In seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks used to challenge us with the question, “What is there in your life that you cannot explain apart from God?” Our problem is not that we are inadequate to live the Christian life, but rather that we think we are at least partially adequate in ourselves. Pray! James’ point is that while Elijah was a great man, he was after all just a man. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. One righteous man’s prayer affected the entire nation. As with everything in life, motivation is the key. 5:7). Sometimes although we think that our nation has hit bottom, it hasn’t. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer. Pastors today are under a lot of pressure to build their churches through “proven” church growth methods. Prayer is an act of worship that glorifies God and reinforces our need for Him. How does prayer comfort those who are anxious or sinking into the depths of depression? Priscilla Shirer is the author of the Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer says, “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. When I give, let your power speak for me. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids and a husband of 21 years. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”. So it is good to enlist as many in prayer as possible. He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More. Instead, he encourages us to get back up and try again with his hands held out as he says, “Because of your little faith,” He told them. You or someone you know has a degenerative disease. Half received daily prayer for four weeks from five volunteers who believed in God and in the healing power of prayer. Thus Elijah’s prayer for drought and his later prayer for rain were a direct challenge to the worshipers of Baal. Make sure the Bible you have is one you are not hesitant to write in. It is kryptonite to the enemy and to all his ploys against you.”, Another well-known author, Mark Patterson says, “Prayers are prophecies. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer. Second, sometimes God answers “no” for His own inscrutable reasons. I would have prayed for Jesus to avoid the cross, but that wasn’t God’s plan, either. In fact, in Luke 18:1 we read, “And he [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Hebrews 4:14-16 talks about Jesus as our High Priest and says He can sympathize with us. The character and heart of God is the very fabric of the gospel. What is the power of prayer? That’s the stuff legends are made of! As Paul states (Rom. But the point is, Elijah knew the living God, and he knew that he stood before Him. That is a wonderfully true statement! The largest study yet on the therapeutic power of prayer by strangers has found that it provided no benefit to the recovery of patients who had undergone cardiac bypass surgery. A loved one’s heart is hardened against the Lord. He was concerned about the needs of the many orphans whom he saw on the streets, of course. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. ), God has used Muller’s example over the years to encourage me to pray. But when God hits our nation with overwhelming catastrophes, or withholds His blessings, people eventually begin to see their need and become open to turning back to God. In this day and age, far too many people seem to think of God and science as mutually exclusive, unable to coexist. Everyone in the nation felt the effects of three years of drought. Does dependence on God in prayer mean that we should neglect effective methods. He was despondent in thinking that he was the only godly person left in Israel. That’s why James says…. He cast out demons; Jesus healed the sick and gave sight to the blind, and, on more than one occasion, raised people from the dead, like Lazarus. Yours in Christ’s Love, So, what exactly is the power of prayer? He knows all the factors, which I never know. So sometimes, God waits to answer to keep us seeking Him or for other reasons that we may not understand. It isn’t keywords. He did not have some privileged status before God that we lack. Although Jesus sometimes spent the entire night in prayer, most of the prayers recorded in the Bible are short. I want to ask three questions that should motivate us to pray: Do we live in overwhelmingly ungodly times? 25 Easter Prayers to Glorify and Give Thanks to Jesus Christ. Pray!Often the daily news is enough to get you depressed! Lord, teach me to give all unto you, help to be a sacrificial giver. Lakkireddy's description of his study lists six previous clinical trials involving religious intervention. Even when we lack faith or have very little faith. The power of prayer isn’t in the person praying. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”. When we ask him to be near to us, his presence sweeps in and surrounds us like a cozy blanketed embrace filled with his peace and strength. James begins the sentence (in Greek) with “much” to emphasize how much prayer can accomplish. We need to remember that prayer links us with the omnipotent God, who spoke the universe into existence. The authors ground their study of prayer’s power in something called the “strength model” of self-control. Muller later founded an orphanage in Bristol, England. Scientific studies of the power of prayer have been attempted before. Also, it doesn’t say that the righteous man has to agonize for it to be effective. I have prayed for salvation for some for many years, and yet they have not come to faith in Christ. Whatever yours is, let it drive you to the Lord in prayer. So even though you have your ups and downs, pray! 1:9), “Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.”. Pray! That was the situation with Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. Understanding the Power of Sacrifice Prayer for Today. Through living a life of prayer, we communicate with the very source of and purpose for our existence. Do we realize the power we have available to us when we take our authority in prayer? Although the history of the Rosary in Catholic practice dates to 1520 when Pope Leo X officially approved it for use by the laity, the concept of the Rosary was, according to tradition, given to St. Dominic in an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the year 1214 in the church of Prouille. But if we are aware of unconfessed sin in our hearts, we will not feel confident in drawing near to the holy God. Amen. What should we do? Pray! Reading that book showed me that I could look to the same Lord in prayer and that He faithfully would meet my needs. I will read a few verses in the fourth chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Philippians, commencing at the fourth verse: "Rejoice in the Lord always: and asrain I say rejoice. Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. He parted the Jordan river to walk across. As most of you know, Muller (1805-1897) was a rebellious Prussian young man whom God saved in his twenties. Prayer can be defined as talking to God, but it is much more than that. Muller’s theme verse was Psalm 81:10, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” For over 60 years, he saw God faithfully provide for as many as 2,000 orphans at a time, all in response to secret prayer. The power of prayer is not limited to prayers offered in church buildings on Sunday mornings, or to prayers offered by ordained ministers, or to prayers given in eloquent language. Q. Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2005, All Rights Reserved. One reason the study was so widely anticipated was that it was led by Dr. Benson, who in his work has emphasized the soothing power of personal prayer and meditation. Then they added (Acts 6:4), “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” In that regard, a century ago E. M. Bounds wrote, What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. So righteous refers to our standing in Christ. Then he ordered the execution of them all. So, what exactly is the power of prayer? Baal was regarded as the god who controlled the rain and fertility. It is only an example of how to pray and the things that should go into a prayer - worship, trust in God, requests, confession, protection, etc. You hear about the atrocities of the Islamic terrorists, you read about the degradation of morals in our country, you hear about the horrible decisions of our courts that legitimize all manner of corruption, and you despair. It took seven attempts on Elijah’s part before the first cloud was seen in the sky. There is no inherent power in prayer itself, but rather that prayer links us to God who is all-powerful. He does not come on machinery, but on men. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.”. The account in 1 Kings 17:1 does not state directly that Elijah prayed that it would not rain. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). The Lord God Almighty answers prayer. I don’t want to give my money alone, I want to make myself available to your service, Lord. So Elijah, being a man with a nature like ours, recognized his own inadequacy in the face of these powerful enemies. I want to ask three questions that should motivate us to pray: Do we live in overwhelmingly ungodly times? It is His gift to forgive all your sins and clothe you with Christ’s perfect righteousness. 4. I pray many things that seem to me to be for God’s glory and in accordance with His will, but He overrules my prayers with His own sovereign purpose. Then they set about praying for God to provide for their own needs and the needs of the orphans. Please, when quoting The Word of God, include every jot and tittle. It’s reasonable to assume that Elijah knew these Scriptures and that he had prayed for God to keep His word. (Power Through Prayer [Zondervan], p. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Why didn’t I think of that? It’s not about what you pray or even how you pray. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.”. Muller and his new bride literally sold or gave away everything that they owned and gave the money to the Lord’s work. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Series 57 Study 4 THE POWER OF A PRAYING CHURCH. Consider the following: The Lord God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). In other words, who you become, the circumstances in your life and the core of your character are all determined by what you talk to God about. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). She exterminated the prophets of the Lord, except for 100 who were in hiding. But his primary reason for founding the orphanage was to demonstrate that God is still a prayer-hearing God and that it is not in vain to trust in Him. And if you were to observe my prayer life, that much would be evident. He married the wicked Jezebel, who established Baal worship as the religion of the land. If you have trusted in Christ as Savior, then you need to pray more. He invites, encourages, and wants us to talk to him. Muller gave God the glory by writing an annual narrative of how the Lord had provided, once the needs had already been met. A model for my ministry has been the words of the apostles when they asked that the early church find other men to help the needy widows. If people do not sense their need for God, there will not be genuine repentance. About Your Answers The questions in this study … Elijah’s intensity in prayer was because he was one man up against a powerful godless king and queen, 400 of her idolatrous prophets, and an entire nation that had turned its back on the Lord. Thousands of pastors flock to seminars to learn how to attract seekers and build a “successful” church. PRAYING ALWAYS WITH ALL PRAYER by Francis Dixon (Scripture Portion: Acts 4:23-37) There is only one real problem in the Church of God these days, and that is the prayer life of the Church. If we did, we would be praying in Jesus’ name more. Even though there were some bad kings before Ahab, 1 Kings 16:33 states, “Thus Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him.”. But it also refers to our walk. In Matthew 18:18-20, Jesus tells us about the power of prayer when he said, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Prayer acknowledges that our need is not for just a little boost from God, and then we can handle it on our own. Prayer can be defined as talking to God, but it is much more than that. When scripture talks about prayer, it speaks in explosive, world-altering terms. 7:13-14). What does the Bible say to the church, and to the individual Christian, about the role of politics in the church? This prayer and study guide is divided into a 30-week plan for use in personal or group study. Sometimes we think, “If we can just get a lot of people praying, it will be more effective.” But our text says, “a righteous man,” not “a really big group of righteous men.” The more who pray, the more get blessed when God answers. James’ words, “prayed earnestly,” are literally, “prayed with prayer.” It is a Hebraism that signifies intensity. 66:18), “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”. The other half received no prayer in conjunction with the study. He was miraculously fed by the ravens during the drought. There are dozens of real-life accounts in the Bible where Jesus and other disciples battled in prayer. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. Imagine that—a minister of marketing! Prayer - A Special Study Table Of Contents The Purpose Of Prayer 3 The Power Of Prayer 5 The Privilege Of Prayer 7 The Principles Of Prayer 9 The Persistence Of Prayer 12 The Practice Of Prayer - I 14 The Practice Of Prayer - II 16 How God Answers Prayer 19 Mark A. Copeland Prayer - A Special Study 2 12:7-10). He and his staff would pray and often see God provide the exact amount that they needed on the day they needed it. But if it’s just you and God, the prayer may be as powerfully effective as if a whole group prays. How can prayer bring a person back to life? Some studies conclude that prayer improves health, while others show no effect — or suggest that prayer may lead to worsening health. Prayer is the pulsation of a yearning, loving heart in tune with the Infinite. The more serious the situation and the more we are burdened by it, the more intensely we will pray (Heb. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” (Psalm 17:6). How long should we continue praying if God doesn’t seem to be answering? Sometimes learning to trust God with our prayers is like being a toddler. In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions or those who pray in public to seek attention or those who don’t have the right heart, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. The Lord’s prayer is really short! He had his ups and downs, but he prayed and God answered. It pushed them to ask, “Why isn’t Baal answering our prayers?” Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal pointedly drew the line (1 Kings 18:21): “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? When we pray, we communicate with the Almighty Creator of heaven and earth, who loves us and invites us into His presence to receive grace. Only God can break that hard heart. With Elijah, sometimes we may need to pray for drought, recognizing that the drought we pray for will dry up the brook that we drink from! Although I am nowhere near Muller in faith or prayer (even to mention myself in the same sentence is presumptuous! 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