by Andrew McQuitty

This content is part of a series.

How to Pray under Pressure (8 of 20)
E. Andrew McQuitty
Acts 4:23-31

Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men and women. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks (Phillips Brooks).

And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bondservants may speak Thy word with all confidence. . . (Acts 4:29).


Introduction (23): What do we do with the pressure of persecution?

Last week we saw the fledgling church in Jerusalem enduring the first rumblings of persecution (Acts 4). Peter and John were imprisoned for preaching about Jesus and released with a stern warning not to do so again. That was a sobering slap in the face to first-century Christians. How would they respond? And how will we respond in similar circumstances--when people in your break room at work suddenly get quiet and smug when you walk in because it's become known that you're a fundamentalist Christian; when kids in the hallway snicker at you when you walk by because your standards of sexual purity have become well-known; when a college professor publically attacks you because you don't embrace political correctness; when you're classified as a homophobe and a bigot when you resist special rights for homosexuals? The options are varied.

The Neville Chamberlain Approach

When confronted with Hitler's bullying in the days leading up to World War II, Neville Chamberlain of Great Britain folded up by agreeing to give Hitler land that wasn't his in the hope of sparing Poland from invasion. When threatened, he let fear get the best of him. He gave in, appeased the madman, and got an invasion of Poland and a World War for his trouble. Winston Churchill later rebuked Chamberlain for his lack of principle: You were given a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you shall have war (Winston Churchill).

The Crocodile Dundee Approach

This ...

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