THE POWER OF PRAYER (PART 1)

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Unplugged to the Source of Power

I read a story about a pastor who walked into his church, one day, and found the caretaker exhausted and dripping with perspiration. The caretaker was a good Christian, but was gradually losing his ability to think and work effectively because of the hardening of his arteries. As the pastor saw him struggling with the vacuum cleaner, he looked down, and there, lying on the floor was the plug. The dear man had vacuumed the whole auditorium and did not have the plug in the socket!

This is what happens to many of us. We plan, we work, we pull, we struggle, we toil until we are utterly exhausted, because, we have forgotten or not bothered to plug into the power source. Our source of power is God and our ‘socket’ or access point is prayer – the powerful and effective prayer of the righteous person.

When I shared this story with my husband, he asked a question, “Could the man not hear the silence as he vacuumed?” A working vacuum cleaner is noisy and all around are aware of its use, and so is prayer! Are we, like this unfortunate caretaker, deafened to the silence of our prayerlessness?

Prayer is Essential

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.  Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.” –  James 5:13-18 (NLT)

Unfortunately, prayer is one of the most talked about but, often, more difficult and less practiced activities of our Christian walk. Yet, prayer is also one of the most important requirements of our relationship and walk with God.

Simply defined, prayer is a two-way communication or interaction between God and His children, either privately or corporately. Prayer is based on the relationship between us and God; He is our Father and we are His children. Through the redemptive and reconciliatory work of Jesus Christ on the cross, God has adopted us into His family, so we are now His children. Therefore, as God’s children, we must communicate with Him and He with us. (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 3:1)

Although the scriptures constantly admonish us to pray, we do not always give prayer the place it deserves in our lives. Many have found other convenient, independent and, often, quicker ways of meeting our needs, so prayer only becomes a last resort, which, of course, is a very huge mistake.

No Christian Is Greater Than His Prayer life

As Christians, prayer (our access to God and communication with Him) is one of our greatest assets, which we can use to enhance our Christian lives, as well as advance the Kingdom of God. Yet, unfortunately, we do not adequately utilise this resource. It is true we are all at different levels of maturity and strength, but there is a saying that “No Christian is greater than his prayer life.” This probably explains why the Church seems to be struggling at almost everything, especially evangelising and fulfilling the Great Commission! We lack strength and power, due to prayerlessness!!!

Why Do We Not Pray?

Here are some reasons why people don’t pray or find it difficult to pray.

  1. Many do not know and understand the importance of prayer in the believer’s life and the life of the world around them.
  2. Many people simply don’t know how to pray. Many people are confused about what prayer is and what it involves.
  3. People have their own pre-formed ideas about prayer. Should it be formal or informal, loud or quiet, meditative or expressive, vocal or silent and intense or restrained…?
  4. Temperament, experience, cultural background and lack of knowledge also create a lot of confusion about prayer, which discourages and deters people from praying.
  5. Prayer is often regarded as a task, duty or chore that we do for God. This makes prayer tiresome and boring.
  6. It is difficult to talk to someone you cannot see and who sometimes seems distant and unreal. Unfortunately, this is how many believers see God.
  7. Many are not sure whether God will answer their prayers.
  8. For some, it’s just sheer laziness, indifference or apathy.
  9. We have an enemy who would do anything and everything to discourage or prevent us from praying because he knows how important prayer is.
Need for Change

However, there are many things that God will not do on earth, unless believers pray. We are God’s agents to advance and establish His kingdom on earth. We have been given power and authority to do that, but we do not have autonomy from God and need to be in constant communication with Him in order to fulfil His will on the earth. (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:7-8)

God does not expect us to change the whole world; He only wants us to effectively do our part. When we come before God in prayer and give Him full control of a situation, we are acknowledging His sovereignty in that area. As a result, He begins to work on the problem with His mighty power. God desires to be involved in every area of our life. He wants us to specifically commit each of our concerns to Him. 

The Power of Prayer

The power of prayer comes from the source of all power – God Almighty. God is omnipotent and the source of all power; as such, all power belongs to Him. (Psalm 62:11; Revelation 19:6)

The Book of Job, Chapters 38 to 41, describes how God revealed His Omnipotence (almighty and all-powerful) to Job. After God had revealed Himself as Omnipotent, Job came to this conclusion, “I know that You can do everything, and no purpose of Yours can be withheld from you” (Job 42:1)

Illustration

Science tells us that when God created the atom He bound it together with a powerful force called the nuclear attraction force. This force is 3 x 10E39 times more powerful than the force of gravity. (3 x 10E39 is written as 3 with 39 zeros after it.) Nuclear power comes from that force. Yet, Jesus said, “ALL POWER BELONGS TO ME,” (including the power inherent in the atom)!

If God could put so much power force in an atom, how much more power would He release to help us in our time of need? The next time you are discouraged because of a problem and don’t feel like praying, just remember the atom. Think about the tremendous power God applied to this tiny object. This same power is available to us when we commit a problem to God. God can do all things!

 ““Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You…” Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?”” – Jeremiah 32:17,26-27

This Almighty God is our Father

Many of us are afraid of God’s power and omnipotence. The Israelites were terrified at the display of God’s strength and power and were so frightened they asked not to see or communicate with Him. (Exodus 20:18-21) They had also seen His abilities in Egypt and on the journey so far, and yet, were afraid

But God’s omnipotence is not meant to scare us; it is to empower us and cause faith and confidence to grow in us. God’s power is not meant to disable us, but rather, enable us to perform the works Jesus said we would do. His power is not meant to destroy us, but to equip us as we fight the fight of faith. (Acts 1:7-8; Romans 8:15 – 17)

Prayer Is The Solution

This is why we need to pray, that is, communicate with God! Prayer has its source in the power and ability of Almighty God, who is not only God, but also, our loving and merciful Father. In an era where there is so much turmoil, pain, confusion, terror, rebellion and wickedness, PRAYER IS AND MUST BE, our first solution!!! We really need to plug in to the Source of Power to enable us to make an impact and a difference.  (To be continued)

By Apostle Jennifer Abigail Lawson-Wallace
A woman in tune, listening and obeying

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3 comments on “THE POWER OF PRAYER (PART 1)

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