“‘Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’ After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” [Acts 4:29-31]
When you pray, what do you think immediately afterwards? Are you just praying for the first time and it feels so weird that you find yourself asking questions like, “Did God even hear me?” Or maybe you pray but you find it difficult and all of a sudden you’re telling yourself, “Glad I got that out of the way.” Or perhaps you seem to enjoy praying but you don’t think you’ve seen God break through and you hear yourself say, “Maybe He’ll do it this time.” Honestly, these are pretty normal things to think when you’re first trying to figure out what this whole prayer thing is, but I want to let you know that prayer is like being given the keys to the gates of Heaven. You have access to everything you could ever want in the place of prayer, but you have to discover how to unlock the gate.
We all long for an experience like the one in the above scripture. Where we go into our prayer time with God and it ends in the Earth quaking beneath our feet. If that happened every time, then I’m sure none of us would have any problem believing that God hears our prayers and responds in mighty ways. And I will never say that God won’t do that, because obviously it happened to the Apostles and there’s no doubt that those kinds of things still do happen today. But regardless of if the Earth ever shakes in response to your prayers, we can learn much from the way in which the Apostles prayed.
You see, Peter and John had just seen a lame man be raised to walk again and had come back to share it with their friends. There was no room in them for doubt after what they’d just seen. So they prayed fully believing that when they finished, that God would respond again. And when they prayed, the Earth shook and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. I feel like Luke included the fact that the Earth shook to emphasize that God’s response to us crying out to Him in faith is a resounding, “YES! I HAVE HEARD YOU AND I AM MOVING!” Seems easy enough for them since they just witnessed a lame man walk again. But what if you’ve never seen anyone miraculously healed? Well, the truth is that if you have salvation in Jesus Christ then your life is a miracle. The access you have to God the Father and the freedom from sin you have in Jesus is the foundation for why we have no need to doubt.
Only perfect things can exist in God’s presence. God doesn’t tolerate sin. So the fact that we have been given grace and forgiveness through Jesus that allows us to boldly approach God (Hebrews 4:16) is why we have no reason to doubt when we pray. Your life in Jesus is the greatest of all the miracles. Your relationship with God is the solid rock that you get to stand on as you cry out to Him for the things you want to be done. And when you do, God will fill you with boldness and power to see signs and wonders be done in the name of Jesus. Yes, there will be times where you doubt, but don’t let that be where you stay. Have the heart of Isaiah 64:1 where it says, “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you!” Pray like you expect the Earth to tremble because God has already torn open the Heavens and come down!
God help me to pray believing in your power and to know that you are always listening to me.