Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is There Power in Prayer?

Our prayers lay the track down which God’s power can come. Like a mighty locomotive, his power is irresistible, but it cannot reach us without rails. ~Watchman Nee

I'm teaching a senior adult class Sunday on the power of prayer.  Don't you love the Biblical story of Elijah praying fire down from Heaven?  Talk about powerful prayer!  The priests of Ba'al, nearly 1000 strong, prayed most of the day, begging their god to send fire from Heaven.  But a dead god cannot send fire and their sacrifice was unburned.  When it was Elijah's turn, he prayed only a few words to his God.  
O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be know this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Answer me, O Lord. Answer my water with your greater rains. Answer me, that this people may know that you are God.
The true God of the Heavens answered with fire.  It forked out of heaven in a direct route to the altar.  Why?  Because there is power in prayer.  Prayer to the true God.

Yes, I love this story.  But I'm such a practical person.  Sometimes I hate that.  I love to read about what God did -- but my heart keeps waiting for what He will do today. Can we have that same power in our prayers?

Let me tell you about Lorna's parents.  Lorna's brother was saved and was so enthralled with Jesus that he felt like the whole family should experience the blessing of salvation.  Her father was not interested. He was a farmer, and he worked in his fields on Sunday.  Unfortunately for the farmers, revivals usually happened right during fall harvest, and Lorna's dad had over 600 acres of crops to get in.  When James invited the family to attend revival, his father finally said he would go if...If...it rained (knowing full well that it would not, because there was no rain in the extended forecast). But James prayed, and on that first day of revival, it rained...and rained for ten days. There were three converts from James' family during that revival, and in Lorna's words, "Somehow, I never seem to mind the rain in the fall!"

Fast forward to Lorna and her husband, Ken's, first pastorate.  When they announced the end of their ministry, the treasurer decided to withhold several weeks' pay.  They had absolutely no food in the cupboards or the freezer.  Lorna's parents picked up the kids for the Easter weekend, just so they would not know how bad it was.  Praying for food, Ken and Lorna went home from church to a lunch of absolutely nothing.  They had snacked on ice cubes for dinner the night before and it looked as if that was about to happen again.  While seated at the table, they heard someone in the driveway.  When a horn tooted, Ken went out to investigate -- it was a lady from another church with an unopened canned ham.  "Our church has one too many," she told them.  They had ham on Easter after all.  Later that evening, Lorna felt compelled to check the back door of the church and there, nestled in the grass, was a five dollar bill.  Lorna told me, "Monday morning, I walked to the bread store and came home with a large sack of bread, buns and donuts for that five dollars.  We made that bread and ham last all week long, and it was the most delicious answer to prayer we ever had!"

Are you praising our God?  The ice cubes-turned-into-ham incident occurred several years ago.  Is there still power in prayer today?  More recently, Ken and Lorna's son began to have escalating problems with asthma.  A search for answers led to the discovery of mold in the walls of their home.  Without a choice they began looking for a new home. Did they pray? Oh yes.  And God directed them right to the perfect home -- not only for them, but for the horses they loved.  A big farmhouse kitchen, the bedrooms they needed and a small apartment in the back that would shelter many who needed a quiet retreat.  God didn't just provide
them a home -- He gave them a home designed for the whole family.

I'm so excited for Sunday to arrive.  So thrilled to retell Elijah's story.  And tears visit my eyes when I think of some of the "current" answers of powerful prayer I can share with the senior adults.  I hope I can encourage them to keep praying...there's still power in prayer.  Elijah's God is our God.  His miracles can be our miracles.  I intend to pray with Elijah, "Answer me, that this people may know that you are God."




27 comments:

Laurie Collett said...

Amen and Amen! God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. His power does not diminish one iota as it is infinite. He commands us to pray not because it changes His mind, but because it pleases Him and changes us. Sometimes, as with Elijah, God says "Yes!" because it brings Him glory in ways all can see. Sometimes, as with Paul, God says "No!" (to his prayers to have his thorn in the flesh removed) because He gets the glory in that His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Sometimes He says "Wait," because His timing is always perfect and He knows the whole picture, whereas we just see the immediate situation. And sometimes He Says no to what we think we want, because He wants to give us something better and knows exactly what we need. Whatever His response, He is an awesome and loving God who will draw close to us as we seek His face through prayer.

Alice Lynn Alfred said...

So wonderful! Great stories of God's faithfulness. He has definitely never left me stranded or barren...and when times have been lean or I have felt I have been in the desert far too long....He brings me Himself, and His Word to comfort me, and make me FULL in HIM!!

Amy said...

Thanks for this post! I have to say that this is easy to forget in the day to day hum drum sometimes, because sometimes it is hard to discern when you are being guided. Thanks for reminding me. :)
Visiting from Thirsty Thursday I'd love a comment here.

Kari said...

God is always our provider! Amen! I love those stories and I completely believe in the power of prayer! That is what some churches and Christians are lacking today... just simple prayer and those simple prayers can move mountains! Have a great lesson!

SocialStudiesSoubrette said...

Wowsa what a great testimony! I have chills and tears in my eyes. I adore hearing how our mighty God works in peoples lives. He is so faithful. Aren't we beyond lucky to be His children?

Renee said...

I just love hearing how God answers our prayers! Amazing stories to stir our souls and deepen our faith.
I have been hearing from God a lot lately regarding prayer. A friend had asked me to be part of her prayer group and I knew this would be a formidable task to get prayers out by email..I struggled with whether to do this and if it really mattered that I did. I prayed about it and when I went to bed I read a story in Angels on Earth about a man who almost died and kept having vivid dreams when unconscious..one was about seeing two mountain ranges with a valley inbetween. One range was death the other was life and it was HIS life that was being fought over as the two ranges battled it out with lightening bolts, etc. Soon he felt his life would be spared and as he looked up in the dream he saw all this lights falling from the sky and each one burst like fireworks raining down for a long long time. he realized these were all the prayers that people were praying for him and that those prayers had been part of the battle for life..EVERY prayer is important....This week I have read several stories/posts on the power of prayer and in the last month been privy to several miracles God has blessed people with. I have been rejoicing and giving thanks with how GOd has has answered my prayers for my questioning heart. Isn't God just amazing?
Again thanks for sharing these beautiful testimonies of how God answers prayers...none too small and none too big!

Crystal Mary said...

Hello Pamela, Wonderful stories of hope, and we all need to hear them all the time. I have been praying for so long for my son. He is a Christian and after going through extented sleep deprivation he started to get bad thoughts against God. He still gets them at times and he wants to give up on life when it happens.. I pray for him all the time and will continue.. Much love Crystal Mary

Stefanie Brown said...

What an incredible testimony! Yes, there is still power in prayer and HE is still faithful!
Great connect. Followed you through Google connect.
Have a blessed evening...

Missy said...

In answer to your question, yes. Here is some proof. Austin lost his contact again. This time outside in the grass. :/ Anyway Blake got down on his knees and asked God to help us find the contact. Austin was screaming. Blake said don't worry buddy, God will help Mommy find that contact so you can see. I looked a little bit to the left of where I knelt down and there it was on top of a leaf in the middle of the yard. UNBELIEVABLE. The faith of child is amazing. I know God can help me find the contact. Do I expect him to help? I don't think so. I think since I made the mess by putting Austin in that position, I will have to fix it. Not so, God cares about the problems we make for ourselves. :) Anyway, just thought I would share. Love you and your blog. Hope you are well... If not, let me know and I will have Blake pray for you too. =) See you at church.

Saleslady371 said...

There is so much power in prayer. I was just asking God for favor on my drive home with hold ups of construction going on for miles in my town. Breezed right through; no waiting. He loves being involved in our lives.

Deb Chitwood said...

What powerful stories, Pamela! I truly believe in the power of faith and prayer, too. The miracles that happen in daily life show just how real and active God is today. Deb @ RaisingFigureSkaters.com

Joan said...

These are powerful stories, Pamela and I am encouraged by reading them. There is indeed power in prayer.

Blessings,
Joan

soraya3 ღ said...

GREAT POST THANKS FOR SHARING...LOVES FROM HOLLAND SORAYA

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Pamela,

What a wonderful post. Oh, yes there is power in prayer, and it seems as if my prayers (at least those for other people) are getting answered super quickly by God. I have learned a quick and easy one that seems to be so powerful when I pray it: "Lord, please let the truth to be revealed for all to see." Whoa. When the light is shined on a dark situation, things cannot help but change.

I sure did love your real life story. So sad that after all your friends did for their church that they were left destitute by them. Still, the Lord let them know that they were not forgotten.

Hope your week is wonderful,

Kathy M.

Annemarie said...

Hi! I wanted to let you know that my blog has moved to a new URL. Now that you are a follower of my old blog, perhaps you would like to follow my new one as well? There’s also a link party going on every Saturday. I would love it if you’d hop over and add something. Have a lovely day! Annemarie

Mulheres INDO said...

PAZ PAZ PAZ DO SENHOR MINHA QUERIDA IRMÃ, QUE FELICIDADE ENCONTRA VOCÊ. FICA COM DEUS.

Whidbey Woman said...

AMEN! God is so good.

Deb said...

Oh, what a great message you brought in your post. Thanks so much for sharing! HOPE you have a great week!

Shoregirl said...

What a wonderful reminder to keep praying -- He's listening and answering still today!

Joan Davis said...

Thank you for sharing those encouraging testimonies of God's faithfulness demonstrated through prayer!

Blessings, Joan

Sharon said...

Pamela - Utterly uplifting and inspiring! I just loved reading the story about Lorna and her many incidents of answered prayer.

We can be sure that prayer matters. God hears - He always hears. And He will answer those prayers in a way that will work for our good, our best, and HIS purposes.

Yes, there is STILL power in prayer. For who knows what could happen when we connect with an Almighty God?!

GOD BLESS!

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

I was so blessed reading these incidents of answered prayer . I detected that Lorna was a woman of gratitude. She is a wonderful example for us all. I love Watchman Nee, great quote !Inspiring Post !
Love & Blessings.

Charlotte said...

Wow, I love those stories from the Bible. I enjoyed telling the one about Elijah years ago when I was teaching 2nd grade Sunday School. As much as I love reading the miracles of the Bible, I enjoy even more hearing of miracles today. Thank you so much for sharing these.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Rhonda said...

Hope given in your testimony of powerful prayer....always enjoy my visting your blog

Anita Johnson said...

Such wonderful stories of answered prayer (as growers/farmers, I really liked the rain story) I would love to be part of your Sunday School class, thank you for sharing this post with us today!

Greg & Stephanie said...

Such a faith booster! Lorna's parents attended our church, and some of my favorite memories took place right on that farm. Thank God for hearing and answering prayer!

Lynn said...

Pamela, What inspiring stories! I confess I have a "child's heart" when it comes to expecting Him to answer prayers. I simply believe Jesus is who is says he is and He is just waiting for us to ask. I also always thank Him in advance for His answer. Feb 2010 my hubby was told he had a tumor in his only remaining kidney. He lost the other one to cancer in 1998. He had 5 different scans, two specialists, several technicians who look at his scans, all agreed this was a tumor, a solid mass. No way it could be a cyst because the scans were black, a cyst would show light. I prayed, I praised,I sang How Great Thou Art and I opened my hands, literally, peeled each finger away from a clenched fist (trying to hold on to my beloved husband) and handed my hubby totally to Him. The day of the biopsy came, my daughter and I were waiting, Terry is groggy and talking about cysts. After the third time, my daughter gets the nurse to look at his chart. She looked at us like we were a bit nuts when we asked about the biopsy, told us, "you cannot biopsy a cyst, they drained it" We never saw the Dr's again, they dismissed us. Truthfully, I do not think they had the words to describe what happened. In the hospital room, while my daughter was running outside with her cell to call my other two children, I praised Jesus Christ with happy tears running down my cheeks, while the nurses came and went, making sure I was ok. Through tears I gave a short testimony to everyone who asked, making sure they knew it was HIM that gave us this miracle. I will share these stories you have shared today with my hubby later tonight. Thank you! Blessings,
Lynn

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