Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 40:1-49 / James 5:1-20 / Psalm 130:1-8
A man pursued by a roaring hungry lion, felt it’s hot breath on his neck and knew his time was short. He prayed in desperation, “O Lord, please make this lion a Christian!” Within seconds, the frightened man realized the lion had stopped the chase. When he turned around, he saw the lion kneeling with its lips moving in prayer…his prayer was answered! He was relieved until he overheard the lion’s prayer, “And bless, O Lord, this food for which I am exceedingly grateful.”
Seriously though…prayer is powerful! Some believe that prayer is an emotional crutch or a tension reliever that can’t change circumstances, people or lives. They base their opinion on their experience, comprehension and understanding. Prayer is not a fact to be tested but it is a powerful, God ordained truth to be experienced and practiced. James writes, “…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
Experiments have been done in the name of science on the power of prayer. Hospital patients were randomly divided into two groups and without their knowledge, one group was prayed for while the other was not. They discovered the patients who were being prayed for progressed dramatically compared to the other group. There was a vast improvement in them physically, mentally and emotionally.
The power of prayer can be likened to the power of a gun. The person pulling the trigger is part of the gun’s power. A loaded gun lying by itself is not dangerous or powerful. It has potential but is harmless until the trigger is pulled by someone and unleashes its power. We are a vital part in the process of prayer. James earlier says, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” (4:2)
The gun itself is prayer. A gun has many precision parts that work together to make it functional. Prayer has a lot of complexities and we may not understand how it all works but by faith we activate prayer. And just like a gun, prayer also has a safety switch that is controlled by the divine will, wisdom and sovereignty of God. We lay all of our desires and will at the throne of His grace and mercy.
The ammunition is the power of the Holy Spirit. He penetrates the natural and supernatural forces targeted by prayer. God responds to passionate and prevailing prayer. The miraculous and supernatural power of God opens the windows of heaven, stops the work of the enemy and brings life where there is death.
A secular Gallup Poll found the divorce rate of couples in America to be 1 out of 2. The divorce rate for couples that attend church together: 1 out of 2. But when the couples also pray together daily, the divorce rate changes to 1 out of 1,152! There is nothing that can stop the power of prayer…except us. God has given us the powerful weapon of prayer…pull the trigger.
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!