Prayer is powerful! This is a statement I could not have proclaimed before I was taught the accuracy of God’s Word by our Biblical research, teaching, and fellowship ministry of The Way. Since being taught how to pray effectively, I can state with all confidence that there is power in prayer!
One of the many times that I vividly remember God’s mighty power in my prayer life was during my early years in the ministry. My husband and I had moved to a new state to coordinate a work of the ministry. We were very excited about our new assignment, and we looked forward to growing in God’s Word and giving our best to serve His people.
We found our housing very quickly, and our next step to getting settled was to find employment. My husband was set in his new job, but I seemed to be having difficulty acquiring mine. I had many years of experience as a secretary in different environments, and I considered myself well qualified. And yet, nothing was opening up for me.
I continued to stay faithful to all I knew to do and tried not to get discouraged. Weeks went by—and still no job. I started to become frustrated to the point that my mind began to doubt, worry, and fear. So along with getting my husband’s loving counsel, I called our coordinator and voiced my concern. He encouraged me to continue putting God’s Word on first thing and praying every morning before I went out for the day. He reminded me to be specific in my prayers and to stay thankful. He gave me the following verse to consider.
Be careful [be anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication [specific requests] with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
He suggested I type the verse out on a card and tape it to the dashboard of my car so I could read and see it every time I went out for the day—to help build my believing as I prayed. The very next day I did just what he exhorted me to do, and the results were precisely what the next verse promises.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When I got specific in my prayers with a thankful heart, the peace of God reigned! That same day God came through for me with mighty results. I was offered a very prestigious position at a local university that not only afforded me experience in another field of work, but also opened the door for God’s Word to move out on that campus.
Operating the principle of believing as we pray brings the power of God into effective reality in our lives. The Word of God is filled with examples of this truth. Let’s enjoy some Biblical records that demonstrate how the heartfelt prayer of people who loved and believed God preceded the mighty working of God. Then we’ll consider specifics we can pray for today and a practical way to incorporate the power of prayer in our lives.
The first record we’ll look at, found in the Book of Nehemiah, shows how prayer preceded God’s mighty power being manifested. Reading in Nehemiah, we learn that the wall of Jerusalem had been broken down. The wall was originally built to protect Israel from its enemies. Nehemiah was very concerned about the safety of God’s people, and the broken wall saddened him because the people lacked this fortification. We see in the Word that Nehemiah’s response to this situation was not to become angry and rush to get a five-senses solution. His first action was to involve God in the situation by prayer. He went to God quickly. He went to God first.
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible [revered] God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:
Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.
We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.
Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.
Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.
O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear [respect] thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.
Nehemiah had a tremendous burden. He wanted God’s people to be secure. Have you ever heard the expression “I have the weight of the world on my shoulders”? It means you’re facing so much pressure that it seems too much for you to bear. Yet, a saying I heard many years ago that continues to remind me, exhort me, and help build my believing when I pray is “Prayer is where burdens change shoulders.” God is the One Who can and will release the pressures from us. He is the One we can trust. He will take the burdens from us as we let go and go to Him in prayer. God declares this truth in His Word….
This is an excerpt from the July/August 2013 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2013 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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