Praying the Apostles’ Prayer By MICHAEL BROWN for The Stream
You’ve heard of the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostles’ Creed. But have you ever heard of the Apostles’ Prayer? Actually, the “Apostles’ Prayer” is not a technical term, which would explain why you’re not familiar with it. Instead, it’s my description of the one and only time that the Bible records a prayer prayed jointly by these early Church leaders. We can learn a lot from it for ourselves today.
In the fourth chapter of the book of Acts we read that there was government persecution of the believers, in this case, the Jewish leadership imprisoning the Jewish apostles. This persecution was the result of powerful miracles being performed in Jesus’ name and thousands of Jewish people putting their faith in Him as Messiah and Lord.
In order to “to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people” these governmental leaders decided that “we must warn them [meaning the apostles] to speak no longer to anyone in this name [meaning the name of Jesus]” (Acts 4:17).
What The Apostles Prayed When They Faced Persecution
Here’s what happened next:
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. 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.
You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’
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. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
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. (Acts 4:23–31)
Many Persecuted Believers Still Pray Like This
We can learn a lot from this prayer, especially as resistance to the gospel increases in our country. Believers in other countries, where following Jesus can literally cost you your life, have prayed like this for many years.