The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16-18)
Jesus taught, “…I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 tells us, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
The “Secret” of Powerful Prayer
The “secret” of powerful prayer isn’t a secret at all, it’s just not something we necessarily consider. Here it is: prayer works when what we ask for is God’s will.
But we live in a confusing world, so our first question after hearing this is: Why bother to pray if God’s will is going to be done anyway? There are several big reasons that we should do so.
- God’s will is going to be done, but if we don’t pray it won’t be done through us. We will miss the huge blessings we could have had!
- Seeking God’s will is a big part of growing closer to God, and growing in power in prayer. The more we seek to know God’s will, the more we will know and fall in love with God!
- God’s will is going to be done, but if we don’t pray it may not happen as fast as or in the way we wanted. God turns all thing to good for those who love him and work according to His purpose. But what if your actions weren’t according to His purpose? What if you were SUPPOSED to pray for something or someone, you didn’t, and that opportunity was lost? There is a lot of trouble and hurt now that did not need to happen. God will still bring good out of the situation if we repent and pray – but maybe we didn’t have to go through this at all if we had just sought His will in the first place.
- If you are seeking and praying in the will of God, you are released us from both depression because we think we’re not good enough, AND you are released from pride as if we were accomplishing the thing we’re praying for. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
- If we pray in the will of God, He won’t give us the stupid stuff we sometimes pray for. And even when you are praying for something good, such as healing, if he says “No” there is a divinely great reason for that. Last week we talked about Judy Hicks. I don’t know why her path lay through MS and mine doesn’t. But God knows, and we saw some of the fruits of that difficult but ultimately amazing blessing.
His answers are always for our best. And when our desires line up with His will, we go deeper, we release to God, we see the real story, we understand. And more and more what we now ask for, with passion and purpose, happens. Why do we want to pray in the will of God? Because he doesn’t always say yes to whatever we want! Aren’t you glad that some of your prayer DIDN’T come true? Wow, I know I am. His answers are however always for our best. And when our desires line up with His will, we go deeper, we release to God, we see the real story, we understand. And we pray in power.