The Power of Prayer
The Power Of Prayer
The Power of Prayer
Lisa O. Gibbs
We must first look at the meaning of prayer in order to establish the power of prayer. Prayer is a direct line of communication to God. When we pray we must believe that we are talking directly to God. In the natural arena when we have a need or a problem, we share it with a friend, family member, anyone we feel maybe able to assist us. Many of us don’t seek God in prayer because we feel either God won’t hear us or that praying is much too complicated. I come from a family background of Baptist Christians. When I visited my grandmother during the summers we went to church one Sunday out of the month. During that Sunday service the pastor, would ask one of his deacons to open up the service with prayer. For almost twenty-minutes this deacon prayed, at times it appeared that he was singing. I remember asking my grandmother why the man prayed so long. My grandmother would always respond the same way. “He knows how to pray.”
So that’s what I believed about prayer. To be able to get God’s attention it was important to know how to pray. We didn’t attend church much when I was with my parents. But when we went to church it was another Baptist church where the deacon there prayed just a long as the other deacon except, he added great emphasis on words like “Yeah” “Um-Hum.” Now don’t get me wrong those brothers prayed in the language in which they were taught to pray. It just didn’t work or make sense to me. I was actually intimidated because I couldn’t pray that way. I could never get the rhythm, the passion, they expressed when they prayed. Sometimes they would pray so hard they would be drenched in sweat.
Many years of trial and error came before I gave my life to God. I desired nothing more than to know God. Not from what others experienced, but I wanted to know the God that I read about in the Bible. The God that Abraham trusted so much. The God that David wrote about in the Psalms. The more I searched the more I realized that to know God was to become intimate with Him and to become intimate with God, I had to learn how to communicate with Him. So I began to read everything that I could find about men and woman who seemed to have such a close relationship with God and what I learned was that they all obtained that relationship through prayer.
Through prayer I learned that I could open up to God about anything. No matter what problems I faced, what needs I had, I shared them with God in prayer. Now there are a few rules when it comes to seeking God in prayer. First when we pray it is very important that we ask God to forgive us of any sin in our life. We must ask His forgiveness in the name of Jesus. “Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed” (Acts 3:19). Once we repent we are free to share all things we have need of with God. “Give all worries and cares to God for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7).
It is a wonderful feeling to know that God loves us so much. For many of us relating to unconditional love, without any strings attached, seems too good to be true. Yet God loved us so much that he gave his only begotten son Jesus who was crucified beyond comprehension for our sins. It is because Jesus died on the cross for our sins; through his blood we have boldly established access into the throne room of grace. “Let us therefore come boldly into the throne room of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in our time of need” (Hebrews4:16). We have been given access, authority to enter boldly into the presence of God. He has given us this wonderful privilege through his son Jesus Christ.
In his presence we can obtain His mercy and grace. Whenever a need arises we have immediate access to God through prayer. To know that God cares for us that He continues to extend mercy and grace towards each of us, should be filled with overwhelming joy. We should always shout praises to God. Continuously having praises in our mouths. To know that God has our backs no matter what situations we come across He will never fail us. “You have shown me the way of life, and you will give me wonderful joy in your presence.” (Acts 2:28) Praise unto God for the wonderful works he has done and continues to do.
Now that we have entered into God’s presence with boldness, let us now ask Him for what we want or need. It would do us no good to walk up to claim a job even if we do so in the name of Jesus if we truly don’t believe we can obtain that job. We must ask in faith for what we desire from God. The apostle Paul wrote, “But without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6). Why? Because the word of God tells us “he who comes to God must BELIEVE that He is”—that God exists—“and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” There is no other way around it. You must believe in order to receive.
During my trials and errors with prayer, I would often get discourage when I didn’t see the manifestation of what I had prayed for come in a timely manner (my time, not Gods). I can remember being lead to the book of James “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man, think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6-7). Ouch! That was a slap in the face. I was not receiving because God was not having it. You either trust me at my word or you don’t. It can’t get any simpler than that. So now when I feel myself drifting away because things don’t appear to be going right, I immediately remind myself to shake off doubt and replace it with faith. Truly it is a battle because the devil has no desire to see us blessed and therefore he plants obstacles in our way, seeds of fear, doubt, unbelief all will arrive, but we must decide to walk by faith not by sight. God is very serious when it comes to “Faith.”
Another key factor to having a powerful prayer life is diligence. We all have seeds that have been planted in our lives. When I was about fifteen-years old, I remember hearing a message preached about prayer. The preacher sternly believed that we should only pray to God once about any situation. That to ask God a second time meant that we didn’t believe God the first time, which meant that somehow our prayer would be sabotaged. So for those times that I prayed and didn’t receive answers from God, I just assumed it was not meant to be, I dared not ask a second time.
“My people perish from lack of knowledge.” God is so good to us He never leave us void of knowledge if we truly seek him for help. During a conversation with one of the elders at my previous church we were engaged in a conversation about prayer. Somehow the subject about persistency came up and I was enlightened when she shared with me the story of the widow woman. “And he spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bears long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8). I know longer hesitate about asking God for something until He blesses me. God is always faithful to His word and He has always come through for me.
We must always be assured that God hears us when we pray and if we know that He hears us then we know that we have what we ask Him for. God our Father has no problem blessing us He loves us. He has nothing but wonderful plans for each of our lives. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways.” (Isaiah 55:8-9). There are times when I am still challenged in the area of prayer, but let me assure you that there is truly “Power in Prayer.”