Questioning the Power of Prayer?
Following devastating human tragedy that occurred in 2017, controversy arose in the U.S. in which sending thoughts and prayers came under fire. The trend of minimizing the value of thoughts and prayers has continued in social discourse to this day. This is a shocking development for those of us who recognize that there is no power on earth greater than a believing prayer.
What Scriptures Say About the Power of Prayer
Control the Weather
The story of the Prophet Elijah is told in the Old Testament, and one account of the power of his prayers is recounted in James 5:16-18. There, we learn Elijah lived a righteous life and was born basically no different from the rest of us. His prayers were amazingly powerful and produced tremendous results. Once, moved by God, he fervently prayed that it would not rain. As a direct result of his prayers, God withheld rain for 3 ½ years. Elijah prayed persistently again, asking for the heavens to bring rain for the crops, and God sent rain.
Jesus also demonstrated power over the weather. The difference was that Jesus spoke directly to the storm, telling it to be still, and it immediately obeyed. When we make bold prayers in Jesus’ name, we can get the kind of results even He got.
Raising the Dead
Elijah actually performed several miracles, and one of them was bringing a boy back to life. The child had suddenly died and his mother told no one at first. She waited until she could find Elijah, and she then reminded him that he had once promised that God was going to give her a son. She believed he could restore her boy to her. Elijah went to the woman’s home, cried out to God, and didn’t stop praying until the child’s life returned to his body. (1 Kings 17:17-24)
Nothing is Impossible
Jesus taught that nothing is impossible to us if we have faith even as small as a tiny mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Believers are instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB) to “pray without ceasing.” This doesn’t mean that we need to live on our knees. It means that our hearts and minds should stay connected to God all throughout our days.
What is Prayer?
Prayer is communication with God. Prayers aren’t always requests for things. We should talk to God about everything. Joyce Meyer is a preacher with a worldwide ministry who provides for needs and shares the message of the Good News all over the globe. She often says that when troubles come our way, we should, “Go to God’s throne, not to the phone.”
Prayer actually is taking a most useful action, contrary to what many unbelievers today seem to think. When we ask for God to move, we access limitless power that makes everything possible. The evil that happens in this world can cause harm and heartache so deep it is inexpressible. At such times, there is nothing better than thoughts and prayers. For those who will turn to God and trust him, their miracle after such unimaginable circumstances is to receive peace, comfort, and strength beyond understanding. An even greater miracle may be that the prayers of others who have strong faith often brings the same reward of peace on those who haven’t yet believed.