The practice of prayer in a believer’s life is an incredible, virtually untapped power source. Prayer moves the hand of God. Prayer prevails. Prayer turns ordinary mortals into men and women of power. This key unlocks the storehouse of God’s riches. The action that moves heaven to act on behalf of the earth.
Here are four truths that will ignite your prayers.
The power of prayer is not merely communicating words with God, but communion with God himself.
Does prayer work? This question is a bad question. Prayer is not a utilitarian practice aimed at achieving an accomplishment. Neither is prayer an exercise in which a person gets everything that he asks for if he takes great care to state the request properly.
Prayer is communion with God. It is more than communication with God. Communication implies an exchange of words and logic. Often prayer consists of nonverbal outcries that are far more emotional than rational. The substance of prayer is communion with God—the act of being with God.
So, to ask if prayer works is to misunderstand the nature of the experience. It’s like asking, “Does love work?” or “What do you get out of talking to the one you love?”
In our communion with God, we need not occupied with logistics, language, or locale. We need only to speak to God with absolute candor and a total lack of inhibition. Prayer is an invitation to address the One who loves us beyond measure. Prayer does not lead to an experience with God; prayer is experiencing God.
The power of prayer does not depend on the one who makes the prayer, but on the one who hears the prayer.
We live in a noisy world. To get someone’s attention is no easy task. We must turn down the radio, turn away from the monitor, turn the corner of the page and set down the book. When someone is willing to silence everything else so they can hear us, is a privilege. A rare opportunity, indeed.
But God is different. He listens. You can talk to God because God listens. Your voice in heaven matters. He takes you very seriously. When you enter his presence, he turns to hear your voice. Even if you stammer or stumble over words, even if what you have to say impresses no one, it impresses God—and he listens.
He listens to the painful plea of the elderly in the rest home. He listens to the gruff confession of the death-row inmate. When the alcoholic begs for mercy, when the spouse seeks guidance, when the businessman steps off the street into the chapel, God listens.
You can’t count on a lot of things in this world. But this one thing you can count on: God hears your prayers.
The power of prayer does not depend on telling God what is in our hearts, but on us asking what is in his heart.
The power of prayer is to join God, not God joining us. The power of prayer is to rearrange us, not us to rearrange God. The power of prayer is to ask what is on God’s heart, not us telling God what is in our hearts. Prayer’s power adjusts; it does not change God.
The power of prayer is unleashed not by our eloquence, but by our hurt.
God is moved more by the hurt and pain in our hearts than by the eloquence of the words from our mouths. Never forget that God is a father. And as a father, he is moved by the hurts of his people. He responds. That’s what fathers do.
Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer comes from the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference. God is moved by our hurts, not by our eloquence. When we pray, humbly and specifically, the forces of heaven come to our aid.
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