Never underestimate the power of prayer in our lives

Published 5:17 am Sunday, April 30, 2023

If you could ask God for one thing and know that He would give it to you, what would it be?
Would you ask Him for a better job, a cure for cancer or some money in the bank to help you through the hard times?
Jesus had twelve close associates that He had chosen specifically to help Him in ministry.
These twelve disciples were the ones who ate with Him, lived with Him, and ministered by His side.
They also had the opportunity to ask Him for anything they needed and He would grant it.
One day while watching Jesus, they saw something in Him that caught their attention.
It was something they wanted more than anything else in life.
Luke 11:1 says, “It came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’”
What was it about the way Jesus prayed that caught the disciples’ attention?
I believe they saw the intimate relationship Jesus had with His Father in prayer.
They heard the confidence in His voice from knowing that His Father heard Him and would give Him whatever He asked.
I also believe that far too many times we underestimate the power of prayer.
As a pastor, I have found myself in hospital rooms many times with patients that were terminally ill.
The doctor would walk in and deliver the news that a life-threatening illness was eating away the patient’s life and there was only a short time left to make final preparations.
I have seen the agonized look on the faces of their loved ones as someone says, “All we can do now is pray and hope the end isn’t too painful.”
Why do we wait until problems get too hard for us to handle before we pray?
Perhaps it is because we have forgotten that the only power God yields to is prayer.
I believe that prayer is the most underestimated and least-used tool in a Christian’s arsenal.
In the book of Ephesians, chapter 6, the Apostle Paul lists all the parts of the Armor of God: the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, sword of the spirit, shield of faith, and shoes of peace.
Then, in verse 18, he gives us the key to making the Holy Armor fully functional, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
You see, there is more to prayer than just giving God our wish list and telling Him what we want.
Prayer is interceding for lost, hurting people, it’s communicating with God and allowing Him to speak to us, it’s wrestling with spiritual wickedness in high places over the fate of our nation.
At this point of time in our nation’s history, our concern as Americans should be for godly leaders and our country’s safety.
We should look beyond our differences and unite together stronger than ever!
Our one request should be the same as the twelve disciples so long ago, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
The 71st Annual National Day of Prayer will be on Thursday.
The theme this year is Pray Fervently in Righteousness and Avail Much! It is based on James 5:16b, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Kathy Branzell, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez will be leading the nation in a unified prayer at 8 p.m. Thursday on Facebook livestream and on your favorite Christian TV stations.
Let’s join together and see what the power of prayer can do!

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.

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