Prayer opens the channel for communication with God, and it is one of the most effective mediums to connect with Him. Prayer has the power to change who we are and what we become in Christ. When the power of prayer and the virtue of faith join forces through the move of the Holy Spirit, they bring out the desired change which is revolutionary!
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” I would like to draw your attention to this verse in the context of prayer. This portion of the scripture makes us realize how prayer can be the tool that brings in this change in us.
We are aware that prayer changes everything. Paul, the Apostle, succumbed to this fact and stands out as a great witness even to this day. Even though he was one of the last ones to be included in the Apostles bandwagon, he caught up to speed with the others and even went above and beyond in his commitment and calling. The Holy Spirit played a vital role in the transformation of Saul into Paul. All he needed was that one divine encounter that changed his life for the better. The Holy Spirit convicted Saul of his past and planted the seed of faith in him. The channel of communication that God opened between Him and Paul enabled him to grow stronger in his faith and equipped him with boldness to propagate the purpose for which the Lord called him. I strongly believe the work that Paul performed as an apostle of Christ wouldn’t have been possible if he didn’t maintain the discipline of a prayerful life. As we see from his writings all over the New Testament, it is evident that Paul was indeed a man of prayer and a great one at it.
In the New Testament, he repeatedly prayed for others. In Ephesians 3:14-21, while Paul was in prison, he prayed for the believers in the church at Ephesus. “14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” The holy encounter with God enabled Paul to know his purpose, and his surrendered life led him to pray for others with compassion and conviction. His prayer truly shows the strength of his inner man, and he prayed the same for others around him, so they will receive what he had received from the Lord.
A lifestyle of consistent prayer will keep us sharp and help us not to lose touch with the original conviction we received when we surrendered our life to Christ. My dear brothers and sisters, you and I live in the same atmosphere like the Apostle Paul. The same Holy Spirit who convicted Paul lives inside of us since the day we gave our hearts and lives to Christ. What God accomplished through Paul’s prayer can be accomplished through our prayers as well! Once we understand that, we can experience the same conviction in our lives, and our prayers will begin to align with God’s will to accomplish God’s purposes.
As convicted and renewed souls, our heart will begin to beat to do the will of God. The strength of our inner being inspires us to strive harder to pursue after God’s heart. The only way we can listen and feel the burden of God’s heart is to bend our knees before Him in prayer. The power of prayer breaks down the yoke of self in us and pushes us forward to become more like our Savior. Prayer creates in us the character that mirrors Christ, and we become the reflection of God the Son as we are truly meant to be.
Pastor Mark Batterson, in his best-selling book The Circle Maker (title of books should be underlined), says, “The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.” And he goes on to share the good news that God will answer our prayers if only we step up boldly to ask Him. In Jeremiah 33:3, the Lord says, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Here we see the promise and assurance from God about the outcome of our prayers. The more we pray, the more we will experience this first hand in our lives thereby building our trust in Him. Prayer creates confidence in us to press on and trust God more.
Prayer transforms us from the ‘old’ self-centered, self-seeking person to a ‘new’ someone who selflessly seeks the face of God on behalf of the people around us. Keeping up the discipline of prayer will lead us to be the one seeking God to be sent to stand in the gap in intercession. Soon, the burden of the Kingdom will outweigh the burden of our personal self. Prayer will create a deeper sense of breaking in our hearts for what breaks the heart of God.
Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus...” In Christ, there is no condemnation. We don’t need to be superheroes wearing capes to enter the throne room of God. We just need to come as we are into the presence of God. Hebrews 4:16 says God has opened the door to His throne room and invited His children to enter His presence boldly with their petitions. And Romans 8:37 says, “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” God loves us and He proved it on the Cross for us. As promised, He hears us when we call Him. Being encouraged and empowered by the love and promises of God, we should understand that there is nothing preventing us from praying bold prayers. Every evil scheme of the enemy has been conquered by the power of prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit. God hears us attentively when we pray as he promised in 2 Chronicles 7:15.
The Bible says in Ephesians 3:20, that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. He really does want to work with us to bring healing and transform lives through prayer. So we can be rest assured that our prayers will be successful and will bring a victorious result because the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
Let’s recollect and reflect on how prayer has the power to convict us to give in to the call of God, create in us a heart that breaks for what breaks the heart of God and conquer every doubt and obstacle that come our way to reassure us how God loves us and waits to hear us as we call unto Him. We also need to remember that we are not our ‘old’ self but a ‘new’ creation in Christ called according to His purpose to be a blessing in His Kingdom. So dear friends, press on with faith and fervor and pray more to conquer every high mountain through your powerful prayers for God’s glory!