God’s power- it’s available
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
Who of us has not had the feeling that our prayers went no higher than the ceiling? (Raise your hands.) And who of us has not been in a gathering when someone stood to pray and their prayers were so sensitive, so eloquent, that we determined to never volunteer to pray again! And who of us has not been caught flatfooted and asked to pray when we couldn’t think of a thing to say? (You can put your hands down now!)
Praying with power is a challenge for most of us. Even the disciples asked Jesus how to pray; he gave them the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, the “Our Father in heaven hallowed be your name…” prayer. So if the disciples, who had walked and talked with Jesus and saw and heard him pray, asked how to pray, we need to join their ranks and ask “How shall I pray?”
Perhaps we ought to study the model prayer for ourselves. Often at the end of our services we invite the congregation to pray that prayer. I sometimes wonder if it is from the heart or said by rote, without thinking, or feeling.
Jennifer Kennedy Dean’s little book, called Power Praying has some good ideas on praying with power: God’s specific and intervening power is released into circumstances and lives by prayer. Think of it like this. The sun’s rays cover the earth. However, when one holds a magnifying glass over a flammable object, such as a dry leaf, the sun’s rays are refracted (bent toward one another) through the glass. The result is that the rays of the sun are concentrated and directed, their power magnified. The refracted rays create focused and intense heat. The leaf, exposed to the focused power of the sun, bursts into flames. God’s power covers the earth. Prayer focuses and magnifies his power on a particular situation of a specific life. That life or situation, consistently exposed to his intense power, is changed by it.
In our Territorial Call to Prayer ministry, over 350 corps and institutions are praying on a regular basis for the weekly urgent prayer needs that have come to the territorial prayer coordinator’s attention recorded on the toll-free telephone line (1 877 347 PRAY) or sent by e-mail by our divisional prayer coordinators. While we don’t know how many people are praying regularly for these needs, we do know that we have over 3,000 signed-up Prayer Partners around the world. We don’t know how many are focusing their prayers on the particular needs that have been sent out, but we do know many of the results of this concentration of prayer!
Here are a few: Susan calls after her surgery: “The doctor said he has never had a patient with such chronic back problems and who has been in constant pain for many months recover so quickly from the latest surgery. The pain is gone!” You could argue about what has happened, but Susan and her doctor agree that it was because so many were praying for her!
Another comment recently received: “An officer asked for prayer; many things were going on in his life and that of his family. We had his need on the prayer line. He emails: “Thank you for the prayer line; It really does help.”
So when you are feeling discouraged about your prayers, just remember that even the prayers of a little child are heard by God. When we get together with other believers, there is real power that is unleashed by the Lord for our needs.
“Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.” (2 Chron 20:6)
Where is God’s power? It is in his hands. It’s at the ready. It’s immediately available. “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth.” (2 Chron 6:4)