The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
Does this scenario sound familiar to you? You listen to a sermon, read a book, or attend a seminar that reminds you of the importance of prayer. You are reminded that all the great men and women of faith in the Bible prayed; in fact, Jesus Himself prayed. If even the Son of God felt prayer was a necessity, shouldn’t you make it a priority in your life? Convicted of your lack of prayerfulness, you make a pledge: “God, whatever else I do, I am going to spend at least a few minutes every day praying.” That commitment lasts a few months, a few weeks, perhaps only a few days. And then, disgusted by your own lack of discipline, disappointed with God’s lack of answers to your prayers, or simply distracted by other things in your life, you give up.
I imagine a lot of Christians have a similar testimony: they might be active in church, they might even read their Bibles every day, but they do not pray regularly. Some people say, “I don’t have time to pray.” But we make time to do other necessary things, don’t we? Oswald Chambers wrote, “Remember, no one has time to pray; we have to take time from other things that are valuable in order to understand how necessary prayer is.”
The fact is, even though we do not pray much, prayer is key to experiencing God’s power. Prayer is the second conduit through which the Holy Spirit’s power is transmitted into our lives.
I like the way John Piper described prayer. He said prayer is “the splicing of our limp wire to the lightning bolt of heaven.” And indeed, throughout the Old and New Testaments, you see God’s power being poured out on His people through prayer. It was through prayer that the power of God came down and burned up Elijah’s offering when he was battling the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. It was through prayer that Jesus was able to transform five loaves and two fish into enough food for thousands of people in Matthew 14. It was through prayer that Peter was supernaturally released from prison in Acts 12.
English archbishop William Temple reportedly said, “When I pray, coincidences happen.” I bet you can name something miraculous that has happened as a result of prayer in your life or in the life of somebody you know. That is the power of God, and it is power we are missing out on if we do not make prayer a priority in our lives.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Power of Faith-Kneeling” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
Oswald Chambers, “Prayer: A Holy Occupation” (Grand Rapids: Discovery House, 1992), 97; John Piper, “Brothers, We Are Not Professionals” (Nashville: B&H, 2013), 68.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.