There is a great privilege we have in Christ with the power of prayer. It is our direct communication with Him. We talk to God and reach His heart through our prayers. He always listens and is actually waiting for us to talk to Him, to create a strong relationship with Him. Like a father waiting for the little daily stories of his children, our Father in Heaven also longs that we share with Him the matters of our hearts. Being His sons and daughters, we have the freedom to tell Him our frustrations, fears, struggles, happiness, dreams, and passion. We can tell Him anything, and He can do anything. Mark 10:27 says, “For with God all things are possible.” This means that God can help you make the impossible, possible through prayer. It is the astounding power of prayer. It is not a mere ritual that we have been very familiar with. Prayer is a living process and action.
With prayer, we can make requests and give God our thanksgiving, creating a fulfilling relationship with Him. He always listens and answers. Sometimes, He gives instantly while other times we are to pray persistently. In other instances, He gives not what we want but what is best for us. One thing is for sure; our prayers are never left unanswered.
Because it has become habitual and a mere ritual during church occasions, many of us have overlooked the power of prayer. Today many see prayer as a task that needs to be fulfilled instead of it being a way to connect with God. When we see prayer this way, it loses its power and true essence.
What Gives Prayer Its Power?
There is no secret formula in praying, no legalities are needed for our prayers to be answered. It does not depend on the words we choose when we pray, the act we do as we worship in prayer, or even its utterance. Our heart is even enough to appeal to God. Its power is contingent on the source of all power and possibilities alone. There is no distinction between a Church pastor, priest or ordinary Christians when it comes to prayer. All prayers are being equally heard and answered by the Almighty God. Prayer should be private and sincere, something that comes truly from your heart. Jesus preached against the prayer acts which Pharisees claimed to please God. They had wanted to seem Holy by praying n public, but Jesus explained that to want people to take notice of you being “holy” indicates your insincerity; your audience isn’t God.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Matthew 6:8 tells us that even before we ask God of the things that we need, He already knows it. He can see through our minds. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3), God asked them why they were hiding. God knew what had occurred but yet He demanded that they tell Him. God desires that we tell Him the matters of our hearts, and to confess our sins. His power includes the forgiveness of our trespasses when we speak of it before Him.
The power of prayer comes from God and does not flow from us just because we pray. Until we understand this truth completely, we cannot come before the throne of God with full confidence. Daniel who knows God’s power far better than his ability once uttered this sincere prayer:
Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.
How Can We Create Powerful Prayers?
1. Ask in faith
Hebrews 4:16 tells us these precious phrases “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.
God invites His people to come to Him. He wants us to ask in prayer with faith. Ephesians 6:12 speaks of the confidence that we have when coming before God because of Christ and our faith in Him. The crucifixion of Jesus on the Cross grants us the access and privilege of talking to God. This is the reason why we pray in Jesus’ name. It is because of His life offered that we may come with the assurance that God will hear our prayers. The book of 1 John also states:
1 John 5:13-15
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 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.
Once we realize that we are praying to the Creator of the universe and the Lord of hosts, we can then grasp how powerful He is. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus speaks of what faith can do. “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” This is the power of prayer. It will allow us to overcome anything and everything. Luke 1:37 also says that for with God nothing is impossible. Hence, nothing is impossible with a prayer filled with faith.
2. Expect an answer
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
We are also to come before God’s throne with expectation. Sometimes we pray and wonder after our prayer if God will answer our requests. This is not the right attitude toward prayer. As we pray, we expect Him to listen and respond to our prayers. This does not mean however that He will respond to prayers immediately, nor does it mean all His answers to our prayers will be a yes. He sometimes says no because He has a better plan for us and knows our futures better than we do. We need to acknowledge that He is sovereign and always in control.
3. Pray with submission and reverence
Praying with boldness before God does not mean that we can go before Him and simply tell Him our needs and wants. We are to submit every prayer before Him with full acknowledgment that He is above our will and desires. Jesus showed us the best example of surrendering everything in the hands of God. We can never pray too much if we are sincere in and about our prayer. We need to make sure we mean what we say when we pray. It should never be for evil, but for good, for it also reflects the purity of our hearts.
He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Our prayers shall be done with humility and submission since its power is not dependent on the eloquence and utterance of words but on God alone.
4. Receive God’s word and promises
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
God is true to all His promises. He never forgets each. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He answers every prayer that goes in accordance with His will and all that is written in the Bible reveal the will of God. It delights Him whenever we claim His promises. This is why reading His Word is also a very important aspect of communication with God. It helps us understand the heart of God and what He wants for His children.
A Christian preacher and author, Charles Haddon Spurgeon stated in his sermon titled The Throne of Grace, that “True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God. It is not the utterance of words, it is not alone the feeling of desires, but it is the advance of the desires to God, the spiritual approach of our nature towards the Lord our God.” There is power in entering into God’s presence for His presence can undo everything that is within. It can change us as we pray and the world we live in. Prayer is power indeed.