A great way to start this New Year is remind ourselves again of the necessity and power of prayer for ourselves, others, our nation and world events. It’s easy to forget prayer with all the tumult going on in the world as well as our personal worlds. In times like these, many lose hope for the future or become cynical.
History confirms that when times get tough prayer increases. People finally give the operation of the world to the One who made the world. Then God says, “Ok, I’ve seen what you can do, now let Me show you what I can do.” God has the power to effect change. We have the power to pray for “God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done.” Trust me, God has a better solution to today’s individual and corporate problems and issues than we do.
During my pastorate of twenty-two years in the metro-Phoenix area, my constituency consistently asked me one question: “Why was there so much power in the books of Acts in the Bible?” I took them to the book of Acts in the Bible and showed them the following verses.
Acts 1:14 – These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer. Acts 2:42 – They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 3:1 – Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. Acts 4:31 – And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 5:12 – At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord (prayer) in Solomon’s portico. Acts 6:4 – But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. Acts 7:60 – Then falling on his knees, Stephen cried out (prayed) with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”
Acts 8:14-15, 17 – Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:40 – But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Acts 10:30-31 – Cornelius said, “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour; and behold, a man stood before me in shining garments, and he said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.’” Acts 11:5 – I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object coming down like a great sheet lowered by four corners from the sky; and it came right down to me.
Acts 12:5 – So Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God. Acts 13:2-3 – While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 14:23 – When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Do you see all the prayer in the first fourteen chapters of the book of Acts? I could go on with further chapters but you get the message. Prayer releases spiritual power and the greater the prayer, the greater the power. Jesus went to Calvary because he had prayed at Gethsemane.
Are you battling a problem, issue or weakness? Pray! Tried everything else? Pray! Uptight and can’t relax? Pray! Can’t find a job? Pray! Having a relationship problem? Pray! Worried about current world events? Pray. We may not get the answer we want, when we want, but we will always get God’s best for us at the time we prayed.
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