Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Power Of Prayer

Power Of Prayer - How powerful is it?
The power of prayer should not be underestimated. James 5:16-18 declares, "…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." God most definitely listens to prayers, answers prayers, and moves in response to prayers.

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." The Bible urges us, "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).

Power Of Prayer - How do I tap into it?
The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to. 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." No matter the person praying, the passion behind the prayer, or the purpose of the prayer - God answers prayers that are in agreement with His will. His answers are not always yes, but are always in our best interest. When our desires line up with His will, we will come to understand that in time. When we pray passionately and purposefully, according to God's will, God responds powerfully!

We cannot access powerful prayer by using "magic formulas." Our prayers being answered is not based on the eloquence of our prayers. We don't have to use certain words or phrases to get God to answer our prayers. In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions, "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:7-8). Prayer is communicating with God. All you have to do is ask God for His help. Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, "Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven." There is power in prayer!

Power Of Prayer - For what kind of things should I pray?
God's help through the power of prayer is available for all kinds of requests and issues. Philippians 4:6-7 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." If you need an example of a prayer, read Matthew 6:9-13. These verses are known as the Lord's prayer. The Lord's prayer is not a prayer we are supposed to memorize and simply recite to God. It is only an example of how to pray and the things that should go into a prayer - worship, trust in God, requests, confession, protection, etc. Pray for these kinds of things, but speak to God using your own words.

The Word of God is full of accounts describing the power of prayer in various situations. The power of prayer has overcome enemies (Psalm 6:9-10), conquered death (2 Kings 4:3-36), brought healing (James 5:14-15), and defeated demons (Mark 9:29). God, through prayer, opens eyes, changes hearts, heals wounds, and grants wisdom (James 1:5). The power of prayer should never be underestimated because it draws on the glory and might of the infinitely powerful God of the universe! Daniel 4:35 proclaims, "All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: 'What have you done?'"

Learn More About Prayer!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions

Spiritual Balanced Diet

Nutritionists rightly urge us to have a balanced diet.  In fact, the diet should be so varied that not only, for instance, should you eat fruits, you should eat different types of fruits.  Should a diet lack certain nutrition because our meals are not wholesome, it will cause you to become unhealthy.  In a similar way, we need a balanced spiritual diet.  What constitutes a wholesome spiritual diet? 

Before discussing what a wholesome spiritual diet is, it is important to understand a truth: Just as it is difficult to get a wholesome diet if the setting of your meals is that of a fast food restaurant, you cannot get a balanced spiritual diet if you do not live in a right spiritual environment.  You need to live in a right spiritual setting: the church.  In the church, the Lord has set up a system that ensures that you pursue four areas that will effectively spur spiritual growth: Bible, Fellowship, Evangelism and Prayer.  Thus, you must faithfully attend Sunday Worship Service and be an active member of the church.

The Bible.  Jesus said: “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4).  It is important that you have a teachable heart as you hear the sermons on Sunday.  Your mindset should be: I want to understand a bit more about this Bible 
passage that is preached and how I should obey this part of the Bible.  Do also stay back for Adult Sunday School after worship.  After all, you are already in church.  Not only do you learn to interpret the Bible, you also learn from each other as how to apply the passage you are studying to your life.  Above all, keep your Quiet Times: Read your Bible and pray daily.

Christian Fellowship.  You cannot run the Christian race alone.   It is a blessed race but it is tough.  You need people around you to encourage and comfort you (Hebrews 10:24-25), and to be your watchman, reminding or even rebuking you when you turn away from God’s way.  Have good loving talks during refreshment time.  More importantly, build your relationship with Christians of this church.  Share your joys and hurts.  Keep in touch during the weekdays too.

Evangelism.  We are called to be the salt and the light of the world (Matt 5:13-14).  Jesus commanded us to preach the gospel (Matt 28:18-20).  You must live your life in such a way that shows God’s holiness, love and wisdom.  Your life must attract people to Christ.  Then you would have lived a full and meaningful life.  Do not waste your life away—your life must be used to do things that last for eternity—salvation of souls.

Prayer.  The Bible commands us to “pray continually” (1 Thess 5:17).  We have many needs.  God is willing to provide for your needs but He wants you to pray to Him.  But does not God know what we need even before we ask?  Why then does He want you to pray?  The reason is that prayer is an act of faith (Luke 18:6-8), that you believe He can provide you what you need and God rewards faith (Hebrews 11:6). 

You can kneel down in your room to pray.  But you can also pray as you walk or wash your dishes.  You can pray anytime and anywhere.  What is prayer?  Prayer is talking to God like you talk to your parents.  How should you pray?  When you want something from your father, how do you ask him?  You will ask from Him without fear in simple words and with respect.  This is how you can pray to God: Talk to Him like you talk to your earthly father because God indeed is your Father.  He loves to hear you talk to Him and ask things from Him.

If you are willing to hunger after God’ Word, love each other, be a good testimony and pray continually, you will grow to be a good and blessed Christian.