The Power of Praying

It is absolutely beyond the natural mind to believe that a little band of believers on their knees have the power to determine destiny, to rule kingdoms, to chart the course of events, to loose, to bind, to destroy, to give life, to bring revival; but it is verified in the Word of God.

More than once, Moses’ prayers saved his nation from destruction (Deuteronomy 9, 11, 16, 21).

On his knees, Daniel towered over pagan Babylon and made them know that God rules.

Elijah strangled the economy of a nation and then, with one prayer, broke the drought as a witness to the power of God.

Hosea prayed a hedge of thorns around his wayward wife until she would be redeemed (Hosea 2:6).

A prophet’s prayer blinded and subdued a destroying army who then took orders from him (II Kings 6).

Praying women initiated revival on the continent of Europe (Acts 16:13-15).

Cornelius prayed down an angel and a revival in an unlikely place with unlikely people (Acts 10).

A home prayer meeting dispatched an angel to unlock prison doors (Acts 12:5-7).

The prayer and praise of Paul and Silas provoked an earthquake which broke open a revival (Acts 16:25-34).

Peter prayed, Dorcas was raised from the dead, the whole city heard about it, and many believed (Acts 9:40-42).

Paul prayed, the governor’s father was healed and became a witness to the power of God (Acts 28:7,8).

Consider that small group praying had major effect on nations, heathens, enemies, continents, the economy, strange people, family, prisoners, angels, the sick, and the dead.  What an awesome thought, and most of it was done on location of daily living—in homes, on the street, or in public.  The power of aggressive prayer is easily accessible to all of us.

The early church prayer warriors not only prayed strong prayers bolstered by faith, but they were not afraid to exercise the authority which Jesus had given them.  Their bold prayers were accompanied with bold words.  They not only prayed, asking God for, they also spoke to, and against, as they perceived through the Holy Ghost.

In Acts 4:29-31, they decidedly spoke against the hindering forces and prayed for boldness accompanied with the miraculous.  There was no sign of timidity in their prayers.  Neither their ability nor worthiness was considered.  Their petitions were not made from a beggar’s stance.  Their unshakable confidence was in God and He shook the place to vindicate their primitive faith.

Peter not only prayed miraculous prayers (see Acts 5:1-11; 8:20-24), but he also spoke judgment and rebuked with the power and perception of the Holy Ghost.

Peter and John, without pseudo humility, could say, “Look on us,” and then with unshakable faith could say, “…rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

Peter visited palsied Aeneas and brought strong words of command rather than simple words of cheer.  “…Aneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole; arise…” (Acts 9:34).

Paul, on a downtown street, commanded:  “Stand upright on thy feet” (Acts 14:10).

This same authority and power has been given to us.  Read Matthew 10:1, 7, 8; Mark 16:17, 18, 20; and Acts 1:8.  Timidity, inferiority, and self-consciousness have no place in the spiritual life of a believer.  Let us raise our sights, enlarge our borders, and become bold enough to pray prayers and speak words appropriate to the power of our God.  In His divine wisdom, He has decreed to respond to us in proportion to what we ask of Him.  “Whatsoever ye ask…”

The telecommunications revolution, and now social media, has changed our world.  Almost everyday breakthroughs surprise us as to the extent of how man has learned to communicate.  Can we imagine the breakthroughs possible in communicating with God through prayer? The power of aggressive prayer, rooted in faith by the Word, and executed in boldness of authority by the Name, can change our world.

Prayer, What Is It?

Prayer is breath to the spirit.
It is the lifeline to the soul.
It is the tether to the eternal.
Prayer is communication between creature and creator.

It is the eye into the invisible.
It is the ear to the unspoken.
Prayer is the access into the heavenlies.

It is the activator of the miraculous.
Prayer is enlightenment to the mind.
It is understanding to the emotions.
Prayer is man’s greatest opportunity.

It is man’s daily challenge.
It is man’s amazing possibility.
Prayer – what is it?
Prayer is the mystery of all mysteries.

It is as complex as creation.It is as simple as a child’s talk.
It is the most powerful power available to man.
It is more piercing than a laser.
It is the seed of all things possible.It is the finality of man’s ability.
Prayer is man plugged into God.

It is God working through man.
Prayer is creative.
Destructive.  Cohesive.  Dividing.
Awe-inspiring.  Frightening.
Possible and probable.
Prayer is bigger than can be imagined.

It is faster than a beam of light.
It is endless in possibilities.
It can be more concentrated than an atom.
Prayer is forceful.  Tender.  Shattering.
Healing.  Complex and simple.

Prayer has never been totally understood, completely explained or utterly exhausted.
It is beyond the wisest man’s comprehension.
It can be effectively used by a child.
All the words ever known can not adequately describe it.

Yet it can be reduced to a single word.

Every language can speak it.

Only God can understand it.

Practice it and find peace.
Believe in it and find faith.
Let it consume you and really live.

Prayer – the unimaginable, incomprehensible, obtainable connection between the finite and the infinite, the earth bound and the Almighty who fills the universe.

Prayer – God’s gift to man.

Use it.  Engage it.  Revel in it.  Enjoy it.  Reap from its riches.

Sing it.  Read it.  Think it.  Speak it.

“Men ought always to pray. . .”

The Bible is a book of prayers.  There are over 600 recorded prayers.  There are long prayers, short prayers.  There are desperate prayers and prayers of devotion and thanksgiving.  There are requests and rebukes and repentance.  There are prayers of destruction, life-giving prayers, and multiple intercessions.  There are prayers from a lonely woman, a fearful child, a frightened fisherman, a patriarch, an apostle, a prophet and a disciple.

Leaders prayed.  Nations prayed.  Friends prayed.  Groups prayed.  Individuals prayed.  Sinners prayed.  Saints prayed.

Jesus prayed.

Men ought always to pray.

Prayers on Credit

It all happened during the night of January 26, 2004.  My knee replacement surgery had been successfully done that morning.  Teri, my daughter, was napping on the couch beside my hospital bed, thankful that I had finally settled down into a deep sleep.  A nurse came in to check my ‘vitals’ and pandemonium broke out. My blood pressure was 50/30… a blood clot had hit my lungs… along with diastolic heart failure… and kidney failure!  Three hours passed before I responded to anything.

Except for Teri, none of those who so faithfully prayed for me knew that my condition had changed from normal recovery of knee surgery to serious and life threatening.  Within 24 hours, many were praying for me – but not at the time I so desperately needed it. From this, I’ve learned a blessed lesson.

…before they call, I will answer…” is declared in Isaiah 65:24.  Prayers on credit! Credit is when you receive something for which you will pay later.  God is good – and so trusting!  If we have a good credit history of praying when prayer is called for, He will respond on credit!

You did not know in the middle of the night on January 26 that I desperately needed your prayers, but before you called, He answered!

Hosting Prayer in Your Community

Prayer in the book of Acts was never confined to a church or private home. They prayed in the streets, in the house, on the roof-top, in the jail, at the sea shore, by the riverside, in the marketplace, in the parks-they invaded their communities and towns with prayer.

Are you invading your community with prayer? If so, we want to know when you are praying, with whom, and what God is doing as a result.

Please write to me and share what is happening with you in the experience of prayer in your community. Include the size of your church and this outreach of blessing.

Let the Children Come to Me

If prayer is the primary way we come to God, what are doing to “let them come?We need to teach children what prayer is and to model for them a healthy prayer life. We also need to provide them with opportunities to learn to pray on their own and grow in intimacy with God.

One of the most valuable things we can teach children is how to pray. Many of God’s chosen leaders learned to pray as children. King David learned to talk with God as a young shepherd boy on the hills of Judea. The boy, Samuel, heard the voice of God as he lay on his bed in the temple of the Lord. God still speaks to children today and wants to reveal himself to them through his Word, and through prayer.

When we provide examples that inspire, instruction at the child’s level, and opportunities for involvement, we will see spiritual growth and development in our children that will be the foundation for a lifetime of exciting adventures in prayer.

Children are treasures of the Kingdom.  If our relationship with God is indeed so meaningful, then we can’t help wanting to share it with our children.

Help Needed!

Strength, self-sufficiency, and independence are usually admirable traits — especially in our self-help society.  However, there are times help is not only needed but should be openly welcomed.  It is true that Paul said “…every man shall bear his own burden…” but he also said, “…bear ye one another’s burdens….” (Galatians 6:2-5)

Perhaps it is significant  that when the ‘burden’ becomes ‘burdens,’ Paul encouraged sharing the load.  Even Jesus did not carry His cross alone.  “…Simon a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.” (Luke 23:26)

The WNOP has strong and broad shoulders to help bear the burdens of many.  Not only do we share personal burdens , but we are able to impact world events. Often we have missionaries tell us that the very week they were on the request list , they were especially helped and blessed.

Thank you – all of you- who consistently share the load and help bear the burdens of others by agreeing together in prayer for the multiple requests.

We are …”helping together by prayer…”  (II Corinthians 1:11)

Perilous Times & Prayer

As I sit safely and comfortablely in my home this morning, I am fully aware that the situation could change at any moment. Danger lurks in our schools, our streets, office buildings, air planes—even in the air we breathe. Reading the daily newspaper proves the point. The old song, No Hiding Place Down Here, could well be a theme-song for our time.

In a recent conversation, Brother Tom Barnes said, “If ever we needed to tune into prayer, it is now. Terrorism could make the sanctification through prayer of our food a necessity. The operation of the gifts of the Spirit may become a necessity to even know where to go and when to go, because of the danger of terrorism around us. God revealed the position of the enemy to the prophet. Prayer will become a necessity as we face what the future will bring. Even if our need becomes personally great, God is able to multiply bread by the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Even if we are scattered and alone, God will work through us. Prayer is the access into the supernatural power of God and we need it now more than ever before.” (Scriptural references: I Timothy 4:5; II Kings 2: 14; II Kings 4:38-44; II Kings 6:8-12; Romans 1:11-12)

We are instructed not to be terrified when we hear of wars and commotions, but to take heed to ourselves, be alert not unaware of pending dangers that stealthily come as a hidden snare.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass (Luke 21: 9, 34-36).

Living in times of high alert can have negative and positive effects. Too long on high alert can numb us to surrounding danger. It can also dull our senses to the awesome possibilities of spiritual intervention. High alert can be a time of bringing people to their spiritual senses causing them to go to God in prayer.

These are stressful times with a lot of uncertainty, but  II Chronicles 7:14-15 is still true:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.

Danger intervened by prayer—who knows how many times.

Watch, therefore, and pray always.

Lifestyle Praying

There are two building blocks of the Christian life, the Word and prayer.  Theses are the source of all spiritual sustenance, guidance, and help.  Prayer and the study and use of God’s Word are not simply spiritual activities; they are the skeletal structure of spiritual living.

Prayer, in its many forms, has been explored for us by outstanding teachers.  It is explored by us as we diligently apply ourselves to the noble art of praying.  Intercessions, supplications, thanksgivings, forms and patterns of all prayers fit into the life of prayer, but prayer as a lifestyle is what we need the most.

There should be special and consistent times set apart for praying.  The daily time dedicated to conversing with God, the weekly prayer meeting, and the other designated times of prayer should furnish us with the structure of prayer.  But we are missing something when we do not “pray without ceasing,” are not “instant in prayer,” “praying always,” “at every remembrance.

The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, is dwelling in us as a constant companion; therefore, we should be conscious always of our communication with the abiding presence of God.  Lifestyle praying—making all the day, every day, a running conversation with God—helps us bring “every thought into captivity.”

Lifestyle praying embraces intercessions as we give vent to deep felt burdens.  An awareness of personal needs such as guidance and patience brings us into supplication.  Recognition of all the blessings in daily life fills our heart, mouth and days with thanksgiving.  Lifestyle praying—making prayer our spiritual breath—sensitizes our response to His ability until praise lifts Him high, ruling over all the time and events of our everyday living.

Personal devotion time is enriched by mixing prayer, the Word and meditation.  This way you talk to God, learn from His word, and listen with your spiritual ears for Him to share His mind with you.  Scripture teaches us that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  A marvelous and amazing thing happens in our spirits as we mix the Word with praying.  It is powerful to quote verses of Scripture in prayers.  The Apostles did this in Acts 4.

Practicing the presence of God releases the power gained in private devotions.

“Even when we are not making actual addresses to God, we must have habitual inclination towards him” (Matthew Henry).

When I consciously live aware of God in me, prayer is the attitude of my heart, not just a proper Christian exercise.

“This is the day the Lord hath make; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).

My tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long” (Psalm 35:28).

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence perpetually” (Psalm 105:4 Berk.).

Living with Kingdom consciousness erases the line of secular and sacred.  Your life is a ministry; where you are is a mission.  “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…” (Isaiah 9:7).

With lifestyle praying, consistent Bible study and meditation, you will be able to relate God’ s Word, will and provision to all of life as you discipline yourself to the consciousness of His indwelling presence.  “Christ in you…

Importance of Fasting

Fasting with prayer is promised to be very effective.  Mass fasting in Nineveh brought great revival (Jonah 3:9, 10).  It can happen again!

The mighty outpouring of the Spirit promised in the last days has begun.  Praise God!  However, we have not seen it in its fullness yet.  We quote and claim the promise in Acts 2:16-21 and Joel 2:28-32:  “It shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh…” It is important to note that fasting is mentioned three times before the original promise of the outpouring of the Spirit in Joel.  Read:  Joel 1:14 and Joel 2:12, 15.

It is God’s promise that He will pour out His Spirit and show signs and wonders.  As we seek God with faith, it is imperative to sanctify ourselves by fasting, repenting, and confessing.  When we fulfill our part, He will perform His promise.

A combination of the Word, fasting, prayer and praise can bring God’s miraculous intervention into a situation. At this ending of a year and beginning of a new one, let us “humble ourselves and pray” for:

  1. A genuine spiritual awakening among us and beyond us.
  2. God to manifest Himself in power among us.
  3. A fresh anointing, empowerment and protection on all of our pastors.
  4. Fresh fervor and faith for the harvest upon our evangelists.
  5. Our leadership to be more sensitive than ever before to the leading of the Holy Ghost.
  6. Our cities and communities to be touched and drawn to the manifest presence of God.
  7. The nations and cities of our world and those who labor there to be empowered and used mightily by God to bring His Kingdom on location.
  8. The United Pentecostal Church must be the “United Praying Church.” Become a part of the WNOP.  Be a part of apostolic praying in one accord.  Every church is requested to:
  9. Have a designated, “furnished” prayer room and dedicated prayer groups and prayer times.  
  10. organize for someone to be in prayer and fasting for the pastor every day.
  11. Teach children to pray.
  12. Adopt specific missionaries (home and foreign) and leaders for consistent prayer, and let them know you are praying for them.
  13. Become a part of the Prayer Net by praying for the church and pastor directly north, south, east, and west of your church; one each week during every month of the year!