Day 15

The Power of Prayer (3 of 3)

from the Lent 2016 reading plan


Philippians 4:6-7, James 5:13-16, Psalm 131:1-3, Romans 8:26-30

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 

Post Comments (10)

10 thoughts on "The Power of Prayer (3 of 3)"

  1. Adam H says:

    God loves to help his children in need and wants us to realize our weaknesses and come to Him for strength. He is a merciful and gold God with power far beyond ours.

  2. Adam H says:

    We have a Savior who understands what it is like to be human and I believe that Jesus listens to our prayers and empathizes with our pains and is more compassionate to our problems.

  3. Adam H says:

    I will seek to come to God with all of my problems and doubts and trust Him in my worries and anxieties. I will also pray for my fellow believers and non believing friends that they can know Gods grace and love.

  4. Adam H says:

    I will pray with an understanding of my own failings and trust that God knows better than I.

  5. Adam H says:

    Man is fallen and broken and needs God in order to be whole. Although we will always be fallen on this earth with God on our side we can slowly be healed and brought back to His presence.

  6. Isaac Jones says:

    God can do the impossible. I perceive things as impossible, but what is impossible with man is possible for God.

  7. Isaac Jones says:

    What is impossible for man is possible for God. We are weak and we have a deep seated need to honestly confess our weakness so we can be free from our vain attempts at being “strong enough” and instead look to God to show us how He is strong and capable of more than we could imagine. Then we should testify and sing and give praise to God the Father and Jesus Christ for their mighty works in our lives and by our testimony.

  8. Isaac Jones says:

    I will pray and confess my weakness before the Father.

  9. Isaac Jones says:

    Go does what we could not do: save us from sin.

  10. Isaac Jones says:

    Lord,
    I am weak. I am foolish and I long for things that will kill me. I am like an ignorant child eating poisoned berries, not thinking they will hurt me. Father, intercede and save me from myself, I pray. Keep me from my own foolishness and ignorance. Please guard me, oh lion of Justice, from the evil one who seeks me out for destruction. I trust you have all power and inclination to do these things. Please exert your authority on my behalf; amen.

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