Healing & Well-Being

The Power Of Prayer: What Is It And Why It Works

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Date Published:
June 24, 2021

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Summary

In Mark 11:2, Jesus tells His followers:

“So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

There’s immense power in the prayer of a righteous Christian.

The knowledge that there is power in prayer is not new. Many of the greatest stalwarts in the Bible turned to prayer constantly because they understood what it could do for them.

Today, thousands of people see miracles in their lives by tapping into this very same power in prayer. And this power of God is available to you. 

Let’s look at what this power is, why it works, and how to tap into it.

What is the power of prayer?

There are many times we feel powerless in our lives, especially in the face of difficult circumstances. By ourselves, we can do nothing. 

The scriptures confirm this. In John 15:5, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.”

We recognize the need for God’s power. This is the same power by which God created the heavens and the Earth. It’s the same power that parted the sea for Moses and that Jesus used to heal the sick and cast out demons.

 It was that power that raised Christ from the dead and brought a baptism of fire on the first Christians.

All these miracles happened through the power of prayer. Moses prayed before Yahweh. Jesus prayed to the Father for miracles. The early Christians prayed together in the Upper Room.

Whether it was Daniel in the lion’s den or Elijah before the false prophets, prayer constantly served the important figures of the Bible. And we can harness that same power in our lives today.

God gives us this power through His Holy Spirit. 

Hands clasped in prayer

Paul tells the Ephesians in 1:18-19:

“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know Him …and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power for us who believe, according to the working of His great power.”

Our Heavenly Father gives us this power through His son Jesus. There is power in Jesus’s name. 

In John 14:13, Jesus says: 

“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

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Why prayer works

In her book “The Power of Praying Woman,” Stormie Omartian says, “We have to put our expectations in the Lord and not in other things or people.”

Prayer works because God wants our complete dependence on Him. He wants us to recognize that without Him, we can’t transcend our limitations.

God is the source of our fulfillment. He is and wants us to make Him the answer to our longings. Prayer draws us into a deep relationship with God.

Our prayer life brings us closer to Him through honest communication, just as any child does with their parents.

What does it achieve?

Prayer changes us first. In our busy lives, too often, we don’t pray enough. Or we pray for our most pressing needs and treat God as a genie. 

Deep, intimate prayer draws us close to the heart of God. It helps us become more like Him. Prayer lets us hear the Father’s voice and direction. It inspires us and gives us answers. It reveals our flaws and perfects us. It is an avenue by which we can repent and be forgiven for our sins.

As we share our deepest longings with God, we change and become the people God wants us to be.

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Collective prayer

Jesus Christ Himself teaches us the power of collective prayer. 

 Four women praying together

In Matthew 18:19, Jesus says:

“If two of you agree on Earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”

He even gives the template of the “Our Father,” or “The Lord's Prayer,” to show us how we must pray.

Faith in collective prayer is encouraged. Throughout the Old Testament, collective prayer is demonstrated — in some cases, even national prayer is depicted. In scripture, God lays out specific guidelines for the Passover for the nation of Israel and the Ark of the Covenant.

In James 5, Christians are encouraged to pray with and for each other in times of sickness and suffering.

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Scriptures about the power of prayer

The Holy Bible has numerous scriptures and stories about the power of prayer and how it works in people’s lives.

Hannah’s powerful prayer in 1 Samuel is a good example of how this power works. Hannah was married to Elkanah, who loved her deeply. However, Hannah was barren. 

In her story, her deep longing for a child drove her to despair. She cried out to God in prayer to bless her, and He did.

The birth of the prophet Samuel made Hannah sing a beautiful song of praise in response to the answered prayer. Her story demonstrates the Lord God’s omnipotence and how He does hear us when we pray — and He loves us.

Why is it necessary to be righteous?

God hears our prayer requests, and God answers them, too. He is a holy God and wants us to strive to be like Him. 

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus explicitly asks us to be perfect like the Heavenly Father is perfect.

Prayer can help us have the strength and power to be righteous. Through righteousness and the grace of God, we are able to use the power of prayer in every aspect of our lives.

Woman praying outside with her head bowed

God asks us to abide in Him through our Bible and prayer life, and we can ask Him for anything that is good. If we don’t abide by God’s word and follow His precepts, then we are powerless.

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

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Being open to God’s will

While God will always answer our prayers, He may not answer them in a way we expect or think is best. But we must trust the Lord God’s will, for He truly knows what is best for us.

We should spend time trusting and understanding God’s plan for us. When we do, we can be sure God listens to us.

God’s power is too precious to let loose on a soul that is not open to God’s will. Jesus repeatedly asks and prays for God to be glorified. We should do the same.

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Prayer has the power to transform our lives

In 1 John 5:14, the scriptures tell us:

“And this is the boldness we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us.”

There is immense power in daily prayer. Jesus tells us that with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do great things as He did. Jesus is our role model. 

To be able to tap into this power, we need to look internally at ourselves. Do I wake up and pray as He does? Do I fast and resist Satan like Him? Am I holy? Do I love my brothers and sisters like Him?

You can walk in the footsteps of the Savior and testify to the world that there is power in prayer.

Download the pray.com app at the App Store or Google Play to read Bible stories, listen to Christian podcasts, and learn more about the power of prayer.

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