Good news: God wants us to be bold in spreading the good news of Jesus. What is His plan? To give us the gift of the Holy Spirit. We, like the early disciples, should ask for more of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God will fill us up. We will be bold in our witness.
This is stunning. They had already been filled with Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They had been arrested and threatened. They leave jail, prayed and are filled with the Holy Spirit again.
The disciples prayed for boldness in speaking God’s word. He answers their prayer. The boldness comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit, who empowers them. As on the Day of Pentecost, none of them failed to be filled. And the shaking of their place of assembly answers to their expectation of and/or request for signs and wonders certifying the word of God that they are speaking.
Presumably, an audience has gathered to hear them, as in the first filling chronicled in Acts 2, or they go forth to speak. But Luke does not say. Therefore, the accent falls solely on God’s answering their prayer
- Acts 1:8 (ESV) — 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
- Acts 4:31 (ESV) — 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
- Acts 5:32 (ESV) — 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 479.