23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them,
25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,
28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. “
Look at the way these folks pray! They quote the Psalms spontaneously. Like I make movie quotes and inside jokes, these folks could pray exact words from the Psalms as they prayed!
They also took time to tell everyone what happened. Sure, we all know that person at the small group Bible study that has a prayer request that takes 75 minutes to explain, but who else is going to listen? It’s good that we share our experiences and talk through things with trusted friends. (And if you don’t have that 75 minute guy in your group, take a look at yourself.)
And they all lifted their voices together. They prayed all in a group without fear of “not praying as good as Peter does.” If you are afraid of praying out loud in front of others, start by praying out loud in front of Jesus. Sure, you can pray like crazy for all kinds of people in silence in your head, but praying out loud for someone is one of the most encouraging things in the world. To hear your love and sincerity when you pray for me has so much more encouragement to me!
Finally, they presented the whole scene to God. Sure, He knows all about it, but they told Him about it anyway. This is kind of like when your parents came in while you’re arguing with one of your siblings. I can complain to my wife, “My job! This construction on the Lloyd Expressway! The President!” But when I come before God, I see things in the right perspective. I can’t look at Him and panic. I use big words or at least calm myself down as I tell God about the job He has given me, those blessed children of His that don’t know how to use a turn signal, etc.
Praying about current events and the things that happen to us force us to look at them in relation to Him. When I look at myself, or look at pictures from Afghanistan, I fret and despair. When I look at Him, seated on the throne with His glory filling the whole earth…with His robe showing His kingship over every ruler on Earth…when I see Him inviting people to His feast from every nation and knowing that they really will be there at the great feast…my prayers are already half answered.
Praying increases my faith that God will answer and help, even as I participate in the act of praying.