The Power and Simplicity of Prayer

The Book of Genesis shows us that God made Adam and Eve with a high level of intelligence and that He gave them an ability to communicate with Him. Adam and Eve enjoyed their open line of communication with God until they were beguiled by Satan, sinning against God through their disobedience to His word.  It was their sin that separated them from God.

God, through His abundant mercy, grace, and love, however, set in motion a plan whereby mankind would once again have the freedom to communicate directly with Him, just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden during the cool of the day before sin entered the world.

When Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for our sins and for the sins of the world, fulfilling God’s promise that the seed of the woman would crush Satan’s head, He reestablished mankind’s ability and authority to communicate freely with God, especially through prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ. (KJV, Acts 4:12).  Prayer, therefore, plays a most crucial role in the life of each and every Christian.

It is through prayer, simply the act of conversing with God, that we are able to communicate our thoughts, our feelings, our faults, our failures, our situations, and our needs directly to God, knowing and understanding that He hears our prayers and that He is ready, able, and willing to calm every storm of life we may face and to meet our every need. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”  (KJV, Eph. 3:20).

Jesus Christ felt so strongly about prayer that He is recorded in many of the Gospels as reiterating that “My house shall be called the house of prayer.” (KJV, Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46).  He taught His disciples how to pray, both through His actions and His words (KJV, Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4).  When the religious leaders of the day demanded that Jesus rebuke His disciples who rejoiced and praised God with a loud voice, He said, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”  (KJV, Luke 19:40).

It was through prayer that God gave Zacharias and Elisabeth a son, John the Baptist (KJV, Luke Ch. 1), it was through prayer that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Jews (KJV, Acts Ch. 2) and later upon the Gentiles (KJV, Acts Ch. 10), it was through prayer that the foundations of the prison were shaken, freeing Paul and Silas from their restraints (KJV, Acts 16:25-26), and it is through prayer today that we can experience a positive

Prayer involves action.  It involves asking, believing, and receiving.  The Word of God clearly and succinctly assures us that “whatsoever [we] ask in prayer, believing, [we] shall receive.”  (KJV, Matt. 21:22).

What is so beautiful about prayer is that it is not limited to any specific circumstance or situation we may face in life; rather, prayer is just as applicable to our natural life as it is to our spiritual life.  “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (KJV, Heb. 4:15-16).

We, therefore, have nothing to worry about or to fear when we can go directly to God in prayer, whether day or night, and find a very present help in the time of need. The Apostle Paul, therefore, encourages us to “[b]e careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known unto God.”  (KJV, Phil. 4:6).

Prayer has been tested, it has been tried, and it still works today. Prayer brings salvation, it brings healing, it brings deliverance, and it brings clarity and calm.  “And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise [them] up.”  (KJV, James 5:15).  Prayer draws us closer to God, it builds our faith, it provides guidance, and it strengthens us.  “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.”  (KJV, Jude 1:20).

The Word of God shows us that God is not concerned with the length of our prayers or even how we phrase our prayers; rather, He is concerned with the fervency and the sincerity of our prayers. When we humble ourselves and pray from our hearts, our spiritual hearts, we touch the heart of God.  “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  (KJV, James 5:16).

The Word of God also instructs that we are not only to pray for ourselves, but that we are to pray for others, interceding for those who are in need. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.”  (KJV, 1 Tim. 2:1).

Oftentimes, we turn to prayer as a last resort when, in fact, prayer should be our first resort, especially when we, our loved ones, our friends, or others around us face problems or a situations that only God can answer. God loves us, He cares, and it is His good pleasure to meet all of our needs through our prayers.

The National Day of Prayer encourages all Americans to pray on the first Thursday of May. This annual day of observance is honorable, understanding that when we join with others in prayer, believing, the efficacy or intended result of our prayer is greatly multiplied by God.  (KJV, Lev. 26:8; Deut. 32:30; Job 30:11).

Just as God’s blessings are not limited to a single day of the year, it is God’s desire that we pray without ceasing, freely making our prayers and our petitions known to him. (KJV, Matt. 5:15; Mark 4:21; Luke 11:33; Acts 6:4; Acts 12:5; Rom. 12:12).  The National Day of Prayer is a very good start to this end.

Psalm 34:1-9:

1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

–– Ryan Cernero, Senior Pastor, Faith Church of Sherman Texas