Articles of Faith |

Prayer Power

A hurricane was barreling toward the east coast of the United States. It was predicted to hit at precisely the same time that a Christian music festival was taking place at a retreat in Massachusetts.

The retreat manager had to make the decision to ask those who were camping there in tents to leave for their safety. He stepped onto the stage during a pause in the music and made the announcement that a hurricane was on the way. Then he told the audience which direction the storm was coming and asked everyone to raise their hands in that direction and pray that the Lord would have the hurricane make “a sharp right jog out to sea.”

Everyone prayed. Shortly afterwards he turned on the radio and heard the weatherman say that the storm was not going to make landfall as expected because it had made “a sharp right jog out to sea.” He used the exact same words that the retreat manager had used; God’s way of letting everyone know that He had heard and answered their prayers. Needless to say the music festival continued without interruption.

The Apostle James assures us that “…the effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16-18).

We need to have the faith to believe that God can and will answer our prayers as long as what we ask is according to His will (I John 5:14). Jesus told His disciples that, “Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you” (John 16:23). This promise would also be bound within the perimeters of the will of God.

Jesus made this promise to His disciples; people who had committed themselves to following and obeying Him. They had submitted their wills to His will, therefore He could trust them to petition God for those things that would help them advance His kingdom and benefit others. The Apostle Paul bemoaned the spiritual condition of the churches he had observed and commented, “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's” (Philippians 2:21). Could this be the reason that so many prayers go unanswered? Is the pathway of our prayers to God cluttered by goals and objectives that are not in alignment with His will and purposes?

Jesus promised in Matthew 6:33, that if we seek the kingdom of God first; that is, if we make saving souls and doing His will our priority, then everything else we need will be provided. Our prayers for those things will be answered. - But you seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

He wants us to know that the same power in prayer that He granted to Elijah is ours as well. Elijah was a faithful servant of God, and the Lord answered his prayers to punish those that were in rebellion against God with the tribulation of a three and one half year drought. Likewise, God’s faithful today can also effectively pray to thwart the devices of the wicked, shut down sex trafficking operations, expose drug dealers and other evils, bind demonic activity; and most of all save souls. If we pray with faith, believing He will answer those prayers, He will answer them because it is also in His will to combat the deeds of the wicked…”To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honor have all His saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 149:8,9). This privilege is accomplished through prayer.

Jesus told His disciples “That whoever shall say to this mountain, ‘You be removed, and you be cast into the sea;’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatever he says (Mark 11:23). He means that we must approach the impossible as if it is possible, and those mountains of wickedness, those pinnacles of evil, as well as any obstructions that are hindering our ministries will be removed.

In order for our prayers to be effective we must be in a state of humility and repentance ourselves and make sure any sin we harbor has been dealt with.

There is a mountain called the tribulation looming before us in the distance, and we may already be standing in its foothills. Some of the devastations that will be commencing during that time may also be the result of God answering the prayers of the just Elijah’s who have been praying for justice. We can all be part of this army of prayer warriors, those instruments that the Lord will use to accomplish His purposes to rescue the afflicted and bring the wicked to justice and repentance.

Let’s change our focus from the things we want, to actively seek what God wants for ourselves and the future that God’s word has described.

Copyright 2023 by H.D. Shively

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