The Effects Of Prayer
Prayer is one of the most essential tools that the child of God has. Through prayer, things can change. Prayer is the key to direction, health, prosperity, more abundant life, and spiritual growth. At the same time, it is the path for God to demonstrate just how powerful He is. When you face an impossible situation, there is only one thing you can do—pray. When you are faced with insurmountable odds, pray. To explain this, I want to look at the early church and how it handled conditions that could have potentially ended badly.
While Peter and John faced persecution from the religious leaders, the early church faced a critical moment in its infancy—how would they respond to the threats?
In the face of persecution, the church did not shy away, and neither did it cower in the face of pressure. Instead, it gathered together to do the only thing they knew to do, pray. They began to lift their voices unto heaven and declare that God was the Creator of the worlds and everything in it, and He was in control over everything.
The Sovereignty Of God
The subject of the sovereignty of God is something that is not discussed anymore in most churches. God is sovereign, and it means that God possesses supreme power. It also means that everything that God does is right. We might not understand circumstances that are before us. We might not understand why certain things happen in the way they do, but we need to know that everything God does is right.
The situations we face are either caused or allowed by the Lord to happen. I understand this is something that is referred to often, but many people do not fully understand it. The reality of it all is that God is always right in everything we face in life. Everything is subject to the will of God, and when you are faced with impossible circumstances, and you do not know what to do, pray.
Three Reasons To Pray
Prayer is one of the most critical disciplines that any Christian can develop and should develop. There are three significant reasons to pray: communion with God, consecration, and petition. Communion speaks of relationship, and anyone knows that it is inconceivable to establish any relationship without communication. God desires to talk with us, but He does not want this to be a one-way street, for He longs for us to speak to Him.
Second, prayer is vital for consecration, which means “to make holy.” During the quiet moments shut in with God, He begins to point out to us what needs to be changed in our lives. Through Peter, the Holy Spirit writes, “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Pet. 1:16). Holiness comes through our faith in Christ and what he did at Calvary on our behalf. As we continue to seek the Lord through prayer, He will develop us into becoming holy.
The third reason prayer is essential is that we petition the Lord for things we either need or want. Remember, what is either asked or desired must be in the will of God, and one cannot know the will of God if there is no relationship.
Notice, Peter and John never once asked the Lord to destroy these men or even for the persecution to stop. Instead, they asked for boldness to press through and do what is right. The boldness mentioned here is not reckless impulsiveness or a blabbering of the mouth with no regard for consequences, but confidence and freedom in speaking openly without concealment.
Their request for boldness was to declare the righteousness of God in the face of severe discrimination. If there was ever a time for the church to become bold, that time is now. Now is not the time for the body of Christ to remain silent, rest on its laurels, or go along to get along, but to stand firm, be bold, and preach the gospel in righteousness. We must proclaim that we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Their second request was for a confirmation for their boldness that the Lord would stretch down His hand and bring forth healing. Divine healing was prominent in the time of the early church, as signs and wonders helped show the power of God, not only to the Jews but also to the Gentiles.
Some may wonder why we are not seeing the miracles that the early church saw in its infancy. I cannot fully answer that question. All I know is that the days of miracles are not over and that we will see a wave of divine healing flood this land one more time. I believe in the healing power of God, and I believe that we are going to see miracles, signs, and wonders, for these will follow them that believe (Mark 16:17).
As they prayed, something beyond our scope of thinking occurred; the walls began to shake. This was not an earthquake, as some might think, but rather a physical demonstration of the power of God as it shook the very foundations of that chamber. This would not have happened without prayer. Prayer changes things.
If we, as the church, desire to see our city shaken, then we need to pray. If we long to see our families shaken by the power of God, then pray. If we thirst for a shaking within our lives, then pray. Pray until something happens.
The only way for revival to spread is through the act of prayer. I believe that America will see the most incredible move of God it has ever seen, but it will not come through any other means except prayer. When the Spirit of God fell that day, He gave them a refilling to continue to stand for righteousness and gave them the ability to speak with boldness.
Whatever the situation is that you are facing, take time to pray. Through the act of seeking the face of God, you will find direction, peace, comfort, and miracles.
As we mentioned a few paragraphs ago, pray until something happens, for prayer can change the outcome of the circumstance you are facing.
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