3 Ingredients for Powerful Prayer

posted in: Christian Living | 636

A friend called me recently, he was facing some pretty bad circumstances and needed help. As he shared his problem, I began to feel helpless concerning his dilemma. I had this thought, “The only thing I can do is pray.” The conversation progressed and a few minutes later I prayed with him. After I hung up the phone, I began to reflect on the conversation and my feelings of weakness and inadequacy. Just then, a Bible verse came to mind that led to a shift in my personal attitude.        2 Corinthians 12:10 (NASB) Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. The phrase; “when I am weak, then I am strong”, stood out like a beacon. I realized that I had looked at prayer as a last and weak option.

 

I never intentionally considered prayer weak and a last resort, but that moment revealed an attitude concerning prayer that was very troubling. How had I come to look so narrowly upon prayer? When did inviting the King of the Universe and His resources into a problem become something weak? When did I become so “big” that prayer became “small?”

 

The subtlety of self-sufficiency is very deceptive. Little by little, we rely on our abilities and giftings to the exclusion of the presence of God. I don’t think we wake up one day and decide that prayer is a desperate, end of the game, throw for the end zone. I think the problem is that we allow the mundane to rob us of the expectation of the miraculous. Life, with all of its challenges, disappointments, and demands, constantly pulls our focus to us. We feel obligated to have the answers and solutions to every problem and we slowly begin to expect only what we can produce.  

 

How do we learn to embrace our weakness and experience His power? How do recognize and embrace the incredible potential of prayer? Here are two powerful quotes that address the issue.

 

  1.    “We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the Heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.” Andrew Murray

  1. “If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.” H. Spurgeon

3 ingredients to powerful prayer:

 

  1. Relationship: Everything in our lives comes from the overflow of our relationship with Christ: ministry, relationship, wisdom and peace. Everything flows from intimate connectivity with Jesus. We often start with this fact firmly entrenched in our thinking, and then, we “mature”. True maturity is recognized in greater and greater dependence on Christ, not in the ability to do “it” without Him.
  2. Confidence: Jesus instructed His disciples to go into all the world with His message, after this instruction, He gave them a promise that would instill the confidence to do so. He said “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus never intended any of us to “go it alone”. We, as the disciples did, must have confidence that we are never alone in anything we face. It is only when we embrace this reality with confidence that we will boldly and intentionally, engage God and all of His resources in prayer. 
  3.  Humility: Humility: It is only when we humbly recognize our inability, that we desperately seek His ability. Humility frames our lives with a sober assessment of our true condition. Humility fortifies us against all of the pitfalls of pride and is a constant reminder of the greatness of our God.

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