The Power of Prayer
“Then Jesus spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1,8).
Jesus taught that persistence in prayer will be rewarded. Even an unrighteous judge will answer the prayer of a no-name widow because of her persistence in prayer. If this is the case, will not our righteous judge hear and answer the prayers of his children? Jesus said, “I tell you that he will.”
Moses cried unto God and the Red Sea rolled back like a scroll making a way where there was no way. David said, “Evening and morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud” This was the custom of the pious Hebrews who believed each new day started in the evening, and hence David mentions the evening first. The rabbis believed that men should pray three times each day because the day changes three times (Psalm 55:17; Daniel 6:10). Daniel prayed three times daily and the deep wonders of prophecy were revealed to him. Three Hebrew boys were not ashamed to pray in Babylon and the son of God walked with them through flames of fire.
God heard the sinner’s prayer and created in him a clean heart and washed him whiter than snow. Job was delivered from his misery when he prayed for his accusers. Hannah prayed to the Lord and because of her prayer, the prophet Samuel was born. Elisha went into the home of a mourning mother and prayed a prayer that raised the dead.
Elijah prayed and fire from heaven fell, and his enemies were no more. Jonah prayed from the bottom of the sea and God heard and brought him safely to shore and revival broke out in Nineveh. Hezekiah sought the face of God in a time of inevitable military defeat and in one night, in one hour, without one soldier raising a sword, an Angel of the Lord slew 185 thousand of his enemies. He prayed again when he was hopelessly sick and when death was only hours away. God said, “I have heard your prayer… I will heal you.”
Likewise, the New Testament encourages us all to believe that God hears and answers prayer. The apostles not only preached about prayer, but they also attended prayer meetings and prayed with great zeal. Peter and John were on the way to the temple when they stopped at the Gate Beautiful to pray for a man crippled from his mother’s womb. Moments later he was dancing and leaping and praising God in the Temple. Believers prayed for power and the place where they prayed was shaken to its timbers and many were refilled with the power of the Holy Spirit. While the church was praying for Peter’s delivery from prison an angel awakened him and unlocked every iron gate before him. Paul and Silas had a midnight prayer meeting in the jail at Philippi. The power of God shook the prison to its foundations, their chains fell off and they were set free. The pages of God’s word are filled with testimonies of answered prayer to encourage us to do the same.
By word and example, the scriptures emphasize the value and the power of prayer. In the face of impossible situations, Jesus taught us that we ought always to pray and not to faint. There are no iron gates, or iron chains strong enough, no wall or mountain high enough, no enemy or circumstance invincible enough that God cannot break through. He specializes in things thought impossible. Stay Encouraged!
“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27)
Pastor Robert Bryant