5 Amazing Bible Facts About The Power Of Prayer
Here are 5 amazing facts that you may or may not know about the power of prayer.
Talk about the power of prayer! You have to include Elijah’s prayer where James writes that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit” (James 5:17-18) so the point here is that Elijah is “a man with a nature like ours” meaning he is sinful as all men and women are (Rom 3:10-12, 23) but also the fact that he has the same access to God’s power as we do. God is no respecter of persons or shows no favoritism (Acts 10:34; Rom 2:11) so what He can do for one man or woman, He can do for any of us. I am not saying that we can pray and have a three year drought because God’s will must always be consistent with what we pray for. Apparently, God sent the drought because it was according to His purpose so God does hear our prayers can answer in powerful ways if He wills. The reason James wrote about Elijah was so that the church would understand that “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16b).
During the time of Elisha’s earthly ministry the king of Aram was at war with Israel (2nd Kings 6:8) and after Elisha had warned the king of Israel about this, the king of Aram became enraged over this (2nd Kings 6:11) knowing that it was Elisha that somehow was passing on their battle plans to the king of Israel (2nd Kings 6:12). The king of Aram sent out his main forces to take Elisha captive and overnight their forces had surrounded the city where Elisha was (2nd Kings 6:13-14) and then “the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked” (2nd Kings 6:15). Did Elisha panic? No, he simply said “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked” (2nd Kings 6:16-18). This reminds me very much of Romans 8:31b which says “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Since Elisha is the protégé of Elijah and Elijah is of our same nature, we have the same access to God and if it glorifies Him, He can answer in supernatural ways. We cannot limit what God can do.
God’s Power in Prayer
The power is not in our prayers…it is in the God to Whom we pray. Paul reminded the Corinthians “For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it” (1st Cor 4:7)? God must always be given glory in answered prayer because the goal is to glorify Jesus’ name through Whom we pray through. It is so easy to pray and then receive an answer only to make us or our prayers the reason. That puts the focus on us and not on Who it should be on. The theme of the Bible is that it was always God Who “in their trouble…delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven” (Psalm 107:28b-30). These verses are exactly like the time when Jesus calmed the storm by His Word where Jesus “rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him” (Matt 8:26b-287)? What sort of Man is He? He is God, that’s Who! He is the Creator of the storm and has power and authority of the storm and over all things and creatures. When God does answer our prayers we must ascribe or credit Him will all the glory or He may choose to say no to our requests. God has can suspend the natural laws He created to do anything He pleases and is unlimited in His omnipotence (all-powerful). If you believe that, and you should, then your prayer requests on behalf of His glory are also unlimited.
Five Amazing Facts
As we have read about previous accounts in the Bible, God has all power at His disposal to answer our prayers if we will but believe but it must be for His glory and He must receive all credit. Jesus Himself said “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).
God can supernaturally work through time and space that are sometimes unexplainable. God can choose to work in ways that are unseen by human eyes but it must be understood that “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
What we see and what we don’t’ see might surprise us as it did Elisha’s servant; there’s a lot more angelic activity going on than we are even aware of. If God would open our eyes to see the spiritual world, I think we would all fall on our faces.
When James and John, the “Sons of Thunder” were angry at the Samaritan village for rejecting Jesus’ message (Luke 9:53), they wanted to call down “fire from heaven” to consume them as if they were like Elijah (2nd Kings 1:10) and said “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them” (Luke 9:54) but Jesus rebuked them and said “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man came not to destroy people's lives but to save them” (Luke 9:55). In God’s wisdom, the answer is sometimes no…thankfully!
The faithful or persistent manner in which you pray shows God just how important it is to you as in the case of the Persistent Widow who never gave up on seeking justice before an unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). Remember that Jesus said “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14) but He never said how many times we should ask.
I cannot ever forget the faithful mother that I read about who prayed for her son in prison for twenty-three years! Most of us would have given up by then but she was faithful and like the Persistent Widow, she came before the throne of heaven through Jesus Christ and day after day begged God to intervene on behalf of her son’s life. She desperately prayed day after day, month after month, and year after year (over two decades!) and God finally did answer her prayer but only because it was the Father’s will that her son not perish (2nd Pet 3:9) and it was God’s timing, which is always perfect. Even Elijah may have been impressed by this mother’s faithfulness and really, what greater miracle is there than for us to be made alive by God’s Holy Spirit (1st Cor 15) and we who were once lost are now found; by God Himself. The miracle of conversion is the greatest, most powerful, and most miraculous work that God could ever do in a human so ask yourself: Have you ever considered the possibility that you were saved by God through someone else’s prayer?
Article by Pastor Jack Wellman