Prayer is Powerful

The power of the living God is available power.  We may call upon Him in the name of Christ, with the assurance that if we are taught by the Spirit in our prayers, those prayers will be answered” (qtd. in Andrew Murray’s book, Key to the Missionary Problem, page 90).  These words, spoken by Hudson Taylor, are words that often believers neglect to believe and put into action.  Prayer is such an important part of the work of God and too few people involve themselves in prayer or treat it as a grocery list to complete just before they fall asleep each night. 

Prayer is power made available to the church to become involved in the work of the Father; this prayer is essential to the work of the church.  Prayer is the hope that life as it is now does not have to remain this way.  Praying is not giving in and letting the circumstances stay the same.  Prayer is the method that God has chosen to get things accomplished.  It is not so much that He needs us, but that He has made prayer into a way of reminding us of our reliance on Him and allowing us to take part in His plan.

Prayer is also our greatest weapon.  Life is a spiritual battle, and God is looking for warriors.  Everything that happens in the battle is dependent on prayer, for God has chosen to limit Himself in this way.  God wants us to partner with Him in winning this battle, and the way He makes that possible is by waiting for us to put on His armor and go into the battle on our knees. 

Samuel Chadwick said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying.  He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work and prayerless religion.  He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.”  Is this not a good reason to hit our knees more often? 

Many times when great things happen, credit is given to what is obvious – the preaching, teaching, organizing, planning – the work that people can see and recognize.  We don’t always notice the real power behind all of this.  John Wesley said, “All advances in the kingdom are preceded by prayer. . . .  When God wants to do something, He moves people to pray for it.  Trace the movements of God in history, and you will find they were born in prayer, bathed by prayer, and grew by prayer.”

When the church fails to accomplish the work of God, the problem may lie more in the lack of prayer rather than the strategy and activities of the church.  Prayer lives must be guarded carefully.  If this is not done, life will get in the way.  Distractions come and keep us from taking the time for prayer.  We must be alert that we don’t allow everything else to get in the way.  We also must protect our certainty in the power of prayer and God’s power that is active behind it.  If we don’t believe that prayer is useful, we will not pray.

Prayer is downright ridiculous when looked at from the finite mind of man, but when looking farther, it is possible to see the power of God – the power made available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  God hears the prayers of His Son.  As Christians, Christ is formed in us.  The Father will always hear the prayers of His children when spoken through the Spirit of His Son.

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