I fought off the bad guys. I swooped up Lois Lane. In my bright red and blue polyester jumpsuit, complete with an “S” cape, I was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Or, so I thought.
Somewhere along the way, I outgrew my Superman costume and traded in my cape for a very pedestrian Clark Kent-like existence. But when I read today’s scriptures on the remarkable superpower-like promises of prayer, I wonder if I’ve stopped short of my potential. Could prayer be my ticket to becoming a true spiritual Superman? Do I really have the power to create peace if I make my requests known to God (Phil. 4:6-7)? Can I really bring about healing if I simply ask in faith (James 5:13-16)? Could a mountain really be tossed into the sea if I simply ask without doubting (Mark 11:23)?
To believe that our prayers possess superpower would be to mistakenly locate the power of prayer in the one who asks rather than the One who answers. If you think about it, prayer is really a practice of spiritual weakness. When we make a request for God to do something, we’re implying that we cannot do it. We’re saying, “I need help.” Far from an exercise of power, prayer is a self-confessing act of powerlessness.
In another sense, however, prayer is an act of tremendous spiritual power, for it is an act of trust in the power of God. Every time we pray, we are looking to His sovereignty, authority, and power for help. In prayer, we are saying that we believe God can do the impossible (Matt. 19:26).
God loves our humble but bold faith-filled petitions. That’s why He chooses to allow Himself to be affected by our prayers, delighting to display His power in response to the pleas of His people. When we pray, it’s not that we somehow gain superhero power, but that the supernatural power of God is effective in and through our prayers.
The next time it feels like prayer is a waste of time and you begin to think you’re a fool for believing that speaking a bunch of words into thin air will make a difference, remember how our God loves to use the foolish things to shame the wise and the weak things to shame the strong. Remember that the foolish-sounding, weak-looking message of the cross is really the very power of God unto salvation for all who believe (1 Corinthians 1:18, 27-31).
And as soon as you remember these things, pray.
Written By Nate Shurden