Acts 4:31 (NIV), “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.”
The early church grew because they prayed, and then went out to sow the seed of God’s word. They were filled with a Holy Spirit boldness to proclaim the gospel, and to tell the “whosoever” about Jesus. Their idea of church was an inside out one, empowered by the Holy Spirit, while they gathered to pray, and then taking what they had outside the walls of the church to the people.
It is said of the sport of Rugby , that it is a tough game. Jonah Tali Lomu, is a Rugby star who plays for New Zealand and is one of the sport’s most intimidating players on the field, he stands six feet and five inches tall, that is 1.98m. Imagine if Jonah Tali Lomu went to his coach at half time and said, “Coach, they hurt me out there, they don’t want to talk to me, or even say, ‘Hello’. They don’t want me on the field, and they are trying to stop me by calling me names. Can we just play in here; can we just play at rugby in here, without actually going out and doing it?”
It takes boldness to go out into the field of the world, and turn the church inside out. Even if we feel that, some people don’t want us to talk to them about Jesus, or if they call us names, or even hurt us, we know that we cannot simply “play” at church. We have to go in His name because there is too much at stake for us to say to our pastors, “Let’s just stay in here, let’s just “play” at being church, instead of going out into the field of the world where it can be tough.”
My friend, prayer is the detonator for an explosion of boldness in the Holy Spirit, to be His witnesses. The early church was persecuted, and targeted by unbelievers, but when they prayed, the Bible says this in Acts 4:31 (NIV), “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.” As we turn our hearts to prayer, may God fill us with a Holy Spirit boldness to be His witnesses and turn the church inside out, that we might go out in His name, share the gospel, and win a mighty harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God.
God bless you my friend, Matthew.