Like the cool Spring breeze through an open window, the power of prayer is often a gentle, quiet experience.
The soothing of a sorrow, the calming of a fear. The strength to get through one more day, hour, or minute. Besides eternal life, prayer is the best gift we can give someone. A friend of mine at church shared about praying for a woman who as sitting alone on the floor at the mall crying. Even after a long day of delays and struggles, she could not let this woman go. She had to stop and address her need.
While her family waited she listened to the woman's story and prayed with her right there on the floor or the mall with security cameras rolling and people buzzing by. She was not able to change the woman's situation, or resolve all of her problems. But on this dear woman's birthday, while she was lost and in despair over what to do and where to go, my friend was able to offer her a moment of peace and hope. That is power. That is the gift we have to give wherever we go.The power of prayer is that no matter what the situation, we know we have an open line of communication with He who is greater than any earthly circumstance.
I know I've shared before that my sister-in-law had only a split second to utter the name of Jesus before a driver, high on drugs, smashed into her head on, almost killing her. She didn't have time for flowing words. Her heart's cry was Jesus. Because in His name, mountains will bow. In His name, demons will flee.
Praying Powerful Prayers
The power of prayer is not found in the words we use but rather in two key elements:
- Our faith
- The name of Jesus
Our prayers may not grace the pages of a devotional and we may never talk the way Ann Voskamp writes but that does not mean our prayers are not effective and powerful. Our job, if you will, is to exercise our faith when we pray. There is nothing repetitious or dogmatic about it. We should not be praying out of guilt or duty. Every time we lift our voice to Heaven in prayer it should only be in faith.
“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.”
~ James 5:14-15
When our marriage seems stale, when the budget just won't balance we pray in faith that God will change hearts, give us strength and make a way where there is none.
Some people confuse faith. They think, based on reading the above scripture, if they pray hard enough God will change His mind, granting them the outcome they want. This is no longer faith. This is manipulation. We cannot manipulate God into giving us what we want.
Faith properly exercised through prayer gives us two things:
- assurance that God is in control no matter what the earthly outcome.
- a heart of submission to God's will
I have prayed for years that the ringing in my ears would go away. Years. It has not. I used to get mad at God and lose heart because I figured He didn't love me or I just didn't have enough faith to make it happen.
What a misguided thought process! Like a child throwing a tantrum over eating a cookie for breakfast, I was declaring God could only love me if I got what I wanted. And what pressure I was placing on myself to be so holy that God would grant my every request.
I forgot the strength He's given me day after day to ignore the ringing, sleep well and, most of the time, not even realize it's there. I am assured of my healing when I'm in eternity. If it comes before, praise God but if not, I praise Him anyway for keeping me going.
Sprinting Prayers and Marathon Prayers
The way I see it, there are two kinds of prayers we should prayer daily. Sprinting prayers and marathon prayers.
Sprinting prayers are the kind you pray when you've lost your keys or you're on the brink of screaming at the kids. Marathon prayers are the kind prayed over and over for days, months or even years. Both require faith in God.
We can be sprint-praying all the time, faith in action as we depend on God to guide our day!
Marathon prayers often cover our family and take great measures of faith and hope as we wait patiently to see the outcome. I prayed marathon prayers for years over my husband, I still do.
I prayed he would quit drinking, he did. I prayed he'd give his life back to the Lord, he did. I prayed he'd get baptized, he did. Now I continue to pray that he will rise up as the godly leader of our home. I admit, I wish my prayers would be answered sooner, and sometimes I get discouraged but I continue in faith.
These printable prayer calendars can help you with your marathon prayers. One calendar is designed to help you pray over your children every day, the other is for your husband. Use these prayer calendars as they are or, if you feel led that day, use them as a launch pad to take you deeper into intercession for your husband or child(ren) in that day's topic.
Sign up for our community and receive our prayer calendars free.