The Christian and Prayer
How to Pray with Power
Jonathon Goforth was a man of powerful prayer. It is said of him that once he felt assured of God's will in prayer, he would continue in the power of prayer until the thing was accomplished.
Andrew Murray, too, was a great prayer warrior. He wrote in The Praying Christian: "The Christian needs strength. This we all know. The Christian has no strength of his own. This is also true."
Where may strength be obtained? Notice the answer: "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." (Ephesians 6:10)
Paul had spoken of this power in the earlier part of his epistle to the Ephesians (1:18-20). He had prayed to God to give them the Spirit that they might know the exceeding greatness of His power according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.
This is the literal truth: The greatness of His power, which raised Christ from the dead, works in every believer. In me and you, my reader. We hardly believe it, and still less do we experience it.
That is why Paul prays, and we must pray with Him, that God through His Spirit would teach us to believe in His almighty power. Pray with all your heart: "Father, grant me the Spirit of wisdom, that I may experience this power in my life."
Pray for God's Spirit to enlighten your eyes. Believe in the divine power working within you. Pray that the Holy Spirit may reveal it to you, and appropriate the promise that God will manifest His power in your heart, supplying all your needs.
Do you not begin to realize that time is needed -- much time in fellowship with the Father and Son, if you would experience the power of God within you?
Power for Answered Prayer
- Read Acts 12:5-18.
How did Peter's fellow Christians respond to his imprisonment? (Verse 5)
What was God's answer to their prayer? (Verses 6-11)
What was their response to God's answer? (Verses 13-16)
How does seeing God answer your prayers in a powerful way change your feelings about prayer?
- What do the following Bible references tell you about the qualities God demands in a person for powerful prayer? (Hebrews 11:1,6, Romans 12:1,2, Mark 11:25, I John 3:22, Ephesians 5:18)
Conditions to Answered Prayer
- Why is it necessary to ask in accordance with the will of God? (I John 5:14-15)
- Write out John 15:7 in your own words and state what it teaches about conditions to answered prayer.
- What is the value of several Christians praying for something as opposed to just one? (Matthew 18:19)
During his lifetime, George Mueller recorded more than 50,000 answers to prayer. He prayed for two men daily for more than 60 years. One of these men was converted shortly before Mueller's death and the other about a year later. As in Mueller's experience, we do not always see the answer to our prayers. We must leave the results to God.
One of the great needs of today is for men and women who will begin to pray for things and then pray repeatedly until they obtain what they seek from the Lord.
- How long do you think we should pray for someone or something? (Luke 18:1-8)
Why do you think God honors prevailing prayer?
What part do our feelings play in prevailing prayer?
- What did the following men accomplish through prayer?
Moses (Exodus 15:22-25)
Samson (Judges 16:28-30)
Peter (Acts 9:36-41)
Elijah (James 5:17-18)
- How do these examples help you gain greater confidence to pray? Give an example of what God has done for you or someone you know as the result of prevailing prayer.
- Examine your prayer life in light of the conditions for answered prayer. What conditions are lacking for you to have open communication with God? How much do you really believe and trust God when you pray?
- Write down one prayer request for which you are having to exercise "prevailing prayer."
- List two Scripture verses that you can claim in relation to this prayer request.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.