“Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29-31)
These words from Acts Chapter 4 show how important prayer is in leading us to God the Father, who makes Himself known to us, through his Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Two things strike me in these verses from Acts. First, they were together in one place, and second, when they prayed, the place was shaken. This reminds me of our Lord’s teaching that if we have the faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. I often wonder why our prayer life for most of us does not lead us to this experience of shaking the room we pray in, which in turn, leads us to be bold in our witness to Christ.
I am of the belief that the most popular sin many of us might take to confession is not praying as we should. Speaking for myself, that is my number one sin. I think that is why we don’t have this experience of prayer that is described in these verses from Acts. The fruit of prayer is to be energized and empowered in the Holy Spirit to do God’s will in humility and with gladness. St. John Chrysostom offers this brief comment on Acts 4:31: What is “they were filled”? It means that they were inflamed and the Gift burned within them. “And they spoke the word of God with boldness. And the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul.”
I want to encourage you as a family to pray together consistently and with a hunger and desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When we do, I believe, by grace, we can shake the world or place we find ourselves living in today.
Christ is risen!
The unworthy Archbishop Paul