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Monday, December 1, 2008

The Miracle Of Prayer

by David J. Stewart

praying_hands It is disturbing to find so many people that fail to believe God answers prayer. Several top “authors” and so-called “professionals” being interviewed on TV lately, have claimed that prayer is a great therapy (as an end in itself). You never hear them mention God. It is sad that prayer has been diminished to the status of going to the park to watch the birds. Prayer is not effective because it is a good therapy. Prayer is effective because there is an omnipotent (all powerful) God up in heaven that hears and answers prayer!  I am leery of bumper sticker theology.  I see bumper stickers promoting about the "Power of Prayer," but prayer is nothing without a Powerful Divine God.  I believe in the "Power of God."

Answered prayer can only happen by a miracle of God. A “Miracle” is defined in the Random House College Dictionary as “an event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a divine or supernatural cause”. In other words, GOD DID IT! Everything God does then is a miracle because His power is divine, not human or natural. When we pray, we are petitioning the Creator of the universe for a miracle. If God decides to grant our request (s), it can be nothing less than a divine miracle performed by an Almighty God.

Prayer is not to be taken lightly because God just may give you what you ask. I remember a country song by Garth Brooks, “I thank God for unanswered prayer”. He had been praying, as a youngster, for God to give him a certain girl to be his wife. God didn’t answer his request. He sees this same woman many years later, and then thanks God that his prayers were never answered! So be careful what you pray!!!

Jesus never preached an all night sermon, but he prayed all night! Luke 6:12 says concerning Jesus “He went out into a mountain to pray, and CONTINUED ALL NIGHT IN PRAYER to God.” Jesus disciples could not even watch and pray for “ONE HOUR” (Matthew 26:40,41). Are we guilty of the same negligence in prayer? The Bible says Jesus “continued”, he simply started praying and kept on praying as he felt necessary. Too many Believers center their life around the TV, not Jesus Christ.

Daniel was also a man of prayer! “...he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he KNEELED UPON HIS KNEES THREE TIMES A DAY, AND PRAYED, and GAVE THANKS before his God, AS HE DID AFORETIME” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel had a prayer life. He was about 80 years old now and kept his windows open toward Jerusalem (about 600 miles away) because that’s where his heart was. Jerusalem was his home town. He had been taken into Babylonian captivity as a young lad and longed to be back with his own people again, in the city of his God. We too, are pilgrims passing through this old dark world, and we should open the windows of our heart in prayer towards heaven (home). Daniel prayed morning, evening and afternoon! “Elijah was A MAN SUBJECT TO LIKE PASSIONS AS WE ARE, and HE PRAYED EARNESTLY THAT IT MIGHT NOT RAIN: and IT RAINED NOT on the earth by the space of three years and six months” (James 5:17). What a wonderful truth! Elijah was just a plain, common, everyday human being just like you and me; yet he obtained an answer to his prayer for something VERY BIG! That’s exactly why God is telling us about it, so we will be encouraged to do the same. Even more wonderful is that God is telling us this as pertaining to physical illness and healing. “...PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous (saved) man availeth (accomplishes) much.” “Effectual” and “fervent” are words meaning ”energy”. In other words, you really mean business and are sincerely pouring your heart out to God the best you know how for a miracle. “...the PRAYER OF FAITH SHALL SAVE THE SICK...” (James 5:15). We need to pray and have “just enough” faith to simply keep praying! It matters not where the faith comes from: a child, someone at church, mom, dad (faith is faith). More than likely it was the elders of the church who had the faith, but not necessarily. It is Jesus Who heals the sick (Matthew 8:16,17), we simply must ask for the healing. “Asking” is faith in itself. One would not ask God for something without at least some degree of faith. Christ is alive today! Go to Him in prayer now.

Now here’s a heart warming truth in Acts 12:1-16. Wicked King Herod had just killed James the Apostle “with the sword”, probably by beheading. Herod saw that “it pleased the Jews”. The Jews were a wicked, rebellious people and most hated Christ. They demanded that the Roman government crucify Jesus, and they did! The persecution continued. Steven was brutally murdered by the Jews in Acts 7:54-60. Jesus, Steven and James had been slain by the Jews, who would be next? Herod now had Peter bound in prison and looked forward to killing him. “...but PRAYER WAS MADE WITHOUT CEASING of the church unto God for him” (Acts 12:5). Guess what? A miracle happened! God answered their prayers and sent an angel to rescue Peter—divine power at work! After Peter was freed, the angel departed. Now Peter comes to the house where everybody was still praying for him (vs. 12). He knocks on the door and Rhoda asks who it is. When she heard Peter’s voice, she was so happy that she ran to tell the others and forgot to open the door! They told Rhoda “THOU ART MAD”. Your nuts! Crazy! Peter was still outside knocking. The Bible says when all those who had been praying opened the door, “THEY WERE ASTONISHED” (vs. 16). “Astonished” means “to put out of wits”. In other words, their minds were amazed! Here’s the beauty of this truth— even though this group of believers didn’t have much faith, God still answered their prayers. They had so little faith that when God did answer their prayers, THEY DIDN'T BELIEVE IT! Wow! What an encouragement to pray! Praying is faith in itself! If you have JUST ENOUGH FAITH to pray (ask) God for something, that’s all the faith God requires. What a Savior! Do you have doubts? Did you know that the more doubt you have, the greater is your faith—as long as you act on the faith! Faith is believing, in spite of the doubts. No matter how much you may doubt that God will answer your prayers, if you simply ask—that’s all the faith needed for your prayer to be answered!

Likewise, all the faith you need to become a born-again believer is JUST ENOUGH. If you have “just enough” faith to “call upon the name of the Lord” (Romans 10:13), you will be saved. “Call” means “to rely upon.” Won’t you make that decision NOW to “rely” 100% upon Jesus Christ as your Savior? Admit to God you’re a sinner, deserving of hell. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and take you to heaven when you die. Let God work the miracle of salvation in your soul now. God bless!

 

For Further reading on the subject of Prayer

Read my post on Prayer here

21 Readers Commented:

  1. "Prayer is not effective because it is a good therapy. Prayer is effective because there is an omnipotent (all powerful) God up in heaven that hears and answers prayer!"

    Wow, talk about an inspired statement! Thank you for posting this article, and for providing a link to your own wonderful article about prayer, my dear Hannah IJ!!! (I hope you are feeling better.)

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  2. P.S.: Thank you also for removing the comment moderation. Hopefully, not too many will test your faith about this.

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  3. Wow thanks a lot Dear Fishhawk, woke up with a terrible headache and queasy feeling, but my mum and Lucky says I shouldn't repeat the malaria treatment for now so am a little weak and tired too maybe am having what is known as residual fever . . . it normally happens to me when I must have had a serious malaria attack


    thanks for loving the post I did write the other one around this time last year but the Word of God is the same never falling,

    Godbless

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  4. Wow, this is an awesome post. And the LORD's timing is always right. The sermon in church was about faith... how faithful the LORD is to HIS people ALL WAYS, but how unfaithful we tend to be sometimes. Whether it's spending meaningful time with HIM -- like in prayer, for example. Or studying HIS word instead of casually reading it once in a while. Instead, many of us are faithfully lazy, faithful in showing up in church every week and taking our usual seats but not doing a single thing, internally or externally.

    Anyway, I was personally convicted by the sermon and this article. I have been slacking recently with praying as often and meaningfully as I used to -- the LORD says it's not quantitative, like how long or how often we pray... but that when we do pray, that it's in Spirit and in truth. We could pray 10 times a day, but if it's not coming from the heart, as they say, if it's not with the utmost sincerity, then you might as well not pray at all.

    Again, thanks for this post. And GOD does answer prayer... and HIS power is not impeded because we DON'T pray, but when we come to HIM that's the first act of faith -- that we believe HE will hear and answer. Sometimes, that's all HE's waiting for -- to see you come by faith.

    Amen and Hallelujah!

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  5. Godbless you LAvrai great comment you made am happy you lov the post

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  6. God indeed hears and answers prayers in His timing and in His will. What we ask for may not be what God wants for us. This is when we get discouraged and think the prayer has gone unanswered. Or we get discouraged when we don't receive an answer right away from God. God gives us what we "need" at the point and time in our lifes. God is a giving God and He knows what is best for us.

    I pray to God thanking Him for "WHO" He is in my life and not for what I "WANT" from Him. God knows exactly what I need and when I need it. When I feel down, I talk to God. When I feel happy, I talk to God. When I feel scared, I talk to God. I believe some people do not realize that sometimes God just wants us to "TALK" to Him. He just wants us to fellowship with Him not ask Him for everything all the time. I have come to learn this point in my prayer life.

    God is the best friend anyone could ever have. He is the best father and mother anyone can ever have. He listens. He does not judge us nor put us down when we stumble and fall. He lifts us up and tells us to keep our head up. He loves us and wants us to be happy and joyful. He wants us to live a life filled with peace and hope. He wants us to enjoy life!

    I thank God for prayer. I thank Him that I can come to Him 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. His prayer line is always, always open and it is never, never, never busy! Praise Him! There is indeed power in prayer! AMEN!!

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  7. Amen and Amen sis Valerie Prayer is the master Key

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  8. Hello Hanna,

    I loved what you said here:
    Do you have doubts? Did you know that the more doubt you have, the greater is your faith—as long as you act on the faith! Faith is believing, in spite of the doubts. No matter how much you may doubt that God will answer your prayers, if you simply ask—that’s all the faith needed for your prayer to be answered!

    What insight! I never really looked at it that way. But it makes sense. Thank you for the encouragement! This is one of those RHEMA messages that i will never forget. I truly Thank you for sharing and God bless you!

    Tamela :)

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  9. Hello Sis,

    I have chosen your blog as one of my favorites, so please stop by and pick up this award

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  10. Hello my friend and sister in Christ. I have an award awaiting for you. Love you!

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  11. Godbless you in Jesus Mighty Name sis Tamela

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  12. Thank you sis Gi and Valerie to God be the Glory.
    I appreciatye all you have done for me the the blog

    Godbless you two greatly Amen
    Much love

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  13. These are really good quotes - I especially like the quote from Charles Spurgeon. There are many Christians who think they are saved, but have no fruit displayed in their lives. Thanks for posting these quotes. God bless!

    I'm praying that you feel better Hanna. You're a great friend:)

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  14. I just realized that I commented on the wrong post. This is for your latest post. Sorry:(

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  15. They are all So true sis Lori, Godbless you in Jesus Mighty Name and likewise you have also being a great friend too

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  16. Oh, it makes me so sad to think that there are people who have overlooked the deep power of prayer! Christ taught us how to pray, and provided examples of ways that they change things and help us to learn the will of God. Yes, prayer can be meditative, but if one's definition of it begins and ends there - they are truly missing the most astounding element. Thank you for this great post!

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  17. Hanna excellent article. I cannot agrue the micracle of prayer, because prayer does miracles. Thanks for sharing. You are back to my favorite blog layout of yours. God Bless, and hope all is well. Anna :)

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  18. Godbless you sis Lori, that is why we are to tell others about the power of Prayers

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  19. Hi Sis Anna, Godbless you so much

    LoL it is not the same template but same header image will be using this till further notice

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  20. lol I guess I have seen many different templates on your blog, lol, whatever you do it is always nice. The library header is nice and soothing....Anna :)

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  21. LOL Sis Anna, the thing is the library header is not going come out well on this template. . . I tried it.

    God bless

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