What is it that will make any Christian a powerful Christian. The answer is very simple, It is our Prayer life. Prayer is our Power. It isn’t part of our power, it isn’t some of our power, it is our only power. True genuine power only comes from the Lord Jesus, and the only way for us to experience His power is through a vibrant, fertile, and active prayer life. Any Christian that is not a praying church is just a noisy Christian, because nothing very real for heaven is actually happening. I want to give you some things to know about the real power of real prayer.
The Facts of Prayer
What is Prayer? What does it mean to Pray? Have you ever heard anyone say in their prayer, “Lord, I want to pray for Suzy” or “I want to pray for Larry”? Of course you have, you’ve probably done it yourself. We all have. The reality however is that all we’ve said is “Lord, I want to talk to you about Suzy.” “Lord, I want to talk to you about Larry.” Then we never really talk to Him about them. To pray is not synonymous with request! Requesting is a part of prayer, as we will see a little later, but it does not constitute prayer. What then is prayer? It is honest communication with God. To pray is not to ask, it is to communicate. Through the Bible and the Holy Spirit, God speaks to us about everything. Through prayer, we speak to God about everything.
The Fabric of Prayer
There are different fibers in the fabric of each prayer. Not every prayer contains everyone of these; however, each of these are a different kind of prayer.
Adoration – When was the last time you prayed without asking for anything? For many people, if they had to quit asking God for things, they wouldn’t have anything to say. One kind of prayer that is just as much a prayer as any other kind is the prayer of Adoration. The Prayer of Praise. This is the prayer that simply communicates to God just how good you think He is.
Confession – Confession is a part of prayer. In fact there is no confession apart from prayer. It’s one thing to get something off your chest to a friend. It’s something else to get something out of your heart to the LORD. In order for us to maintain a right relationship with the Lord, we must maintain open lines of confession to Him. You and I confess to Him when we say what we know He sees. When we do not say what we know He sees, we are lying to Him by pretending that it isn’t there. The only way to purge ourselves is through admission of sin, agreement of guilt, and verbal confession to the Lord.
Supplication – The third kind of fabric in prayer is supplication. Another word for this often used is petition. This is the part of our prayers that make up our requests. When we ask the Lord to supply a particular need, our prayer is a supplication, or a petition. When we ask the Lord to give us strength, or grace, or any material need, we are declaring our dependence upon Him. Sometimes people get confused, because they know God knows already what we want and what we need, so why ask for it? In fact the Bible says in Luke 12:30 that “the Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.” Why then should we ask? Because my prayer is not to get God to do what I want but to get me in line with what God wants. When I ask Him for what I want or need out of a right spirit, I have already conditioned myself for His answer.
Intercession – Intercessory prayer is when we communicate to God a request that will benefit another person, rather than ourselves. The Bible makes it clear that we are to intercede for one another. Not just for sicknesses, but also for spiritual growth, for material needs, and for personal issues. When you and I pray as an intercessor, we are acting just like Jesus. Jesus is our intercessor, and when we do that for others, we’re just like Him.
Thanksgiving – Thanksgiving is not a holiday! It is a vibrant part of an active prayer life. Thanksgiving is giving credit where credit is due or in other words, giving glory where glory is due. Every fabric of prayer ought always to contain the fiber of thanksgiving to the Lord for Who He is, and for what He does.
The Fable of Prayer
Several years ago, a popular Country Music star wrote a smash hit with the main theme of the song being that “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” While that may make for a catchy tune, it is terrible theology. The fact is that there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer! Here are two things to consider:
1st—A Lost Man Can’t Pray! He can talk but He can’t pray. Until a man repents of His sin and re ceives Christ in his heart, all he can do is make noise. He cannot truly pray. Now he may be like Cornelius and be praying for light and truth to be revealed, but there is no need in making petition for anything else, until he has petitioned for that.
2nd—A Saved Man’s Prayer is Always Answered. 1 John 5:14 guarantees us that God hears our prayers. 1 John 5:15 guarantees that if we pray in the will of God He will grant our request.
The fact is that God has three answers to prayers: Yes, no, and not now. It is folly for us to believe that sometimes God doesn’t answer prayers. The truth is that God does not always say yes! That is difficult for some people to swallow, but it is true.
When God Says No – Deuteronomy 3:23-27—He said No to Moses; 2 Samuel 12:16-18—He said No to David; Matthew 26:39-44—He said No to Jesus; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9—He said No to Paul. God is not obligated to grant anyone’s request concerning any issue. All requests that get the answer yes must be something that doesn’t contradict or conflict with His eternal plan or His revealed Will. Moses wanted to enter the promise land after God had already said that He wouldn’t. David plead for the life of his child, and God had another plan. Jesus asked to let the cup of the cross pass from Him, but in God’s Divine Design the cross of Christ became the crux of history. Paul desired for the removal of a personal hindrance, yet God in His sovereignty knew that Paul needed that hindrance. The only key to have all of your prayers answered yes, is to want what God wants you to want. When you want what He wants you to want, He’ll say yes to anything that you ask.
When God Says Not Now! – Did you know that God answered one of Jesus’ prayers with a not now. In Matthew 6:10, Jesus prayed “Thy Kingdom come.” He asked for the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. Well it hasn’t happened yet, but it will. God didn’t tell Jesus yes, but He didn’t say no. The scripture teaches that there is a time when the Kingdom will come. Because God doesn’t say yes doesn’t mean that He’s said no, He may just be saying wait. Revelation 6:9-11 God told the Martyrs—Not Now; Romans 12:19—God promised He would repay wickedness; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 God said He would execute vengeance when Christ returns.
Learning the place of real power, would be a real turning point in the lives of most Christians. Ritual poems, empty words, and public orations seem to go by the way side, once we learn the real power in real prayer, and we find out that it is a Change Worth Making.