23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 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.
I read it like I had never seen it before. Now, this is the prayer of someone who knows God - someone who believes, trusts Him! Satan always wants us to question, "Why?", "What if....?", or "If only..." The disciples, here, accepted the past and prayed for courage for the future - that God would be glorified. Imagine it!...the very worst had just happened - Jesus had been crucified, they were being persecuted and told to stop preaching about Jesus....everything was different than they had expected it to be. If anyone had reason to question God, to lament the past, or to lose heart, these men did! But that's not how this prayer goes. They tell God how the events had unfolded, adding, " They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen." And then they prayed for the future. I believe this is a powerful example of how we should pray - with acceptance!
So, I decided this is what we should read in my Sunday School class this week. My little group of 13-18 year-old girls is crammed into a small upper room, off the balcony. This is simply because every other room is already being used by another class. Our tiny alcove is windowless and gets very stuffy. Today we were finding it extra warm and tight up there. I promised the girls we would do the lesson quickly and I'd let them out early to get a breath of fresh air. As we finished this powerful passage on prayer, the girls complained about our tiny digs. So, being a bit silly, and a bit serious, I told them, "Pray for a new room. Who knows? Maybe next week a miraculous room will just appear out of nowhere!" After a final exhortation to just pray, we went downstairs. Minutes later I was informed that this week a new Sunday School room is being constructed for my class in the basement. I honestly wasn't even aware that there was any discussion about this - I didn't know anyone even knew how tiny and uncomfortable our "upper room" was! I can't wait till next Sunday when my girls see our Miracle Room that will have appeared out of nowhere!! God answers before we ask!