Persevering Prayer

While most of us have never been imprisoned for our faith, I had an experience of being interrogated by the KGB in the summer of 1986 while serving on a short term mission in the former Soviet Union. Because of our evangelistic activity, our team was asked to stop “spreading our propaganda” or we would be asked to leave the country.

In Acts 4, Peter and John were facing similar opposition for their faith and likewise were commanded not to “not speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” However, like my team in the Soviet Union, they could not help speaking about what they had seen and heard (4:20) and upon their release prayed to God in the midst of their opposition.

In looking at the prayer of Peter and John, I see four principles of how to pray in the midst of opposition. First, they focused on the character of God. They acknowledged God as the one who is in control of all things and as such, the one who they could trust with their lives. Second, they focused on the eternal truths of God’s word, quoting from Psalm 2. They focused on Scripture that was relevant to their situation and used it as a guide in their prayers. Third, they prayed for God to change their response to the opposition, not for deliverance from their circumstances. Finally, they got involved in what they prayed for and spoke the word of God boldly.

This year our small group ministry will be focusing on developing our prayer muscle. And I hope our prayers will be similar to those of the early disciples when we encounter similar opposition. I’ll keep you posted.

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