A few weeks ago I came across something as I was reading the Bible that I've been thinking a lot about. In Acts 4 verses 24 - 30 there is a prayer recorded that the early church prayed when Peter and John were released after being imprisoned for preaching about Jesus. The young church was experiencing persecution that was only about to get worse.
There was something in this prayer that struck me immediately. Verse 29 says "Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness." This prayer is distinctly different from how I would have likely prayed. My prayer would have sounded more like, "Now, Lord, consider their threats and protect us Father."
I pray for protection a lot. Protection for my husband. Protection for my children. For family and friends. For myself. One of my greatest fears is harm coming to someone I love. 'Protect them Lord'. This is a common prayer of mine.
Yet, here was the early church - facing true danger- and instead of praying for protection...as I would have....they prayed for boldness. Even though that boldness may cost them their lives, it's what they prayed for.
That has really stayed with me. Could I willingly place myself and my loved ones in danger for the sake of the gospel? I want to believe that I could. But, I just don't know.
Then I came across this video today produced by Voice of the Martyrs. It's called Liena's Prayer. Oh dear friends. We have Christian brothers and sisters who are facing this very question today.
And so I'm wrestling with this question of God's protection. What does that mean for a Christian?