It has been proven time and time again that prayer is the greatest spiritual force in the universe. Scientists have reported that prayer has ten times the power of a nuclear missile. To the Christian today that is good news! Prayer is full of life and energy. It has a potency all its own, but cannot be activated without the faithful ones who believe in its power. A church, a ministry that does not see the necessity of prayer is a ministry that is dying already. Souls will not be saved, healing will not take place and deliverance will not occur because without prayer there is no love, and without love there is no life. For God is love, and that love is the Life of men! "Man is looking for better methods, God is looking for better men. Man is Godís method." (H.W. Hodge)
Great leaders are great in prayer. Paul, Luther, and Wesley to name a few, are among the great leaders, but they were not great because of brilliancy of thought, or exhaustive resources, but great because of the power of prayer in which they could command the power of God. Praying people mean much more than people who say prayers; much more than people who pray by habit. It means people with whom prayer is a mighty force, an energy that moves heaven and pours untold treasures of good on earth. Remember these great words, "Prayer can do anything that God can do."Making the statement that Ďprayer can do anything that God can doí is a tremendous statement to make, but it is a statement born out of history and experience. If we are abiding in Christ we are living in obedience to His holy will and approach God in His name, then there will lie open before us the infinite resources of the Divine treasure house. "Here is the secret of prevailing prayer, to pray under a direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whose petitions for us and through us are always according to the Divine purpose, and hence certain of answer. "Praying in the Holy Ghost" is but co-operating with the will of God and such prayer is always victorious. How many Christians there are who cannot pray, and who seek by effort, resolve, joining prayer circles, etc., to cultivate in themselves the Ďholy art of intercession,í and all to no purpose. Here fore them and for all is the only secret of a real prayer life - "Be filled with the Spirit," who is "the Spirit of grace and supplication." - Rev. J. Stuart Holden, M.A.
God is admonishing His people to pray not just short prayers at night or in the morning, but prayers of travail, of intercession. The Word says that God searched the whole earth to find an intercessor and found none. He decided to intercede on behalf of Israel. Now, God is asking for men and women to join forces against the evil forces, and pray for Israel, a representation of the world. We must do what the prophet Jeremiah said, and that is to pray for Jerusalem, to give God no rest until Jerusalem (Godís people) are praise in the earth. God gives His vessels a command, a mandate as he did Joshua, and that is to possess the land! This was a direct order from God to Joshua, and it is also to us today. Moses represented the law, and the law will not take us into the promised land, but grace will! Joshua was a type of Jesus and it is by His grace we shall enter into what God has for us. Many doubted and few believed, but God does not need great numbers to do His will. He needs willing, empty vessels that will let Him be God! This is why prayer does not need quantity, but QUALITY! When you have effectual, fervent prayer from a righteous man, it is enough. It is imperative that we understand the need for prayer at all times. We are charged in Godís Word "always to pray," "in everything by prayer," "continuing instant in prayer," "to pray everywhere," "praying always." The seraph burning, sleepless, adoring, is the figure of prayer. It is resistless in its ardor, devoted and tireless. There are hindrances to prayer that nothing but pure, intense flame can surmount. These are the toils and outlays and endurance, which nothing but the strongest, most ardent flame can abide. Prayer may be low, but it cannot be cold. Its words amy be few, but they must be on fire. Its feelings may not be impetuous, but they must be white with heat. It is the effectual, fervent prayer that influences God. When God says that we are to pray always does not mean that we are to neglect the ordinary duties of life; what it means is that the soul which has come into intimate contact with God in the silence of the prayer chamber is never out conscious touch with the Father, that the heart is always going out to Him in loving communion, and that the moment the mind is released from the task upon which it is engaged it returns as naturally to God as the bird does to its nest. What a beautiful conception of prayer we get if we regard it in this light, if we view it as a constant fellowship, unbroken audience with the King.
"I exhort, therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men; for kings and all that are in a high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior... I desire, therefore, that the men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and disputing (I Timothy 2:1-3,8).
Look at Elijah, a man like us, but he could pray that the rain would stop for 3 years, and then pray for it to rain again. He was no different than you or I, but the question remains, "Do we believe?" Jesus asked Martha this same question when He came to raise Lazarus from the dead. He is still asking His people this question today. "Dost thou believe?" The biggest defeat for any child of God is to doubt Godís Word. It pushes us back from that which God desires for us. If we have stopped praying, then we have stopped believing, then God must halt His hand in the situation. God is moved by FAITH! Without faith it is impossible to please God.
We must learn to live by every Word that comes from the mouth of God, both written and living. The living Word today are those who hear and do the will of God. Vessels whom God has given to His people to lead and guide into Truth. One learns obedience by the things they suffer, but to suffer for ignorance sake is foolish. We must not doubt God at a time when we should believe.The prayer of faith is the only power in the universe to which the great Jehovah yields. Prayer is the sovereign remedy. - Robert Hall
There can be no substitute, no rival for prayer; it stands alone as the great spiritual force, and this force must be imminent and acting. Prayer is the expression of faith. So if we are not praying then we have no faith. For faith without works is dead! Too often we get faint-hearted and quit praying at the point where we ought to begin. We let go at the very point where we should hold on the strongest. Our prayers are weak because they are not impassioned by an unfailing and resistless will.
I Corinthians 13 is the law of love, and the law of prayer. Prayer without love is fruitless. ALL PRAYER MUST BE BRED FROM LOVE! It is of no effect if we do not pray without ceasing. We must pray until there is an answer to our petition. The Lord is seeking those who will effectively and fervently pray for one another. As our great example in prayer, our Lord puts love as a primary condition - a love that has purified the heart from all the elements of hate, revenge, and ill will. Love is the supreme condition of prayer, a life inspired by love. The 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians is the law of prayer as well as the law of love. The law of love is the law of prayer, and to master this chapter from the epistle of St. Paul is to learn the first and fullest condition of prayer. Perfect prayer is only another name for love. - Fenelon
The Word of God must become a reality in our heart. Our spirit must become quickened to His Word, and then we will begin to think, talk and walk as the Lord did. As He is so are we in this world. We are the light of the world; we are the salt of the earth. Godís house is a house of prayer; Godís work is a work of prayer. It is the zeal for Godís house and the zeal for Godís work that makes Godís house glorious and His work abide. When the prayer chambers of saints are closed or are entered casually or coldly, then Church character sinks to a low level, and the ministry becomes restrained and enfeebled. When the prayer fails, the world prevails. When prayer fails the Church loses its Divine characteristics, its Divine power; the Church is swallowed up by a proud ecclesiasticism, and the world scoffs at its obvious impotence.
An intercessor is one who diligently seeks the Lord not for himself, but for the sake of others. It is a lying down of oneís desires, and will for another. For the world will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. For there is no greater love than for one to lay down his life for his friend. When we diligently seek Him he rewards us. "The Father rewards those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) An intercessor is a doer of the Word. Faith always has a good report. We canít pray effectively for ourselves, someone else or about something and then speak negatively about it. (Matthew 12:34-37) This is double-minded, and a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, and receives NOTHING from God.
In Ephesians 4:29-30 it says, "Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word, nor unwholesome or worthless talk (ever) come out of your mouth; but only such (speech) as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (Godís favor) to those who hear it. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, (do not offend, vex, or sadden Him) by whom you were sealed (marked, branded as Godís own, secured) for the day of redemption Ė of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin." (Amplified)
TALK THE ANSWER, NOT THE PROBLEM. The answer is in Godís Word. We must have knowledge of the Word Ė revelation knowledge. (I Corinthians 2:7-16) As an intercessor we must join as one unit, one Body in prayer. Unity in prayer is a mighty weapon for the Body of Christ to use. Believe you receive when you pray. Hold fast to your confession of faith in Godís Word. We must praise God now for the victory before any manifestation. Walk by faith and not by sight. (II Corinthians 5:7)
"The earnest (heart-felt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available Ė dynamic in its working" (James 5:16 Amplified).
"For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous Ė those who are upright and in right standing with God Ė and His ears are attentive (open) to their prayer" (I Peter 3:12 Amplified).
Prayer is not to be a religious form with no power. It is to be effective and accurate and bring results. God watches over His Word to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12)
For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power Ė making it active, operative, energizing and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and (the immortal) spirit, and of joints and marrow (that is, of the deepest parts of our nature) exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12 Amplified)
The Word does not return unto Him void Ė without producing any effect, useless Ė but it shall accomplish that which He pleases and purposes, and it shall prosper in the thing for which he sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
The prayer armor is for every believer, every member of the Body of Christ, who will put it on and walk in it for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds of the enemy (Satan, the god of this world, and all his demonic forces). Spiritual warfare takes place in prayer. (II Corinthians 10:4; Ephesians 6:12)Prayer does not cause faith to work, but faith causes prayer to work.
God wants us to understand that when we pray we must believe already that we have recieved what we are asking for. We must see that which is, even when it is not yet manifest. This is FAITH! Faith is not praising God after He has done something, but praising Him beforehand, acknowledging that we believe with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! This is why Jesus made that statement because the people were saying how can a man fulfill what God wants? Jesus told them with man it is impossible, but not with God. Our faith must be in Him, not in ourselves. Too many of us believe in our own ablities and talents instead of leaning on God. We lean too much on the arm of flesh, instead of leaning on the arm of Spirit. We have yet to attain and utilize the mind of Christ that Paul teaches us about. Paul said that he is judged of no man, and he that is spiritual judges all things. Why? Because the one that is spiritual operates in the mind of Christ and therefore judges righteously.
Many people believe in prayer, but not many pray. It is the most simple, but most powerful way to reach God. It is the easiest and hardest of all things; the simplest and the sublimest; the weakest and the most powerful; its results lie outside the range of human possiblities. "Prayer is a trade to be learned. We must be apprentices and serve our time at it. Painstaking care, much thought, practice and labour are required to be a skilfull tradesman in praying. Practice in this, as well as in all other trades, makes perfect. Toiling hands and hearts only make proficients in this heavenly trade." (E. M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer, pg. 48-49)What a mighty force prayerful praying is! Real prayer helps God and man. Godís Kingdom is advanced by it. Remember ĎPrayer can do anything that God can do.í The pity is that we do not believe this as we ought, and we do not put it to the test. "The deepest need of the Church today is not for any material or external thing, but the deepest need is spiritual. Prayerless work will never bring in the Kingdom. We neglect to pray in the prescribed way. We seldom enter the closet and shut the door for a season of prayer. Kingdom interests are pressing on us thick and fast and we must pray. Prayerless giving will never evangelize the world." - Dr. A.J. Gordon