How effective are your prayers? When you pray, do you get results?
Some of us have encountered situations that seemed impossible for God to handle. When we find ourselves in that position we often have no idea how to pray about it. Feeling overwhelmed, we sometimes retreat from God instead of pressing toward Him. Some of us blame God for the mess we are in or for allowing it to happen. Do you find yourself in that place right now?
For many of us, learning to pray can be a difficult journey. We are pleased when God seems to answer our prayers quickly and puzzled or frustrated when He doesn’t. How can we get God to listen to us and answer our prayers when things seem to be difficult or near impossible to overcome?
When it comes to looking at the power of prayer, we see that the Apostle James wrote:
“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16 NKJV)
Many times our own self-image keeps us from being able to trust God to answer. We need to know that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, that we have right standing before Him. This is what gives us the boldness to come before God’s throne and have the confidence to believe that He will hear and answer our prayers.
James used the Prophet Elijah as an example of a man who had unwavering faith in the power of prayer:
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” (James 5:17-18 NKJV)
The first thing to note is that Elijah was an ordinary person just like you or me. He was not different from us. He was not someone special, having greater access to God than we do. We can come to the throne of God to see our prayers answered just as Elijah did, and look at the results he saw when he prayed!
God loves using ordinary people to bring glory to Himself. That is the kind of person He is looking for! Instead of looking at our own limitations or lack of faith, we need to consider how great God is. Kathryn Kuhlman, a prominent revivalist in last century said, “People think I must have such great faith. I actually don’t have great faith. I just have a little faith in a very BIG God.” It is not the size of our faith that impresses God, it is how we use it. When we place our faith and trust in God’s greatness, it is amazing what we can see Him accomplish.
Sometimes, we may find ourselves trying to help God answer our prayers. When we don’t see things happening as fast as we would like, we try to move things along by getting involved in the process. In the Old Testament God told Abraham that He would bless him with a son. After many years had passed, his wife still had not conceived. Abraham tried to help God by using a surrogate, which produced his son Ishmael. God had a better plan, and when Abraham finally believed, despite the circumstances, Isaac was born through his wife Sarah. God didn’t need Abraham’s help. He was able to produce a child even when Abraham was one hundred years old and Sarah was ninety-nine years old. If we leave God alone to answer our prayers, it will amaze us what He can get done all by Himself!
When we pray for God to meet a certain need, we must take the time to listen to Him. Sometimes He will tell us to do something in order to see our prayers answered. We need to obey Him. We have to know when we are to stand still and watch God answer our prayers or when to step out in faith to see the answer come. We do this by being sensitive to His voice!
The real key to power in prayer is developing a deep, personal relationship with God. The more we get to know Him, the more we trust Him to answer our prayers. We develop this relationship by reading the promises written in God’s Word and spending time in fellowship with Him. The closer we walk with God the more power we will see in our prayer life. This is especially true when it comes to our relationship with the Holy Spirit, for the Father speaks to us through His Spirit!
The final thing to understand is that there is great power in praise. When we praise God, it forces us to lift our eyes off of our circumstances and onto the Lord. When we praise God it fills us with joy and peace in believing God is answering our prayers. Great answers to prayer come through great praise. The more we praise God in the midst of our trials and difficulties, the more we will see God move on our behalf and turn impossible situations into testimonies for His glory.
You are holy, dear saint!
Have you discovered an increase in the power of your prayers by developing a deeper relationship with God? Let me know in the comments below!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]