How Powerful are Prayers?
Today there are dilemmas, traumas, and terrors happening to the people of God and the people of the entire world. There are prayers going up all the time, but it often seems our prayers go unanswered or barely answered. What is going on in your life today that needs an answered prayer? What is going on in a friend’s life, or even a nation’s existence that needs answered prayers? The fact is that God does answer prayers. Often He uses people to answer prayers. Occasionally He steps in and answers prayers personally. Many times God answers a prayer in a way that is unexpected. If we aren’t paying attention we might miss God’s handiwork.
The truth is that the prayers of a repentant Christian are powerful. Prayers change the lives of those praying for the better. When prayers are answered other people’s lives are changed for the better as well.
Let’s start with:
· Confess your sins
· Repent of your sins
· Turn from you sins
· Continually and passionately pray
· Watch for results.
‘Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ James 5:16
I personally take that verse to mean we are to pray for forgiveness and to be ‘healed’ of our own sins. It may also mean physical healings. Either way confessions of sins and turning from sin is required. Then the continued passionate prayer of someone living according to God’s rules gets results!
Elijah and Elisha are interesting characters to say the very least. You know the stories. Elijah was a mighty prophet for God Almighty. He trained Elisha to take his place when his time on earth was over. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha was broken hearted to see Elijah leave to go up to heaven. He was going to miss his friend and mentor. He was also afraid for Israel. Elijah’s prayers were more powerful than the horsemen and chariots of Israel. Elisha knew the battles all belonged to the Lord.
‘And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.’ 2 Kings 2:12
Regarding this verse Matthew Henry says, ‘Elijah was to Israel, by his counsels, reproofs, and prayers, better than the strongest force of chariot and horse, and kept off the judgments of God.’
Years later Elisha also died.
‘Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.’ 2 Kings 13:14
Elisha had asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit when Elijah went up to heaven. Years passed. By the time Elisha was an old man the King of Israel called Elisha more powerful than the horsemen and chariots of Israel.
There you have it. Two men of God each called more powerful than horsemen and chariots because of their prayers during their lifetime.
Now, here we are today. Where is the Elijah or Elisha for today? I am not talking about prophets as of old, but people willing to do God’s work with their entire heart. In the Bible we are told of Isaiah. He saw the need for someone to do the Lord’s work. And he said,
‘Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.’ Isiah 6:8
Today, most of us are not called or even going to be called to go out anywhere beyond or normal physical boundaries. We are all called to surrender to the Lord and wait to see what He calls us to do for the most part. We can all know we are called to be obedient, thankful, kind, and to pray for one another. We are called to fill a need for our brothers and sisters in Christ if we able.
A need we are able to fill in almost every instance is to take a minute to pray for those in need. It needn’t be a long prayer, or a prayer filled with fancy words heard by others. Our prayers need to be prayed with a repentant and sincere heart.
Today in addition to the turmoils and traumas going on in our own lives and the lives of those around us, there are Christian brethren who are literally fighting for their lives, their families, their homes, and even the place where they have lived for generations. We need to pray for them. The governments of the world have utterly forsaken them. ISIS is slaughtering Christians without even any comments from world governments. The only thing I have heard from governments is the lie that Islam is a religion of peace. Apparently those in political power cannot read history books. Islam is only a religion of peace until they are strong enough to go out and slaughter those who tell them the truth that Islam is one way to hell.
Seriously, it appears hopeless for the brethren in Islamic terrorties. This is the time for Christians to remind themselves that:
· The ‘effectual fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much’.
· The prayers of Elijah were more powerful than the horsemen and chariots of Israel
· The prayers of Elisha were more powerful than the horsemen and chariots of Israel
· The battle belongs to the Lord
· Prayer changes things.
There is no time like the present to plead with our God to help the brethren in need.
Now is the time to pray sort of like Isiah,
‘Here am I Lord. Strengthen me to pray for those in need.’
For a better idea of those who need your prayers read this article.
Christian army begs Obama for help crushing ISIS