Recall the circumstances surrounding this book of Acts prayer: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29). In Acts 1, the church gathered for prayer. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit came upon the church and Peter addressed the crowd. In Acts 3, Peter and John healed a lame man in Jesus’ name and spoke to the onlookers. In Acts 4, the religious council turned against them: “Don’t talk about Jesus.” The
One key quality I look for in selecting leaders is a broken spirit or a spirit of humility. Is this person’s life marked by a sense of humility or pride? How have they handled difficult times, difficult people, difficult situations, difficult decisions? When I meet this person, do I see Christ in that person, Christ living his life through this person? Some Christian leaders are full of themselves instead of full of God. Yet the Lord Jesus cannot fully live through us until
Asking the all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, all-righteous God to search us and see if he can find anything offensive within us might feel uncomfortable, even frightening. In a way, it is. When you pray “Lord, search me”, you are inviting God to come and do surgery on your soul. Yet David cried out, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”
We learn to pray “Lord, bless me” through the prayer of Jabez. “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request” (1 Chronicles 4:10). When you pray with Jabez, “Oh, that you would bless me,” you are praying: “Father God, from your unlimited goodness, pour out your blessing upon me.
When I’m honestly praying, “Lord, change me,” what am I actually praying? In praying, “LORD, change me,” I’m acknowledging that only God can really change me from the inside out. The prophet Jeremiah stated: “Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jeremiah 13:23). In praying, “Lord, CHANGE me,” I’m acknowledging that I need a personal transformation. Paul wrote that we “are being transformed into his image with