THE POWER OF PRAYER
“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but
God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will
shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing
but in answer to prayer.” – John Wesley
There are three levels OF PRAYER. The higher we go up in these levels the deeper we will experience God. I believe that God a calling us to experience the third level on a regular basis, because that is where prayer is most effective and powerful.
1. Level of known words… Matthew 6:8 – 13
This is where we communicate with God in plain English, French, Swahili, Cantonese, or Spanish. This is where we communicate with God through worship, petition, supplication, confession, intercession, thanksgiving. You speak your mind to him using known words. On this level we can tell God what is on our mind. This is the level of known words.
2. Level of unknown words. 1 Cor. 14:10 – 19
This is where we communicate with God with words you did not grow up speaking. For those of us who are spirit-filled with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, this is where we communicate with God using our prayer language. We do not understand what we are saying but God does. On this level we can worship and express ourselve better than we would in our earthly lanquage. This the level of unknown words.
3. The wordless level. Rom. 8:26; Gal. 4:19
This level can best be explained by any woman who has had a child. This is where the Spirit of God prays through us, but it so intense that we can hardly bear it and all you can hear are groans that words cannot express. This is a level, I believe, that makes prayer amazingly beautiful and awesome. Prayer is most powerful and effective at this level because you have the Holy Spirit helping you – when you know not what to pray for. On this level the Holy Spirit prays through you in accordance to God’s will. This is the Wordless level. The bible calls it groans that words cannot express.
But hold that thought. Because I can hear some of you say – wow but I will never reach that level and my prayers will never be that powerful and effective.
James 5:13 -18
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much
In other words, prayer that is powerful and effective is prayer that is:
- and one offered by a righteous man
The context here in James 5 is the call to pray for those suffering, those that are sick, and those living in sin. James is pointing to the effective nature of prayer – when it is fervent and offered by a righteous man it can help the sufferer, heal the sick, and forgive the sinner.
Much of our prayer is not effective simply because it is not fervent. It is offered with a lukewarm attitude that virtually asks God to care about something that we care little about.
Effective and powerful prayer must be fervent. Not because we must emotionally persuade a reluctant God, but because we must gain God’s heart by being fervent for the things He is fervent for. Effective and powerful prayer must be fervent.
Additionally, when effective prayer is offered, it must be by a righteous man. This is someone who recognizes the grounds of his righteousness reside in Jesus, and whose personal walk is generally consistent with the righteousness that he has in Jesus.
I know you are saying, come on, you just made it harder. I don’t know how to be fervent in prayer, and I am not perfect. Well, Elijah was a man with a nature like ours: He is a model of earnest prayer that was answered by God. His effectiveness in prayer extended even to the weather! Yet, this shows that Elijah’s heart was in tune with God’s. In order to have a prayer life that is effective and powerful, one’s heart must be in tune with God’s heart. He prayed for the rain to stop and start only because he sensed it was in the heart of God in His dealings with Israel.
You too, like Elijah can have an effective and powerful prayer life. You can tap into God’s ultimate for you only if you develop a lifestyle of seeking him.
picture courtesy of Hof-us.com