Prayer is one of the most powerful resources we have as Christians. Prayer done rightly links the one praying with God the Father in intimate communion. Can prayer be done wrongly? Yes, but only in terms of attitude and position with God, not in the specific words we use. God doesn’t need our prayers to sound pious and for us to use big churchy words; He wants us to come to Him humbly and honestly with the right attitude. In Luke 18:10-14, we see a contrast between the right and wrong attitude in prayer. The prideful man says, “Thank You, God, I am not like other men... even as this tax collector.” Yet, the humble man says, “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” In this passage, Jesus tells us that the humble man went home justified with God. We also need to be in right position with God, meaning righteous or in a right relationship with Him. James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The power of prayer done rightly can bring justification with a holy God.
The power of prayer can also accomplish things that we cannot when the result is left to God’s power and authority, as well as His will. Jesus is our perfect example of this. Often in the Gospels, we see that Jesus went off by Himself to pray, sometimes all night long. (See Luke 6:12.) When Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers and sent “thieves” out of the Temple, He said, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.’”
We are also to pray corporately. When believers come together and pray, the power of prayer can change lives, free prisoners, heal the sick, and much more. In John 11:41-43, we see Jesus pray aloud before raising Lazarus from the dead. Lastly, we see the power of prayer when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His crucifixion. (See Matthew 26:36-42.) Jesus asked for the Father’s will to be done, knowing that this would lead to His own brutal beating and death on the cross. Jesus’ prayer life shows us that the power of prayer can give us the courage and strength needed to face any trial that comes our way!
“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
Prayer is powerful, and as Christians, we must be people of prayer!