A Spiritual Riot
“When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31
Peter and John went to pray. They met a lame man on the way. He asked for alms and held out his palms and this is what Peter did say…
Peter and John were on their way to the Temple to pray. They were men of prayer. They had spent 3 years with Jesus day in and day out. Now, Jesus had ascended to the Father. But Peter and John continued to spend day in and day out with Jesus…in prayer. And the Sanhedrin “took note these men had been with Jesus”.
It leaves us asking the question, “do people take note we have been with Jesus”? Well, do they? Are we known in our circle of influence to be men and women of prayer? Do people call you, email, text, tweet, FB you with their prayer requests? Has anyone ever noted there is something different about you (in a good way of course)?
On their way to pray, Peter and John stopped to heal a crippled beggar. And this, of course, landed them into trouble. They were in trouble for healing a beggar and proclaiming this healing in the name of Jesus. Christians are accused of many things these days. But in the early church, they were accused of healing, helping, loving, giving and remaining steadfast. Today, we are usually accused of criticizing, hurting, condemning, controlling, manipulating and isolating others. But Peter and John were accused of healing.
They were also guilty of prayer. After they were released from the Sanhedrin, they gathered with other believers and began to pray. Then is says…”when they had prayed, the place was shaken”. The word for shaken can mean “to move physically”. It can also mean “to cause a riot”. While they were praying and after they had prayed, a spiritual riot broke out. I would like to see that magnitude of prayer in our gatherings. I would like to see a spiritual riot break out.
I think of John Wesley and the revivals of his day. So many were brought to faith in Christ that bars were turned into cafes where they held Bible studies. I think of the 1st and 2nd Great Awakenings of America and the spiritual riots that took place. Churches were shaken. Homes were shaken. Lives were shaken. The Spirit of God descended and a spiritual riot broke out.
I want a prayer life like that…I want people to take note I have been with Jesus. And I want a spiritual riot to break out when I pray. But I cannot do it alone. The prayers of the righteous availeth much! Let’s shake the city together!