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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer
I believe that prayer is the greatest privilege of our lives.  It is fellowship with the Unseen God.  We can share our hearts with the living God and listen for His Voice.  And He promises to hear and answer our prayers. We come to God our loving Father through Jesus our Savior.
Prayer is simple.  It was not meant to be complicated. Charles Spurgeon, who was a great evangelist and theologian said: “When we pray, the simpler our prayers are, the better.” Prayer is simply talking and listening to our loving heavenly Father. Praying should be as natural as breathing.  We can go to God praying in faith, boldly and freely and confidently.  He promises to give believers in Christ what we ask for if it is in His will.  Scripture says: “Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:24) e He H
Jesus said: “When you pray, do not heap up words repeating the same words over and over as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.”  (Matthew 6:7)  I don’t believe Jesus was saying that it is wrong to pray long prayers, if we feel like it.  But I think He was telling us that we don’t need to repeat long prayers over and over thinking that God will answer them quicker because we have spent so much time speaking.  God is looking at your heart, not your eloquent words.  Just be yourself when you pray. 
We can be as close to God as we want to.  Scripture says; “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8) We come closer to God by wanting to obey Him and by trusting Him.  And when we love and trust God we have a dynamic and vibrant prayer life.  God desires our love and our trust.  He loves it when we praise and thank Him. When we worship Him. He wants a relationship with us.  Scripture says: “For the eyes of the Lord search throughout the whole earth to find those whose hearts are committed to Him so He can strengthen them.”  (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Scripture says: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person makes tremendous power available.” (James 5:16b) You may be thinking that your prayers aren’t working because you are not righteous.  But Scripture says that if we believe in Christ as our Savior and Lord we are righteous.  We may not do everything right, but we are still “righteous” because Jesus has covered us with His righteousness!  Scripture says: “For God made Him(Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Jesus).” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Righteousness describes our position before God because we are covered with Jesus’ righteousness!  Isn’t that awesome?
The Bible tells us to pray in every circumstance.  When we are afraid, when we are sick, when we are glad or thankful.  Philippians 4:6-7 says: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which transcends our understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  I am anxious about so many things: and this Bible passage has helped me remember always to pray instead of being anxious.  
For the last couple of days, I have been anxious!  Anxious about a baby bird, just three weeks old with a broken wing.  Day after day this bird with its long green legs and fuzzy baby face wandered back and forth in our front yard and around our neighbors’ tree right next to our yard. Sometimes the baby stood huddled in the yard not moving. This bird – a heron- with its hurt wing, couldn’t fly back up in the tree to its nest with the other baby birds at night to roost. The nest was on the top branch high up the tall tree. The poor little baby just slept alone in the dirt under the tree night after night with it’s wing flopping by it’s side. When the others flew off this little bird was left alone.
 Cats run around our neighborhood and coyotes roam our streets at night looking for a meal. We were afraid this baby with it’s drooping wing would be killed since it couldn’t fly away from a predator. We prayed for God’s guidance as to what to do for this hurt bird. And then we went to the internet and  found a bird doctor.  We called the bird doctor who promised to take care of the bird’s wing the next day if we could catch it.  The neighbor ran out and bought a net from a sporting goods store.  We would catch the bird in the net and put it in a box and take it to the bird doctor the next morning.
But when we woke the next morning all ready to catch our bird,the little bird was gone! Hours passed by and we feared the worst!  My neighbor drove around the neighborhood anxiously  looking for the bird.  And I walked around searching in every bush and under every rock but to no avail. My neighbor came back from her search crying . We stopped and both prayed together and asked God to save this silly bird. 
More hours passed by and then as the shadows of night were falling, without warning the baby bird was back again.  It just appeared under the neighbor’s tree just when the other baby birds were flying back to their nest for the night.  We sprang into action.  Caught the bird with the net.  Put it in a box and drove it down to the bird doctor.  Today the bird is having it’s wing operated on and in a few weeks it should be able to fly.  
I am telling this little bird story to get the point across that even a hurt little bird is worth holding up before God in prayer. We can pray short prayers about every situation that comes our way.  Ephesians 6:18 says: “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. “ We can pray for people that cross our path each day. Pray God’s blessing on people that He leads us to pray for. And thank God and praise Him for the blessings and help He gives us each day. Ask Him for strength and help.  And worship Him in His holiness. If our first response to every problem or joy or illness can be to pray, we will experience major breakthroughs in our lives.
I believe that God wants us to live a lifestyle of prayer. He wants us to talk to Him every day and listen for His words and guidance.  He longs for our praise and prayers of thanksgiving and  worship too.   Prayer could possibly become  boring if we think of it as a chore or an obligation.  But we can ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayers.  The Holy Spirit is full of creativity and life. Letting the Holy Spirit lead will bring freedom to our prayer lives.
Prayer opens the door for God to work.  We can pray when we need the power of heaven to come into our lives and bring guidance and help and breakthrough.  We are ordinary people with extraordinary power when we pray, and natural people who are living supernatural lives because we can pray. Down through the ages until now, people have experienced the power of prayer.  Prayer is the greatest power in the universe.   
Many of the ideas from this blog were taken from Joyce Meyer’s book, “The Power of Simple Prayer.”    




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