Summary: We talk about prayer, study about it and state how we should pray. But how many of us - practically speaking - have untapped the power of prayer?
The Power of Prayer
Theme: what makes prayer so powerful
A. Satan knows…
1. If he can afflict the people of God…
2. Or somehow weaken their faith…
3. Then they (God’s people) will be distracted from using their most powerful weapon against him: prayer.
B. God knows…
1. If we place our trust in Him…
2. And petition Him with our afflictions and sinful weaknesses…
3. Then we (God’s people) will cast our attention and our absolute dependency upon Him who battles for us: through prayer.
C. Many of us (God’s people) do not practically realize the power of prayer.
1. We state our belief in prayer, but live as if there is not much to it.
2. Case in point: we can sit through hours of __________ yet many of us have difficulty praying past 5-15 minutes…a day?
3. Because we live in the flesh we have a hard time praying to God (who is Spirit). Cp. Eph. 6:12ff
D. Let’s look at:
1. What makes prayer so powerful.
2. Reasons we need prayer’s power.
3. Note: this is NOT an exhaustive study on prayer (e.g. – studying prayer with thanksgiving), simply at how powerful prayer is (and can/should be) in our lives.
II. WHAT MAKES PRAYERS POWERFUL
A. The most obvious fact is that we are praying to God.
1. God desires to have fellowship with man. Jn. 3:16-18
2. God has given (by His grace) prayer as the means for man to communicate with Him.
3. God desires, therefore, that we pray to Him. Prov. 15:8 ; Matt. 7:7-11
4. God has the means of answering our prayers. Cp. Ex. 15:23-25
B. Thus, God wants to bless us when we… Jas. 5:13-18
1. Pray with faith. Jas. 1:5-8;
2. Pray with fervency (energeo: hard working).
3. Live in righteousness. Jas. 5:16
4. Pray on behalf of each other. Jas. 5:14-15, 16 (cp. Isa. 1:5, 6:9-10)
C. Ultimately, what makes prayer so powerful is that:
1. We are not relying on our own pitiful strength. 2 Cor. 12:10
2. Instead, we humbly trust in God’s divine providential care work through our lives. Psa. 55:22
I. REASONS WE NEED PRAYER’S POWER
A. Because faithful Christians will suffer afflictions.
1. When striving to stand firm for the cause of Christ you will endure afflictions. Cp. 1 Pet. 4:14-16
2. It is during times of afflictions that we need God. cp. Psa. 34:4-7
3. To know the power of prayer we must – as in the ancient days – see through the eyes of faith and call out to God for His help. Cp. 2 Ki. 6:8ff
B. Those weak (spiritually), possible stricken with sin. Jas. 5:14-16
1. In addition to afflictions, some may be “sick” because of our own weaknesses. Rom. 14:1-2; 1 Cor. 8:11-12
2. To realize the power of prayer we need the prayer of the righteous on our behalf.
3. We need, by faith, to expect the prayer of the righteous to refresh our souls knowing God is pleased to answer the prayers of the righteous.
C. When we all pray continuously, fervently and live righteously:
1. We’ll be able to see God’s power working (energeo) through us and for us. Phil. 2:12-13
2. By our actions – we are placing our trust in God, to fight our battles against sin and oppression for us. (Note: this does not mean we have no part on our end). Cp. Dt. 20:1-4