Prayer – Part 1
Perhaps you’ve heard about the child who uttered the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven. Helen by my name. Deliver us from eagles. Forgive us our transponders.
A sincere attempt to pray to be sure, but one wonders how effective it was. Sometimes our prayer life is much like that child’s, very sincere, but questionable as to its effectiveness.
There can be no doubt that prayer is needed today in our lives and in our country. Godly men across the nation are calling for prayer. We even have two national days of prayer: one in May centered on adults and one in September centered on school campuses. The need for prayer can even be seen in the fact that prayer itself has become so controversial. Why, if it is not powerful, would so many protest it being in the schools?
Wouldn’t we all like to be the man mentioned in James: The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective Js 5:16. Or maybe we should aspire to be like the early church in Acts 4. When confronted with threats to silence their testimony, to derail the work of God, they prayed.
“When they heard this, they raised their voices together to God…”
They raised their voices together in prayer. There is no more powerful work of the church than to be together, unified. Unity in the church does not mean that everyone is wearing the same uniform or that everyone thinks the same way or votes the same way or walks the same way. Unity in the church is defined by everyone being ready to seek the will of God above their own. When the body of Christ decides that it will follow the leadership of the head, then the body will move and work in unity.
It is the responsibility of the Christian to seek the unity of the body, to set aside their own agenda and embrace the will, the desire, the agenda of God. Power in prayer begins when we seek unity with God and with the body of Christ and when we do so with fervor. Diligently seek to be at one with God and the body, for without that you will never experience power in prayer.
“Master, you are the one who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them.”
Sovereign Lord They knew to whom they were praying and they made sure to acknowledge the presence, power, and position of God. Do you notice all the words and phrases that denote their understanding of God?
Sovereign. Lord. You made the heaven and the earth and the sea.
They acknowledged God through scripture, creation and experience. They were not praying to some saint or some devoted believer of days gone by. They were not praying to some appearing ghost in hopes that their message would get through to God. They were not sending a fax to the wailing wall to have it put in place. They were praying to the Almighty Creator of the universe, in whom, through whom, and with whom we have life.
There is great benefit to your prayer life if you will just take some time to acknowledge God. Consider that when you begin to name the attributes of God you will find that all of your needs have already been met. You will discover that the impossibilities of life are no longer so. You will be overjoyed to see that those things which seemed so out of reach are in fact nearby.