The unlimited power of prayer is a mystery. I hesitate to even speak about it because I am incapable of putting God’s infinite omnipotence revealed to those who pray into words. Let’s approach the center of this divine mystery with a few simple questions.
Why Do We Need To Pray?
Because God the Father tells us to “…call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee; and thou shalt glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). Aside from the fact that the Lord takes our cries concerning our outer troubles to heart, those who read His Word with an open and honest heart will inevitably come into inner difficulties. This is when the Father says to “…call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify.”
The Son urges, “…men ought always to pray…” (Luke 18:1). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). Notice how Jesus urges us to pray increasingly. “Ask” is a passive action. “Seek” is already an earnest perseverance. “Knock” means coming into the very presence of God until He opens the door of the inner sanctuary.
God the Holy Spirit wants to pray through us: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26). Thus, when the triune God encourages us to pray, He also gives us His promise that He will bring it to pass.
The Bible says that the Spirit Himself intercedes on our behalf with unutterable groanings. We cannot neglect prayer when God urges us earnestly to pray. Coupled with this urging is His promise: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (1st Thessalonians 5:24). If God has told us that we should pray, three things are necessary: prayer, prayer, and prayer!
Why Is Prayer Powerful?
Because when we pray, three people immediately become involved: God, Satan and ourself.
The eternal God has solemnly committed Himself to answer the prayers of His children.
• He hears: “…the LORD will hear when I call unto him” (Psalm 4:3).
• He answers: “…I will surely hear their cry” (Exodus 22:23).
• He refreshes: “They looked unto him, and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 34:5).
• He gives great strength: “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3).
• He fulfills: “…the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will save them” (Psalm 145:19).
• He anticipates our request: “…Before they call, I will answer…” (Isaiah 65:24).
• He reveals: “…great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Finding Him in prayer is the key. You already have the answer to your prayer when you find Him: “…ye shall search for me with all your heart and I will be found of you…” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
Remember, He whose eyes are like flames of fire, knows whether you are seeking Him with a sincere heart. When you have the assurance that “heaven is now open,” you will have such a flood of requests that your words will hardly be able to keep pace.
Satan Begins His Violent Opposition
The invisible world of darkness gets into such a state of turmoil and alarm whenever a man or woman goes to the Lord in prayer (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:12). The one who prays comes under attack because of all of the satanic activity that is going on today. This is by means of an invasion of spirits from below, and that is due to the Lord’s imminent return.
But because the powers of destruction are active as never before, our prayer lives must increase or we will not survive. We will slowly but surely begin to yield to temptation.
However, the Holy Spirit initiates a counter attack against Satan’s works and we are drawn into the realm of Gods’ power. Something wonderful happens to our personalities when we pray. Do we become stronger?
On the contrary, we become weaker. But our weakness leads to our reliance on the living God! As we pray, our weakness becomes united with His unlimited, all-powerful strength. Joy breaks through to our hearts, “…when I am weak, then am I strong” (2nd Corinthians 12:10); “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13); “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3). So then why do some people allow themselves to become so deceived by Satan? Because they do not pray.
Who Experiences The Power Of Prayer?
Those who have been separated. Let’s look at the impressive examples of three Old Testament personalities whose names begin with the letter “J.”
• Jacob: Jacob’s calculations did not help when Esau threateningly approached him with 400 men. He had only the word of the Lord on which to rely. He claimed it twice in his prayer and climaxed in the complete victory of Peniel, “…the LORD which saidst unto me…” (Genesis 32:9), “And thou saidst…” (verse 12). He was separated from his possessions. When he came to the river Jabbok, He allowed himself to be separated from his family and children (verses 22-25). Then came his victorious prayer: “…I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (verse 26). Thus, only the one who is really separated from the things of this world will experience the unlimited power of prayer.
• Jabez: “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested” (1st Chronicles 4:10). This man was separated from self.
But the Bible says: “…Jabez was more honourable than his brethren…” (1st Chronicles 4:9). He could sense that God’s unlimited power would be revealed; therefore he cried out: “…Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me….”
Allow yourself to be separated from your self-satisfaction by breaking out and calling to Him, “Oh that thou wouldest bless me, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me!” Child of God, break away from the limitations of your short-sighted self! The Lord wants to widen your borders (enlarge your coast) worldwide! “…And God granted him that which he requested” (1st Chronicles 4:10).
• Jehoshaphat: “Our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (2nd Chronicles 20:12). Jehoshaphat was separated from his own power. In view of the great army of the children of Ammon and Moab, he confessed to the Lord:
• His lack of strength: “…we have no might….”
• His lack of wisdom: “…neither know we what to do….”
• His reliance upon the Lord alone: “…but our eyes are upon thee.”
Are you without strength? Yes, I am powerless, but this makes me even more dependent upon His strength!
Without wisdom? Yes, but because I am unwise, I can count on His infinite wisdom all the more.
Genuine prayer is an expression of the greatest dependence on Him alone. But only those who are completely separated and freed from self can become dependent upon Him.
Allow yourself to be separated from your own abilities, possessions, flesh and blood, self-satisfaction, your own strength and from your presumptuous manner of knowing better. Then you will have nothing left – and yet you will have everything! You lose yourself, but you gain Him! Your own nature will be broken, but you have broken through to Him. After you have separated from all earthly, temporal things, you will become more intimately bound to Him, the Eternal One. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!
Who Won’t Experience The Power Of Prayer?
• Stubborn, irreconcilable people. Jesus said, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). Will you not be reconciled today with your neighbor or your relative? Forgive him for Jesus’ sake, for you too have been forgiven much!
• Those who have fallen away from the Lord. What is a backslider? It is a child of God who has departed from his stand for the Lord, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:5). From what works have you fallen?
• Those who do not pray. The more negligent you are of this work, the less desire you will have to pray. Has your prayer life become increasingly superficial and hurried? If so, it is because you have fallen away, you are a backslider!
• You have become negligent about reading Scripture. You can no longer say with Job, “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips: I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12). Come back you wayward child of God!
The Power of Prayer. It is available to you. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart! Confess to Him your condition! I can assure you that He wants to make you a powerful person of prayer. His blood will cleanse you from all sin!