I do not know about you, but sometimes I do not give prayer the credit that I should! Prayer is powerful, but when I cannot tangibly fix something, I tend to forget what my greatest weapon is. Prayer is so powerful that Jesus spent all of Luke 11:1-13 teaching His disciples how to pray.
It can be hard to imagine that we have the same power of the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living inside of us (Romans 8:11)! He has promised that in His Word! The incredible power of Kingdom Authority has been given to us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The best place to look at the power of prayer is in Scripture! There are amazing stories of God’s faithfulness to those that believed. But, it is easy for us to look at some of these stories and think that these people received answers overnight. I mean, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years, Abraham and Sarah waited twenty-five years to hold Isaac, and the woman with the issue of blood waited twelve years to be healed. You will read more on persevering in prayer from Tammy.
It does help for us to be reminded of the many answered prayers God has provided.
Luke 8:43-48 – Jesus Heals a Bleeding Woman
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Luke 9:13-17 – Jesus Feeds the 5,000
He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” (About five thousand men were there.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” The disciples did so, and everyone sat down. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
John 4:46-54 – Jesus Heals a Government Official's Son
“Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So, he and his whole household believed. This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
1 Samuel 1:11– Samuel’s Birth
“Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”
Acts 12:6-7– Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison
“When Herod was about to bring him out for trial, that very night Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while the sentries in front of the door guarded the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him up and said, “Quick, get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists.”
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Lazarus in John 11. We do not always get prayers answered the way we think they should be answered, but we must remember that God is still faithful even then. Jesus did not immediately go to Lazarus when Mary and Martha approached Him begging for Him to heal their brother. They did not understand why He would not come and why their brother had to die. Even then, God was portraying His power to those that were watching. No, Jesus did not heal Lazarus from being sick! He did better than that, He raised him from the dead! Even though Jesus was four days late and Mary and Martha thought all hope was gone, Jesus was still on time!
2. Do we make prayer a priority?
“My own soul’s conviction is that prayer is the grandest power in the entire universe.” - Charles Spurgeon
We know prayer is important and it is life changing. My friend had grown up in church and always done what the church asked of her and checked all the correct boxes. She still was left questioning her motives compared to what she saw and experienced in Christians. When my friend cried out to God, “there is something missing in my life and I believe You are my missing piece.” Since that day, my friend is a different person. Her life has drastically changed toward seeking after God and His will, giving up the things this world or even the church tells her will fulfill her, and putting that relationship with Him as paramount.
I have seen it in my own life. I have prayed and will continue to pray for marriages to be restored, friends to be saved, people to be healed, and guess what? God has never failed me yet! It’s not always on my timeline or in the way I thought it would happen and for many, I am still praying. That is why we must make prayer a priority and never give up! Are we convicted over our prayer life? If we do not make prayer a priority, we will not amount of much for God.
Jesus says in John 15:7, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.”
Now, Jesus is not a genie in a bottle and will not grant every prayer that we petition because our prayers must line up with His will, His purpose for our lives. Our growth, effectiveness, productivity and fruitfulness in our daily walk with Him comes from our prayer life. That’s where our power and strength lies.
As we read these Scriptures, we tend to believe that it’s not possible for us today to receive the power that was given two thousand years ago. We must fight against Satan because he is trying to distract us from the power of prayer. Satan’s power is limited! Don’t for a minute give him more authority than he has in your life. Satan cannot snatch a believer away from Jesus just read John 10:27-29. We must recognize that Satan roams like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Speak these words out loud:
When we pray, God listens
When we pray, demons tremble
When we pray, hearts are mended
When we pray, salvation comes
When we pray, relationships are restored
When we pray, wayward children come home
When we pray, the sick is healed
When we pray, financial burdens are lifted
Why are we surprised when God does answer prayers? We hear it all the time, and we are probably guilty of these things; believers that are shocked that healing came, that money was provided at precisely the right time, or that a lost soul came to know Jesus. Satan likes to make us think that it was a coincidence or an accident, but we must believe that God will do what He says He will do!
Speaking Scripture when we pray is powerful, and it is wise for us to keep a prayer journal so we can remember and be thankful for all that God has done. Every answered prayer is a trophy for God, and we should celebrate each one!
The first step is making time to pray each day. Think about when you can devote uninterrupted time in prayer. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning; maybe it’s on your drive to work. We make time for so many things that do not have eternal value, but we MUST make time for prayer. Start now and see how powerful prayer truly is!
For further encouragement, check out the rest of our Prayer Series:
The Power of Prayer - Part 1
The Perseverance of Prayer - Part 2
The Promise of Prayer - Part 3
The Purpose of Prayer - Part 4
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!