23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’
Verses 23-31 is a prayer that the church would be bold in facing government persecution.
And being let go,
The Sanhedrin released Peter and John from custody.
they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.
The two apostles reported to the church their experience with the Sanhedrin. The church had gathered to pray for the threatened men of God.
So when they [the church] heard that, they raised their voice to God
The church in Jerusalem responded to the apostles’ report with a prayer of praise.
with one accord and said:
The Jerusalem church prayed in unison. They were not only unified in prayer but attitude as well. “One accord” is a common expression in Acts occurring 12 times. The idea is that they were together in unity.
“Lord [sovereign God], You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them,
Their prayer was to the Supreme Being of the universe, the Creator of everything. The Greek for “Lord” here carries the idea of an absolute Being with absolute powers (despotes). Because God is sovereign, He is the supreme One who can answer prayer. Nothing can prevent God from executing His plans. His omnipotent power is unrestricted by anything finite.
who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:
The church quoted Scripture in their prayer from a psalm of David (Psalm 2:1-2 LXX). They saw this psalm referencing Jesus, His sonship, and His role as Messiah (Acts 13:33). They also saw it foretelling opposition to Him.
“By the mouth of Your servant David” indicates the human role in the inspiration of Scripture (Acts 28:25).
‘Why did the nations [Gentiles] rage, And the people plot vain things?
The content of their prayer alluded to the arrest of Peter and John by governmental authorities. Gentile nations had antagonism toward the Messiah, Jesus.
The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ [Messiah].’
This part of the quotation from Psalm 2 references the authorities’ warning not to preach in Jesus’ name. These were the people who crucified their Messiah. However, God used their opposition to execute His purpose on earth. Problems in the church are an extension of the will of God.
Prayer is dependence on the sovereign God.
Regarding prayer, it is important to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over creation. As sovereign, God interacts with His creation and His people. The early church also prayed Scripture itself, giving verification to the truth of the Bible. Corporate prayer is also vital for a healthy church.
The early church knew enough of Scripture to apply it to their generation. I wonder how our generation would rate knowing enough Scripture to apply it to their situation/s.