The Real Power of Prayer

5 Mins read

Prayer is one of the most powerful tools that God’s people have access to. When you pray, all of Heaven stands at attention. The Bible is clear about the fact that when we pray, God listens and responds to those prayers. Have you ever taken the time to truly consider the power of prayer? Scripture is filled with stories of God’s people going to Him in prayer and seeing things changed. We have access to the same kind of power today.

Most of us have an image of God that probably doesn’t line up with the truth about Him. Instead, we view Him as this distant deity who we call upon in a time of need, and if He gets a chance and deems us worthy, He may respond. There are multiple aspects of this idea of God that don’t align with Scripture.

First of all, God is not distant. In fact, He’s as close to you as you are to yourself. Look at what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:16 (TPT):
Don’t you realize that together you have become God’s inner sanctuary and that the Spirit of God makes his permanent home in you?

God’s Spirit, the same Holy Spirit who is part of the Godhead and equal with God the Father lives inside you! That in itself removes the idea that God is far from you. Additionally, our prayers are not answered or denied based on how much time God has. If you’ve ever uttered the phrase, “I’m sure God has more important things to worry about,” that’s not true at all. When you pray, nothing matters more to God than what you’re saying to Him.

Before we dive into today’s study, it’s important to understand that just because God doesn’t give you everything you want doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care. God is our Father, and like any good Father, He knows that there are times where we couldn’t handle what we’re asking for. If your 6-year-old tells you he or she wants ice cream for dinner, you wouldn’t give it to them. Why? Because you know what’s best for them. In the same vein, God knows what’s best for us, and sometimes that includes not giving us what we ask for in the moment.

Today, embrace the power that you have because of your ability to pray. If you’ve never realized how much power you have, let today be the day that you turn the corner and tap into the power that’s available to you.

Meeting In the Middle
James 4:8 (TPT)
Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.

In order to truly understand the power of prayer, we must understand what prayer allows us to do. Prayer is more than a string of words that we put together to try to get what we want. Instead, it allows us to get closer to God. In any relationship, communication is key, and your relationship with God is certainly no different. James, the half-brother of Jesus, painted a beautiful picture of what happens when we pray.

As humans, our hearts are naturally far from God. When we pray, it allows us to move closer to God. James goes on to tell us that something incredible happens when we move our hearts closer to God: He moves closer to us! We’ve already established that God lives within us. Do you realize how powerful it is that God wants to move even closer to us than He already is?! How does He get closer than living inside us? Through prayer it’s possible!

However, James also says that we must take a couple steps. First, our lives need to be cleansed. This doesn’t mean that God only answers prayers of perfect people. However, it does mean that God wants to see us trying to live lives that are in line with His Word. Additionally, James says that we shouldn’t come to God with doubt. When we understand that we’re moving towards God and God is moving towards us, doubt falls away.

Just Ask
Matthew 7:7-8 (TPT)
“Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.”

Prayer gives us access to God. There is no denying that having access to God means that we have an incredible amount of power. During the Sermon on the Mount (the passage that we just read is from that sermon), Jesus spoke a lot about the importance of prayer. In this particular passage, Jesus painted a beautiful picture of what happens when we pray. We go to God, seeking, knocking and asking.

It’s important to note that these verses don’t mean that God just gives us everything we ask for. Tragically, some people who make the decision to manipulate the Gospel in the name of self-profit have used these verses to try to tell people that God will give them everything they want, regardless of what it is. That’s not what Jesus said.

For instance, asking God for millions of dollars isn’t a get rich quick scheme. If you ask God to bless your finances, it doesn’t mean that God is going to send a Publisher’s Clearing House check to your home. However, He may bless you with a better job, a promotion, or another means to make honest money.

The power of prayer is found in the fact that we can ask God for anything and know that He hears us. Just because His answer doesn’t look like what we’re expecting doesn’t mean that He doesn’t answer.

According to His Will
1 John 5:14-15 (TPT)
Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we ask anything agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.

Finally, and most importantly, John discussed the confidence that we have when we pray. Confidence is a very important thing in any walk of life. However, having confidence when we pray allows us to have faith that God hears us, God is working on our behalf, and that God wants to give us every good thing.

There are very few places where you can walk in and talk to the most important person around. For example, you probably can’t go to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and demand a meeting with the President. You probably can’t walk into the corporate headquarters for a Fortune 500 company and walk into the CEO’s office. However, when you pray, you enter into the throne room of Heaven.

Our prayers don’t have to be a long, poetic prose. It doesn’t have to be filled with flowery language and a lot of King James-style English. God wants to hear real prayers from real people. You can bring God your hurt, your damaged parts, and the things that you don’t think anyone wants to hear. What’s even better is that we can do that with confidence.

When we can approach Him with confidence, we can pray with boldness. We know that if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us. God’s will isn’t some grand mystery that we’re not meant to understand. His Will is His Word. If you’re asking God for something that lines up with His character that is described in His Word, we can rest assured that our requests are heard.

Prayer is incredibly powerful, however, it’s more important that we understand how to use that power.

A Closing Prayer:
Father, I want to pray confident prayers. Reveal the very essence of Your character to me so that I can approach You boldly according to Your Will. I know that prayer is a powerful weapon, and I thank You for the honor. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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