The Power of Prayer

 

“The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (James 5:16 MSG) 

This is a true story believe it or not. One summer’s day, when I was fourteen, I was getting all hyped up at an open air service because we were reaching out to tourists in ‘sunny Newcastle’. Unfortunately, as our Church was setting up the rain started lashing down. It poured from the heavens like nothing ordinary! There was thunder and lightning, the full works. It was as if God hadn’t spared a single drop of rain. My smile quickly turned to a frown as people started making a quick dash for their cars. How could we preach Christ if no-one was listening? 

Our pastor sadly said if the rain didn’t stop in a matter of minutes we would have to pack up and head home. Huddling under an umbrella I prayed with all my heart “Lord, stop the rain” the split second I said “amen” the rain stopped. Just like that. Not another drop left heavens storehouse. Breathing a prayer of thanks I looked up into the sky and saw a break in the clouds above the promenade. On the horizon of the sea I could see the lightening and hear the thunder but it kept its distance. The power of prayer. Awesome. 

Kind of reminds me of a miracle-prayer that Elijah prayed on Mount Carmel with all his might. I’d have a quick flick to 1 Kings 18:16-39 if I were you. Here’s the jist of the story. The prophets of Baal had a wee bit of rivalry going with Elijah so they had a prayer shout-out to their gods.  But there was no answer, not a peep. Baal must have ‘bailed’ on them!  Then it was Elijah’s turn to step up to the challenge.  He poured lorry-loads of water on the altar till it was soaking and sopping wet. Kind of gives the impression he thinks it’s nothing more than a walk in the park, doesn’t it? 

1 Kings 18:36-37 (NIV) tells the tale, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” You can guess what happened next. God answered, speedily! Fire fell. What is God asking of you? To believe. Nothing more. Nothing less. Pray believing, pray with a purpose.  Matthew 21:22, “and all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” Pretty neat verse huh? Why don’t you put it to the test?

Think upon these things: 

Prayer- get to the heart of the matter and pray from the heart.

Prayer: 

ALMIGHTY GOD I pray that You would teach me to pray- passionately, persistently and powerfully… 

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