Do you believe? Do you believe enough to pray about it? Do you believe enough to pray for someone else who is facing a challenge? Do you believe enough to pray rather than worry? Do you believe who Jesus is? Do you believe in the power of prayer in the name of Jesus? Do you believe enough for the small challenges? Do you believe for the mid-size challenges? Do you believe enough when the challenge is huge? Will you take that challenge and give it up to God in Jesus’ name? Without Jesus’ name it is like trying to mail a letter without a stamp.
We are to pray without ceasing – prayer is talking with God and so as we build an intimate relationship with God we should be talking with him all the time!
Consider all these verses that encourage us to pray…
- 1 John 5:14 – 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
- 1 John 5:15 – 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
- 1 John 5:16 – 16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.
- 1 Chronicles 16:11 – 11 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
- 2 Chronicles 6:21 – 21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 – 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
- Ephesians 1:18 – 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
- Ephesians 6:18 – 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
- Jeremiah 29:12 – 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
- Job 22:27 – 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.
- John 17:15 – 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
- James 5:13 – 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
- Mark 11:24 – 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
- Matthew 5:44 – 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
- Matthew 6:7 – 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
- Matthew 26:41 – 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- Proverbs 15:8 – 8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
- Psalm 17:6 – 6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
- Psalm 102:17 – 17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
- Psalm 141:2 – 2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
- Romans 12:2 – 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- Romans 12:12 – 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
- Psalm 4:1 – 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
- Psalm 145:18 – 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
- Luke 11:2-4 – 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.And lead us not into temptation.’ ”
- Proverbs 15:29 – 29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
- Matthew 6:9-13 – 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.’
- Matthew 7:11 – 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
- Luke 6:12 – 12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
- Luke 18:1 – 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
- Romans 8:26 – 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
- Philippians 4:6 – 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- Colossians 4:2 – 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – 17 pray continually,
- 1 Timothy 2:8 – 8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
- Hebrews 4:14 – 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
- James 1:7 – 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
- James 4:3 – 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
- James 5:16 – 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- 1 John 1:9 – 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
- 1 Timothy 2:1-2 – 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Do you see a need? Will you pray? Will offer to pray?
Do you see a struggle? Will you pray? Will you offer to pray?
Will you let others know you are willing to pray for them?
Prayer makes a difference! It makes a difference to circumstances! It makes a difference on others! It makes a difference on the course of history!
The Power of Prayer — Day 176: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Proverbs 15:21-30, Acts 16:16-40, 1 Kings 14:21-31, 1 Kings 15, 1 Kings 16:1-7
Prayer changes circumstances … Proverbs 15:21-30
Prayer changes people … Acts 16:16-40
What made the early church so powerful? Surely, part of the answer is the prayer lives of those first believers.
It appears that prayer was a regular habit. ‘Once when we were going to the place of prayer…’ (v.16). This suggests they did not only pray on their own, they met together frequently to pray.
Pray in the name of Jesus
Christian prayer is powerful because we pray, not in our own name, but in the name of Jesus.
Paul was followed around in the town of Philippi by a ‘psychic’, who was clearly under demonic influence as a result of her involvement in the occult (v.17). Finally, after several days of this, Paul could take her endless repetitions no longer. He turned around and said, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!’ (v.18). At that moment the evil spirit came out.
The name of Jesus is so powerful. The only way to deal with demonic power is through the name of Jesus. No demon is a match for Jesus. Jesus sets us free from demonic forces. He utterly transformed this young woman’s life. The demon ‘was gone, just like that’ (v.18, MSG).
Pray in all circumstances
The woman was a slave who made a lot of money for the people who owned her. Her owners were furious that she had lost her supernatural powers. They seized Paul and Silas, ‘roughed them up’, ‘arrested them’ (vv.19–20, MSG) and hauled them off to court. They whipped up the crowd against them.
The crowd joined in the ‘attack’ (v.22). Life is not always going to be easy if we start making a difference. Some of our views may be very unpopular or even illegal. ‘Attacks’ are not necessarily a mark of failure; they may be a sign of success.
The magistrates bowed to the pressure and ordered that they should be stripped, severely flogged and thrown into prison under heavy guard where they ‘clamped leg irons on them’ (v.24, MSG).
The prison officer would have been used to people coming into prison angry, cursing and swearing. By contrast, he sees Paul and Silas praying, worshipping and singing hymns to God (v.25). There is great power in this combination of prayer and worship.
An earthquake shook the prison and every door flew open. The prison officer in charge was about to commit suicide as he thought all his prisoners had escaped and he feared the consequences. Paul, faced with freedom, chose instead to stay, and bring his jailor to Christ.
When Paul assured him that all the prisoners were still there he asked, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ (v.30). This is what might be called ‘an evangelistic opportunity’! Paul explained what the prison officer had to do and thus he, and afterwards his whole family, believed in Jesus and were baptised.
Immediately, his life began to change. He shows compassion. He washes the wounds of Paul and Silas (v.33). He feeds them (v.34). He and his whole family are ‘filled with joy’ (v.35). He is willing to be known publicly as a Christian. They became founding members of the church at Philippi.
These events were so clearly supernatural that Paul saw the astonishing power of God behind the human agency of his words.
This episode ends with the judges having to apologise personally to Paul and Silas as they had not realised they were Roman citizens and it was, therefore, illegal to treat them in the way they had been treated: ‘The judges panicked… apologised, personally escorted them from the jail… Paul and Silas went straight to Lydia’s house, saw their friends again, encouraged them in the faith, and only then went on their way’ (vv.38–40, MSG).
Prayer has the power not just to change our own lives but also circumstances, events and the lives of others.
Prayer changes history … 1 Kings 14:21-16:7