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Praying For Boldness

God's Word is full of references to the topic of boldness, indicating that He has some strong opinions about the subject. Once we begin understanding what Scripture has to say about boldness, we can begin to see significant changes in the way we intercede for others. Because there are so many relevant verses, I have kept my comments to a bare minimum. Let the Lord's word speak for Himself on this one. If time doesn't permit you to read the entirety of this, I urge you to scan the headlines of each section, then take in the last section, concerning how to apply these truths when we pray for others.

NOTE: The numbers beside certain words contain the Strong's numbers for that word in either Greek or Hebrew, along with Strong's short definition of that word.

Boldness means knowing God is on our side in times of trouble:

Psalm 138:3

"When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted."

The Lord told Joshua:

Joshua 1:9

"For the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest"

Boldness means strengthening:

Psalms 138:3

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst[7292-to urge severely; to overcome] me with strength[5797-boldness; might;power] in my soul.

Proverbs 28:1

The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold[982] as a lion. -- 982 means not only to be confident, but to trust; related word, 983, means a place of refuge.

This might be a good time for a warning -- the difference between boldness from Him, and our own self-manufactured audacity:

Proverbs 21:29

A wicked man puts up a bold front, but an upright man gives thought to his ways.

Proverbs 21:29

"A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, He directeth his way."

2 Peter 2:10

"This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold [KJV presumptuous 5713] and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;"

Compare boldness to fear:

Fear is evidence of lack of faith

Mark 4:40

"And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?

Revelation 21:8a

But the fearful, and unbelieving, . . . "

Fear does not come from God:

Luke 2:10

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

2 Timothy 1:7

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

1 John 4:18

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

Avoid the fear of man by focusing on God:

Hebrews 11:27

"By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible."

Hebrews 13:6

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

Matthew 10:28

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

Fear of man can cause us to ignore spiritual truths:

Galatians 2:12

"For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision."

Fear = bondage:

Romans 8:15

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

Hebrews 2:15

"And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

Enough about fear, what about boldness?

Examples of boldness:

The lost get boldness to overcome the fear that keeps them from finding God:

Mark 15:43

"Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly[5111, which comes from 5056, which means to set out for a definite point or goal] to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body." WWJD?

Although many examples of godly boldness can be found in Scripture (David facing Goliath; Moses facing Pharaoh, etc.), our ultimate example of boldness is Jesus willing to die on Cross; it had to take supernatural courage to do that.
Even though His human side may have been a little apprehensive, He knew: 1. It would be worth it (He’s better off doing it than not) and 2. the uncomfortable part is temporary, but the fruit is permanent.

Boldness in speech to others about God:

Ephesians 6:19

"And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. "

Acts 4:29, 31

"Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. . . . After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly."

Acts 9:28

"So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.

Acts 18:26a

"He (Paul) began to speak boldly in the synagogue . . . "

Acts 19:8

Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God."

Acts 28:31

"Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ. "

God enables or empowers us; the word 'grace' itself means empowerment:

Acts 14:3

"So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders."

Romans 15:15

"I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave"

2 Corinthians 3:12

"Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold [2954 - plainness of speech].

The Bottom line: Boldness in our intercession

Sodom & Gomorrah:

Genesis 18:27

"Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,"

Genesis 18:31

"Abraham said, 'Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?' He said, 'For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.'"

Ephesians 6:19

"And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. "

Right after Jesus had told his disciples how they should pray (Luke 11:2-4), He followed that up with the parable of one who asks persistently for loaves of bread (11:5-10)

Luke 11:8

"I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness [importunity 335, means “without bashfulness”] he will get up and give him as much as he needs

What's the point?

When we intercede, often we should pray specifically for God to give someone boldness.


1. Praying for the lost: When a loved one or neighbor hears the Gospel, it is likely (at least in U.S.), that he has heard it before. He knows there is a standard he will have to live up to, and he doesn’t have to courage in himself to go ahead and make that decision, because of the fear that the enemy is using. In fact, there is fear involved in just going to church for the first time in years, or in opening the Jesus video he just received in the mail. Pray that God would overcome the fear and that your loved one will go ahead and tear the cellophane off of that video and pop it into the VCR.
2. Praying for church leaders: Pastors and teachers today are finding it increasingly difficult to teach the truth as God sees it, especially on controversial topics and on topics which challenge the listener to step out of his comfort zone. Paul warns Timothy not to give his flock ear candy (2 Tim 4:2-4). Pray that those in kinds of positions would have the boldness to say what needs to be said. If more people would pray for this, our entire culture could change, because the truth that you know is what sets you free.
3. Praying for political leaders: Believe it or not, there are a few godly men and women in positions of civic leadership. More than anyone, these folks feel they have to walk on eggshells in order to get re-elected. Pray that God would give them the boldness to speak up for Him, and do the right thing, as opposed to doing the popular thing.

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