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Praying for Mission

 

God’s exhortation to Jesus at his baptism come from messianic scripture that speak of his mission to the nations.

Second, in Acts 4 there is a parallel passage for the prayerful church in mission. After Peter and John’s release from the Council the church prays, and they also quote Psalm 2 in the prayer. This psalm, and other messianic texts, was in the forefront of the early church’s thinking. The nations were to be the possession of God’s Kingdom as well as Israel (Ps. 2:8-9). Christ was to ask, and the nations would be his inheritance.

So with that in mind, the disciples prayed that God would grant them the confidence to speak his Word, and that he would extend his hand to heal through the name of Jesus. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the Word of God with boldness” (Ac. 4:31 NASB). And that is what happened as recorded in Acts 4:32-35.

Here again we see Luke combining prayer, the Holy Spirit and mission in a way that was to become a pattern for the church’s evangelism (see Lk. 10:21 and Ac. 13:1-4). May the contemporary church rise up and be bold, and ask God for the coronation inheritance of the Lord Jesus in the unfolding plan of salvation.

 

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Category: Ministry, Winter 2006

About the Author: Robert L. Gallagher, Ph.D. (Fuller Theological Seminary), is Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College. He is an author, editor, and translator with professional interests including research into biblical theology of mission, the expansion of Christianity from postapostolic times to 1800, and leadership development of cross-cultural workers. He is an ordained offshore minister of the Australian National Council of CRC Churches International, as well as an ordained minister of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in the United States. www.wheaton.edu/Academics/Faculty/G/Robert-Gallagher

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