Interestingly enough, their prayer contains a quotation of Psalm 2:1-2 in which David seemed to describe the events of not only his day, but the times of the Apostles as well. Certainly, the words “anointed one” in the English could have just as accurately been rendered either “Messiah” or “Christ” in these verses since they all mean the same thing. If we never read any further, we might expect them to ask God to soften the resolve of the authorities so that the believers might not come under persecution, but is that what they asked God for?
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
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. (4:27-31)
After the Psalm 2 quote, they mention that the same kinds of things were going on then as had been going on in David’s time, and then they did something quite remarkable, they asked for boldness in their preaching, not safety. To put it quite directly, they asked God for the courage to preach the Truth in spite of the danger, come what may.
In doing this, they were praying that God’s will would be done, for they had been commissioned to spread the good news of the Gospel, not to live lives of safety and security, and God answered their prayer immediately.