Prayer: Power from God
Prayer has the power to move mountains. This is certainly so if our prayer is to the God of Ages. Yes, there are many examples of prayers in the Bible which have literally changed the world. Moses parted the Red Sea and Israel vanquished great armies, and many other events are examples of the power of prayer.
The power of prayer lies in the power of the God of Ages and His willingness to listen to our requests and to respond in a powerful way because He cares about us. Prayer is powerful because our God is powerful.
Recognizing God as our Lord
All prayer must begin with our recognition of God as our omnipotent, sovereign Creator and Lord. Even though we might not say it directly in our prayer, our attitude must recognize God as our sovereign Lord whenever we approach Him in prayer. Without recognizing God as preeminent in our lives we cannot expect that God would even listen to our requests. God will listen to us because faithful prayer is a part of a two way relationship with God which God preordained. Prayer must come as a direct result of faith. Prayer is our voice of faith. We are affirming that we believe God's Word when He tells us He is our Father, Creator and benefactor and that He will listen to His faithful children. Therefore we pray as a natural extension of this faithful relationship with God. Then God makes it possible through faith for Him to remember His original intended relationship with His children. God remembers His original promise to Abraham that he would bless His offspring.
Genesis 22:18 - "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."
A prayer that God will listen to and answer in a positive way comes from a humble, obedient and contrite heart. Isaiah 57:15 - "For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'" When we are humble in our attitude, God shows His loves us and has compassion for us and our needs. This includes listening to our requests.
It is possible for our prayer to be such that God will not answer in a positive way. Do you remember the story of the wicked prophet Balaam the son of Beor? Joshua 24:9-10 - "Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose to make war against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. 'But I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he continued to bless you. So I delivered you out of his hand.'" If our attitude is not right and we do not have the proper attitude towards God and others, God tells us He will not listen to an unrighteous prayer. But when our attitude properly recognizes God as our sovereign Lord and we ask for help in anything according to His will, He promises to answer our prayers in a positive way.
The disciples of Jesus understood the importance of prayer. I am sure they often saw our Lord and Savior Jesus in prayer to the Father. The disciples asked Him in
Luke 11:1 - "Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.'" Jesus was steadfast and continuously in prayer to the Father. If Jesus the Son of God needed to pray regularly and often, should we not recognize prayer as absolutely necessary for a healthy and significant relationship with our Father in heaven? Is it not wonderful that God, the Creator of heaven and earth is willing to listen to our needs and wants and in most instances answers our prayers in a positive manner? Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount taught that the Father loves us and hears us when we ask His favor. Matthew 7:7-11 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!"
Using God's gift
And yet it is possible that prayer is the most under-utilized gift our Father in Heaven has given to us. We might look back at own life and see the many missed opportunities when we could have exercised prayer and the power that God extends to us through prayer and be sadden by it. Prayer is the key to utilizing God's power to change this world for the better.
One might say to ones self, I am a sinner. I have not been faithful. How can God hear my prayer? And yet these are the very word's God wants to hear from us.Luke 18:10-14 - "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men -- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Each Person is important to God
Many often underestimate the importance of their own prayers. We might think it is enough that the elders and minister prays for the needs of the congregation. God does not need our prayers. We are forgetting that God looks at each one of us as His child. Each one of us is personally important to God. The truth is that you might be the humblest person praying for someone's needs. Matthew 18:1-4 - "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" God does not view greatness the way we do.
Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?
Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? It is the humble child. Are you a humble child of God? God will listen to you. But you must ask him. God wants a two way relationship with you. Our own prayers are an untapped source of power for us and the Kingdom of God if we will just pray with faith. John 15:15-16 - "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you."
When you pray to Him you are responding in faith and God promised to bless you when you are faithful. He will also bless those we extend our prayers to as well, if it is His will.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive