The Power of Prayer

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is a powerful means of grace that God has provided to us. He has good things to give us that we do not have because we have not asked. Some may argue, but God knows what we need even if we do not ask. That is true, but refusing to pray is disobedience, and there are rewards to obedience in prayer that we will not experience any other way. 

Sometimes, to protect a passage of scripture from the abuses it receives from those who twist it, we add so many qualifications that we eliminate not only the false teaching but also the profound truth it communicates. We find one such passage in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Matt. 7:7).

If you watch prosperity preachers, you will find several who pervert this passage of scripture. They turn it into some name it and claim it doctrine, and most of what they want to claim has more to do with worldly well-being than spiritual. Other teachers have said that God cannot work until you pray. He is hindered until you allow him to work by giving him permission in prayer, as if God is not soveriegn.

Others will say this verse has such a clear promise that if God is not answering your prayers, it must be because you lack faith. Convenient for them, you can show God you have enough faith and get your prayers answered by financially donating to their ministry. Men and women who do such things are wolves who feed on the flock instead of feeding the sheep. If they do not repent, their judgment awaits.

We are right in protecting this passage from abuse, but sometimes we go too far. For example. Someone might say, “There is power in prayer.” And a well-meaning Christian will respond, “The power is not actually in prayer, but in God. We do not trust in prayer; we trust in him.”

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