v 29. And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.
Here is the prayer (v 29) ‘give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word.’ and here is the answer in v 31 ‘After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.’
Now, I can hear you saying, ‘No fear, I’m no preacher, nor ever will be. What’s the point of me voicing that kind of prayer? That is somebody else’s responsibility’. We say that because we think of preaching as declaiming – standing up in front of a crowd and thumping the pulpit as we deliver a masterly prepared sermon. Sometimes it might well be like that, but it can be so much more!
So let’s clear that idea out of our minds. It is more like announcing, or simply telling something that means a great deal to us. Nor does it have to be to a patient crowd sitting in pews waiting on our every word. This telling of good news can be to just one person over the garden fence, or in the Café, or at the school gate, or in the Co-op queue. Occasionally we meet people with a mind-set that must tell you about their latest health crisis, or the recent exploits of their grandchildren. We can pray for and cultivate a mind-set that enables us to speak easily of faith with Jesus at the centre.