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do you rely on the power of prayer?

The Incredible Power of Prayer - By Wendy Betterini

During moments of helplessness, there's always one thing that can be done to make us feel more purposeful: pray.

Contrary to traditional prayer poses, we don't have to spend hours on our knees with hands steepled before us. Prayer can actually be a wonderful, calming, energizing, yet comfortable activity. Sit or lie in any position you wish. Arrange yourself as if you were preparing for a long chat with a close friend.

Though prayer can mean different things to different people, most of us would agree that prayer is simply talking to God. But many don't realize that prayer is actually a lot more pro-active than simply talking! When we pray, we're actually setting certain forces into motion. Prayers are thoughts. Thoughts are energy. Energy has power. When we pray, we are purposely setting energy into motion.


Prayer is much more than just "asking for something." Prayer is affirming, visualizing & having faith that certain circumstances are sure to follow.
Remember that God also gave us the ability to create. We create every single day. We use our bodies & minds to generate money (a form of energy) to support our families.
Men & women come together to create new life. Artists take a blank canvas & create a breathtaking vision of beauty. For human beings, creating is the simplest form of expression. The most difficult part is deciding what to create & then having the discipline to form our thoughts in that direction.

How does this process of creation apply to victims of a disaster? Beyond the obvious physical necessities of food, water, clothing & shelter, what do these people
need the most? They need comfort. They need peace. They need to know that everything is going to be okay again, even though their entire world has just been turned upside down.
They're grieving for lost loved ones, homes, friends, jobs, neighbors & so much more. They weathered the storm, they're lucky to be alive, but now what?


Now they begin the slow process of building another life for themselves, which is a frightening thing to do. We are creatures of habit. We like our comfortable, familiar routines. The unknown is scary. And the only thing I've found that can reduce fear is faith. But so many of these people are without faith right now. They've lost everything, including hope. We need to send our own faith to help them, huge chunks of faith, swaddled in love & borne on the wings of prayer.
How exactly do we do this? Whether you are a spiritual practitioner or not, whether you're a religious person or not, remember that prayers are simply thoughts. Send positive thoughts. Visualize the victims, individually or as a collective group & surround them with:
 love, peace, comfort, strength & healing.
Make it real, make it strong, make it a powerful vision. The more energy you put into it, the more energy that WILL go into it.


Maybe you have doubts about how well this really works. Do it anyway. Put your doubt aside for a few moments & pretend it will work. Or do an internet search on the Power of Prayer & read about the many studies that have been done on this topic. I think you'll be surprised by some of the results.
The strongest benefit of this type of purposeful prayer is that it reduces our feelings of powerlessness. It reminds us that we can co-create with God to make this world a better place, to help our fellow man & ourselves. Though we may feel powerless much of the time, we're in control of a lot more than we might think.

Will praying for people make all of their trials vanish instantly? Probably not. But what if we can give them something more than the basic necessities of life? What if we can somehow pass along the will to get thru another day, the strength to face their grief & the courage to start over? Isn't that worth the effort? I think so.

practices, traditions and service work

What Does The Bible Say About....  Prayer?

Praying For Others
(Intercessory Prayer)

The Lord instructed us to pray not only for our needs but to reach out & pray for others as well. We find this in I Timothy 2:1-6.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

We're told to pray & to make intercession for all men. What's intercessory prayer?

The Greek noun, "enteuxus," is the word for "intercession." It primarily denotes a "meeting with," a conversation or petition rendered on the behalf of others. "Intercessory prayer," then, is seeking the presence & audience of God in another's stead.

Jesus was the greatest intercessor of all time. Isaiah 53:12 records the following prophecy about Jesus:

"Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

Hebrews 7:25 speaks of Him as a high priest that is still interceding on our behalf.

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

The Lord is looking for men & women today that are willing to enter into this ministry with Him. He has always sought people that would "stand in the gap" for others. Ezekiel 22:30-31 says,

"And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God."

The Lord doesn't want judgment to fall upon people. He desires that they repent & return to Him. However, if they don't repent, judgment is inevitable.

Prayer for others causes them to repent & seek God. Therefore, the Lord is always looking for those who'll take a burden of prayer for the wayward ones, so that they might come to Him. He needs spiritual warriors who will selflessly intercede on behalf of others.

The ministry of intercessory prayer perennially stands open for volunteers who will join the Lord in this work. Thru this ministry one can circle the entire world interposing for the multitudes who have no one else to "stand in the gap" for them.

I personally don't believe the Lord will call anyone into a public ministry unless the ministry of intercession has first become a priority in his life. There are many people eagerly wanting to do something for Jesus while this important field of work stands wide open.

It's certainly not as glamorous as some other ministries, for no one is seen or applauded in their prayer closet & perhaps that's exactly why there are so few volunteers.

Even when people are interested in serving in this form of ministry, there's often a lack of knowledge as to the equipment & the keys needed to be effective & successful in it.

This is presented here in hopes that if you have a heart toward God & are willing to become an intercessor, you'll know how to obtain many victories. Intercessory prayer, being a ministry to others, isn't something that directly benefits us.

It's essentially an outreach ministry. Thru it we can truly lay down our lives for others. As we're faithful by sacrificing our time on the behalf of others, the Lord then takes care of our needs. As we minister to others, the Lord ministers to us. While praying for others, we can't neglect mentioning the added blessing of being in fellowship with the Lord.

As the Holy Spirit directs us in the ways we are to pray for others, we need to keep in mind that He will always have us pray according to His Word.

Negative prayers & judgment prayed down on people aren't in harmony with the Spirit of the Lord. God is continually extending mercy & help. Some people in ignorance pray for God to do whatever it takes to save someone.

They pray such prayers as, "Lord, if you have to break their back to get them to come to you, break their back Jesus, take their business away from them, but save them. God, if it takes a car wreck to save them, do it Lord. Show them, even if they have to get cancer."

These are examples of the way some ignorant Christians pray. They are truly crimes against the heart of Christ. He came to save, not to destroy & kill.

Luke 9:53-56, "And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village."

No one gets saved just because he gets cancer. If that were true, then every one that had cancer would automatically come to God. Getting cancer, or being in a car wreck, never saved anyone. On the other hand, many people have died & gone to hell in these ways.

Granted, some do come to the Lord when tragedy strikes, but it was the strength of someone praying for them & the mercy of the Holy Spirit that caused them to come to God, not the tragedy.

Without the conviction of the Holy Spirit, their thoughts would never have gone out to God even in their crisis.

God doesn't send calamities in order to bring people to Himself. He tells us in His word that it is the Spirit of God that "woos" & "draws" people to Himself. This is hastened as Christians pray. John 6:44 says,

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."

Praise God for intercessors that stand against the enemy & keep him from destroying the souls & lives of men, women & children who need the Lord.

The ministry of intercession is a vital part of our Christian walk & we can never attain to maturity & become overcomers by slighting it. I often use the words "task" & "work" in reference to prayer because it's never easy nor convenient to pray with any discipline or consistency.

We must remember that we have an enemy (the devil) who is constantly trying to keep us from our prayer life because he knows (better than most Christians) the damage done to his kingdom thru it. Let us never cease to pray.

This article was taken from the Overcoming Life Digest (July/August 1997 Issue); click here to view Digest

Betty Miller has written several books on other topics as well. To view titles or purchase those books click here:  http://store.bible.com/

source: Bible.com

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