their popularity with the people, they threatened them. Alot. Then they let them go.
So off go Peter and John, back to the fledgling church, and they deliver a report about what they had been told. Here was a moment of difficulty. Of threat. Of anxiety. And, as they should, they all started to pray with one voice. And I wonder what I might have prayed, had I been in that situation:
“God, deliver us from the hands of these oppressors.”
“Remove them from power, and put someone in who is more favorable to our position.”
“Change these threatening circumstances, and give us peace that we might meet freely.”
Again, I’m not trying to evaluate the validity of any of those prayers. The Lord wants us to earnestly cry out to Him in honesty, and there are certainly examples all over the Bible of people asking for their circumstances to change.