The Practical Power of Prayer!
Wednesday, July, 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM | by asmith
I believe in prayer.
When we examine the life of Jesus, we observe the consistency of His practice of prayer. “A great while before day, Jesus went to a lonely place and He prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Following His baptism, Christ retreated to the wilderness to pray. Luke 11 records the disciples’ request, “Master, would you teach us to pray?” Evidently, His closest friends correlated the power in His life to the prayers of His life. So in response to the disciples’ appeal, Jesus provides the ultimate pattern for intercession: The Lord’s Prayer! Additionally, Christ instructs us to grow our love relationship with our Heavenly Father by continually “asking, seeking and knocking” because we can trust the Lord, like a wise parent, to provide our true needs.
God’s Word tells us to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) James instructs, “The fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much.” (James 5:16) Through prescription and description God’s Word constantly advocates that Christ-followers become people who trust the effectiveness of prayer and consistently engage in the discipline of intercession.
Over the years I have spent countless hours in personal prayer and corporate prayer. Prayer provides an opportunity for God’s children to synchronize their hearts with God’s will. Jesus talked to the Father in the dark garden of Gethsemane and prayed the ultimate model of faith: “Father, Your will be done.” The bulk of our praying should be agreeing with God as we affirm: YES, LORD!! Learn to pray with an open Bible. Hear God’s living and transforming Word. Then say to your instructing Heavenly Father, “Yes, Sir, I am your faithful servant and will do your word and will today!”
One of my favorite events each week is Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting. On hundreds of occasions, I have gathered with other believers to lift our requests to the Lord and trust our Father’s provision. Every Wednesday Prayer Service can become a garden of Garden of Gethsemane experience where you meet the Savior and other believers to intercede and realign with God’s will.
Let me urge you to intentionally grow your prayer muscles. Like all muscles, they enlarge through exercise. Develop the discipline of keeping a prayer journal so that you can track God’s activity linked to your intercessory engagement. As you grow your prayer muscles, you will discover that prayer is not a substitute for action, but it is the action for which there is no substitute!