After Peter and John are released, they go back to their homes and meet with other followers. They pray. They seek God. But what they pray for is probably the most amazing part of this passage.
They don’t pray for the suffering to stop. Instead, they pray for the boldness to keep going in the midst of the suffering. They pray that God would help them keep talking, keep teaching, keep praying, even when the persecution gets worse.
Often our prayers are to alleviate circumstances. We pray for things to change in our situation. But this is the “saved” mindset, as opposed the the disciple mindset. When salvation is our end game and not the beginning of a journey it makes sense that when things get tough we want them to get better. It makes sense to ask God for help changing the circumstance. It makes sense to ask God to make your spouse better. It makes sense to ask God to make your friends more accepting. It makes sense from the mindset. It is crazy for the disciple perspective though.
When I’m a disciple, what’s most important is doing the things Jesus has exemplified for me. What’s most important is doing the things he taught me. What comes first is following his lead, no matter the cost. In that, you don’t pray for God to make his requests easier, you pray for the strength to continue following. You pray that no matter happens, and no matter what it means, you listen to him. It means you pray for boldness amidst all kinds of suffering because what’s most important is not my ease of service, but my dedication to the following.
Here is the crazy part. God answered that prayer immediately. We all know the struggle of looking for answered prayers. This text shows us that if we start praying for things like this, if we start praying from the heart of a disciple, God will answer.