The power of prayer
God has made several provisions for man to experience supernatural and miraculous power. One of these provisions is PRAYER. The word prayer appears in the New Testament 152 times. Jesus said to his disciples in Matt 21:21-:”Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt — you will say to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” This is only one reference from many of his teachings on prayer.
But from this verse we learn a surprising fact about prayer that is often forgotten. Prayer can affect lifeless, inanimate, and material things just as easily as living things. Prayer has the power to change nature and weather. One of the most exciting things about history is that it records the indisputable fact that prayer has been a deciding factor in wars, battles, the rise and fall of nations and even in elections. The apostle Paul and Silas were thrown into a dark and miserable Philippian jail but a small group of people in the Philippian church prayed for him and God sent an earthquake that broke off the chains that bound them and sent an angel who opened unlocked the Iron gates that were shut and securely locked for the night. Furthermore, the power of drought or rain was given to the prayers of Elijah the prophet.
Some people think prayer is only a show of proper respect and an expression of religious reverence having the stamp of social approval but the Bible declares that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). Prayer will make a difference in our lives by meeting our deepest human needs. For example, we all experience anxieties and fears from time to time. One who prays and trusts in God for strength and wisdom can say with David in psalms 118:6 “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Or in Ps 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall, I fear? “The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”
Prayer also can make a difference in the lives of others. That is why Christians are taught to pray for one another and Jesus. Himself, taught in Matt 5:44 “To love your enemies, — and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”
Since prayer has such great power, it would be well worth the effort for each of us to make it a higher priority and tap into its miraculous power. But, in addition to its power, studies and surveys through the years have confirmed the fact that people who habitually pray are happier, healthier, and live longer lives. A verse in the Epistle of James offers great encouragement for prayer. James writes in chapter 4:2; “You — have not, because you do not ask.”
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.