Is There Power in Prayer?

I was really humbled recently by a message my pastor gave at church on prayer. It also reminded me of emails I have seen by people writing in to us saying, “please don’t tell me to pray about it” or “I have prayed and nothing has changed” … well, has it? I grew up being taught that God answers prayer three ways…. yes, no or wait. Wonderful. So how do you know what he said when he doesn’t audibly answer you?

God is our Abba Father. Just like any daddy, he wants to give to us. But do we really know how to ask him for what we want? But I hear you saying, “Doesn’t God already KNOW what I want? Why should I ask him for it if he already knows?” Great question. Are you ready for the answer?

God wants us to ask because it REMINDS US where every good gift comes from. I am reminded of my kids with this thought. My son will sit around complaining to us about how all his friends get a bigger allowance a week than he does, when he sits around the house and does nothing to earn more than he does. What he forgets is when he needs new clothes, we buy them for him. He doesn’t have to provide his own. When he does us a huge favor, we usually reward him by getting him something he really wants…like a new ZEN MP3 player he has been asking for. He didn’t have to buy it. He doesn’t appreciate what we do give him and take that into consideration. We are like that, too. We get things from God on a daily basis that we don’t even thank him for. In this economy, do you have a job? Thank God for it. Do you have clothes on your back? A roof over your head? Food on your table? Thank God for it. When the Israelites were wandering in the desert, God provided manna for them every day. What did they do? Complain that they didn’t have water. He gave them water….there was always something new to complain about, but never once do we thank God for what he provides us already without asking. So when we have a real prayer need, God wants you to ask, so that when you receive, you will thank him and praise him for answering your prayer.

When you pray, do you really believe that God will give it to you? If you pray half heartedly, what does that tell God? “Well, God, I really need this, but I am not sure that you’ll give it to me.” If you need to know where your next meal is coming from, pray to God about it and believe that he will provide it. Have you ever heard of George Muller? He opened up orphanages for children in the mid 1800’s, never requesting financial support, but teaching the children about having faith in God for what they needed. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God (Wikipedia) George would pray for the needs and believed that the needs would be met. And they usually were. In the 1870’s, 2,000 orphans were being cared for in 5 homes by him and his wife. Doesn’t this show you how God answers prayer?

When you pray, are you in a right relationship with God? It always amazes me that when we have a crisis in our country, what is the first thing people always do? They start praying. They pray to  God, who they may never talk to on a regular basis, but expect him to answer when they need him most. “Why didn’t God save our home in this disaster?”  “Why didn’t God stop this from happening?”   Our leaders who try so hard to keep God out of our schools, want us to pray to God when we are devastated by tragedy. God bless America comes out more often than not during these times. Dear readers, God can answer everyone’s prayers. God can bless us all, but when we sin against him and when we are the biggest hypocrites about him until we really need him, he is more likely to answer someone who obeys him and has a personal relationship with him. Get to know God on a regular basis, not just when you need something. When you know him, you will believe that he will meet your needs and answer your prayers.

There are several verses in the bible that tell us that we need to be right with others before God will answer us. Mark 11:25, Matthew 5:23-24, and 1 Peter 3:7 all document the need to be sure that we are right with family, friends, neighbors and spouses so that it doesn’t hinder our prayer.

Be sure that your prayer leaves room in case what you want isn’t what’s best for you. God’s will is ALWAYS better than your own will. I know that I would LOVE to pray that God would give us the money to be able to afford better things…newer cars instead of used ones, a house of our own instead of a rental, but I do realize that if God felt that I needed it now, we’d have it. It isn’t His will that we have all this stuff right now. So when I pray, I always pray that God’s will be done, not mine. I had a dear friend that died of breast cancer. All the while everyone was praying for a miracle for her to be completely healed, I continued to pray that God’s will be done. My friend’s story reached A LOT of people on Caring Bridge. She wasn’t healed in this life, but God healed her when she stepped into Heaven. God has a plan for our lives. It doesn’t hurt to ask, believe that he can give it, but be sure to remember that God’s way is always the best way. If it isn’t in our best interest, then it won’t be answered the way we want it.

Lastly, be sure to pray in Jesus’ name. Think about it. God sacrificed a lot for us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for us. He has all the wounds to prove it in his hands, his feet and his side. His ultimate sacrifice makes it possible to have the most awesome relationship forever with his father, but he did tell us one thing in John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” Jesus is our intercessor with the Father. His name is precious and holy and it reminds me daily of his sacrifice for me.

Let me tell you of a recent prayer that was answered faster than any I have asked for in the past. I had a big problem at work that looked so completely impossible to fix. So one morning before work, I got down on my knees…something I rarely ever do I am ashamed to admit….and I prayed to God. Sincerely, earnestly, and broken, I asked Him for help in this situation and for him to show me His will in all of this. No sooner had I said amen, my phone rang. And on the other end of the line was the answer to my prayer. I found out later that I was the answer to this other person’s prayer as well. God knows what we need. He is waiting for us to ask him. For those of you who write us and say, “Please don’t ask me to pray about it”, we will continue to tell you to pray. We have all seen and felt the power that is in our prayers to God the Father. We have seen and witnessed all the blessings He can bestow on us. We have seen His miracles! I think at one time or another, each one of the Spice girls here at CN have seen miracles in our own marriages and our marriage beds, so yes, we will continue to tell you to pray. We have seen it’s power and want you to witness it, too.

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