prayer power “Prayer changes things”
By Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel
Recently, my wife and I attended a Denominational Prayer Leaders Network Conference in Pasadena, Calif., where representatives of many denominations and parachurch organizations shared about their ministries and prayed for a spiritual awakening in America.
Today—with the decline in moral values, daily news stories of shootings in schools and violence on the streets—believers need to mobilize the most powerful tool we have to curb these trends. We need to rally in prayer, seeking God’s intervention and power to change the direction the world seems to be heading.
Governments are proving powerless to change lives. The ramping up of hostile forces only serves to embolden those who wish to create chaos and violence. But Christians also have weapons, and if there was ever a time to share our concerns and the power of God, it is now. Prayer changes things!
A conference speaker observed that one of today’s problems is that the majority of churchgoers do not seem to pray much. Some preachers don’t pray much either, except just prior to preparing a sermon.
“Prayer Power,” a group from Dallas, Texas, offers a number of tools to prayer at learntopray.org.
And it is prayer power we need.
Prayer is not effective when people do not believe it will make a difference. But the reality is that things do happen when we pray. America must pray prayers of faith.
We need to “PUSH”—Pray Until Something Happens!
In Psalm 27, King David wrote words of encouragement for troubled times: The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?…One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life…Hear my voice when I call, Lord, be merciful to me and answer me…Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path…Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
When God created man and woman, he designed them to know him in a real, personal way—speaking to him, hearing from him, experiencing his love. But sin damaged his perfect way to communicate.
Just as we cannot know another person without spending time with that individual, we cannot know God personally unless we spend time with him. This isn’t a privilege for a chosen few, but for everyone who is a child of God.
When Jesus taught us to daily go into a room and shut the door for prayer (Matt. 6:6), he was saying we should get alone with God to give God our undivided time and attention…every day. He didn’t say we have to spend a lot of time, just some time. We know he meant every day, because in the model prayer that follows, he said we should ask God to “give us today our daily bread” (Matt 6:11).
Why are our prayers often not effective? Because we do not believe they will make a difference. It’s unbelief.
The secret of having a meaningful, personal relationship with our Father is to spend some time with him every day.
Seven things happen when we pray:
1. We enjoy God—You will fill me with joy (Ps. 16:11, Zeph. 3:17).
2. We win over sin—“I will make your enemies a footstool for your feet” (Luke 20:43).
3. We are abundantly blessed—If we ask anything according to his will, he hears and we have what we ask of him” (1 John 5:14).
4. Others are blessed—Grace, love, and faith are poured out abundantly (1 Tim. 1:14).
5. We can do the work of the Lord—We will do even greater things (John 14:12).
6. God’s kingdom goes forward—All men come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:2-4).
7. The gospel flourishes—All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing (Col 1:16).
When we pray, things happen, and “the devil trembles” (William Cowper). But the opposite is also true, when we fail to pray: “The devil laughs at our works and mocks at our wisdom” (Samuel Chadwick).
The greatest thing we can do for God and man is to pray. Everyone can do it!