Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Prayer that is Effective

“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers.”
2 Corinthians 1:10

“Pray for me.”

How many times have you heard that phrase? How many times have you agreed that you would? How often do you actually stop what you are doing and beseech God on behalf of those who ask?

When I began my walk with God, I was constantly in prayer. As my passion and excitement (that initial joy of salvation) cooled a bit, I found my prayer life suffered. Yet, in God’s great mercy for me, He ignited my prayer life again when I began praying weekly with a close friend. Our weekly prayers started an avalanche of small and big miracles as God moved in response to our prayers. Problems we experienced for years in our marriage, family and health were instantly resolved, restored and healed. My faith grew each week as I saw with my own eyes the power of prayer.

Often, we don’t realize how truly effectual our prayers are. In the verse above, Paul proclaims that God will deliver him and his companions as the Corinthians pray for him. We might assume that Paul would be delivered anyway. Paul, however, under the influence of the Holy Spirit does not see it this way. He conveys a deeper truth – when others pray for me, I am delivered by God.

As a believer, as a Christian, you are considered one of the righteous in God’s eyes. Of course, you know you aren’t perfect. But God has clothed you in His righteousness and sees you as you will be, not as you are. Because you are righteous, your prayers are powerful and effective. 

Without a doubt, some of the greatest victories over problems in my life, whether they be related to homeschooling, marriage, illness or my children's needs, came as a result of enlisting others to pray. When I reached out and asked others to pray for and with me, God moved. Indeed, Scripture affirms that when two or three (or more) agree in prayer, God moves powerfully.  (Matt 18:19-20)

So, next time you are asked to pray for someone, or see someone that needs prayer, don’t hesitate, believing your prayers won't matter. They will. They do. Your prayers are that which enables the people of God to be delivered from the trials and temptations of this earth. 

If you have a need right now; something with which you have struggled for weeks, months or years; a concern that weighs you down, don't keep it to yourself. Ask others to join you in prayer and watch the power of prayer move our powerful God on your behalf.

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James 5:16