By Cindy, United States
The Bible records many stories in which situations take a turn for the better and problems are solved through the power of prayer. So, how can we gain the power of prayer? What should we pray for?
1. The power of prayer is so great.
Jehovah God said, “Then shall you call on Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:12). God straightforwardly told us that as long as we genuinely call out and pray to Him, He will accomplish everything we ask for. Indeed, the Bible records many stories in which situations take a turn for the better and problems are solved through the power of prayer. For example, when God gave a revelation to Noah and let him make an ark, though he had never seen what an ark looked like, through sincerely praying to God, he miraculously built a big ark under God’s guidance and enlightenment, and when the world was destroyed by flood his family of eight survived. When Joshua led the people of Israel to attack Jericho, it was through praying that they finally won the victory. It was also through praying that the people of Nineveh gained God’s mercy and weren’t destroyed by God, able to go on living. When Esther and her Israeli compatriots fasted and prayed for three days and nights, Jehovah God heard their prayers and helped them be spared a catastrophe. From all this, we can see how great the power of prayer is. When we sincerely offer up prayers to God and look up to Him with our hearts, something marvelous and unexpected will happen — the power of prayer is indeed that great and prayer is extremely important. All this gives us a message: As Christians, regardless of whether it is in our life or work or when we encounter other things, as long as we sincerely pray to God and learn to rely on God, God will surely listen to our prayers and solve the difficulties we face, thus allowing us to feel His real existence.
2. How can we gain the power of prayer?
Now we know that the power of prayer is so great and that God is a help to us at all times. So, how should we pray to God to obtain the power of prayer?
God’s words say, “Prayer is one of the ways in which man cooperates with God, it is a means by which man calls upon God, and it is the process by which man is touched by God’s Spirit. … Being someone who believes in God, the more you pray, the more you are touched by God. Such people have greater resolution and are more able to receive the latest enlightenment from God.” “But the effect to be achieved by prayer is no simple matter. Prayer is not a case of going through the formalities, or following procedure, or reciting the words of God, which is to say, prayer does not mean parroting words and copying others. In prayer, you must give your heart to God, sharing the words in your heart with God so that you may be touched by God. If your prayers are to be effective, then they must be based on your reading of God’s words. Only by praying amid God’s words will you be able to receive more enlightenment and illumination. A true prayer is shown by having a heart that yearns for the requirements made by God, and being willing to fulfill these requirements; you will be able to hate all that God hates, upon the basis of which you will have knowledge, and will know and be clear about the truths explained by God. Having the resolution, and faith, and knowledge, and a path by which to practice after praying — only this is truly praying, and only prayer such as this can be effective.”
God’s words tell us that prayer is a kind of exchange between us humans and God, and that it is one of the ways for us to be touched by God’s Spirit. First, we must pray with a true heart and speak to God from the heart. Only in this way will God listen to us and will we be able to obtain the power of prayer. Second, prayers must be based on the foundation of God’s words. Only by seeking God’s will according to His words can we receive His enlightenment and see His wondrous deeds. What’s more, we should have true faith in God, and believe that God rules over everything and that nothing is impossible for God. Only by meeting these three conditions can our prayers be heard by God, and only then can we gain the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and have faith, strength, and a way of practice in facing everything. However, if we treat praying as rules to be followed, just moving our lips without a true heart, if we, feeling that praying is holding us up, say a few prayers carelessly or sometimes simply don’t pray but rely on our minds to work or live or deal with other things, if we do this for a while, then because of lacking true communion with God, our connections to God will be severed, we will have no relationship with God, and we will live under Satan’s domain. As a result, whenever things crop up, we will become muddled; we will feel empty every day. All of this is the consequence of not gaining God’s guidance. Actually, God is always beside us, caring for us. He has unreservedly told us how to pray to attain His approval. As long as we act according to God’s instructions, we will be able to build a normal relationship with God and earn His guidance.
For instance, when Joshua met difficulties, God used words to personally tell him how to cooperate with Him to get through the difficulties. Joshua acted according to the requirements of God’s words, and he genuinely prayed to and relied on God, believing that God could accomplish everything. Finally, God saw the faith and obedience of him and the other Israelites, and allowed them to conquer Jericho without losing a solider and defeat the enemy easily. We can see from this that as long as we sincerely pray to God with an honest attitude, telling God of our deficiencies and difficulties, God will grant us faith and strength, and guide us forward. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
3. What should we pray about to attain God’s praise?
Prayer is really so important for us Christians. So, what should we pray about to gain God’s approval? Let’s read a passage from God’s words, “And what about the content of prayers? You should pray, step-by-step, in accordance with your true state and that which is to be done by the Holy Spirit, and you should commune with God in keeping with God’s will and His requirements of man. … You should say: ‘O God! I wish to fulfill my duty. In order that You may be glorified in us, and may enjoy the testimony in us, this group of people, I can but devote my entire being to You. I beg You to work within us, so that I can truly love and satisfy You, and make You the objective that I pursue.’ When you are possessed of this burden, God will surely make you perfect; you should not only pray for the sake of yourself, but also for the sake of doing the will of God, and for the sake of loving Him. Such is the truest kind of prayer.”
We realize from God’s words that not all of our prayers will be heard by God, and that if their content is after God’s will and is something to be made perfect by God, then God will fulfill our prayers. For example, if we have the prayers for God’s gospel to spread to the entire universe, the prayers for more people to return before God, the prayers for us to have a true knowledge of God through His words, the prayers for us to cast off the bonds of our corrupt dispositions soon, and the prayers for our shortcomings and deficiencies, all these prayers will be approved by God. If we often pray about such things, we will obtain faith and power from God so that we will develop hearts of obedience and love for God, and be willing to dedicate our whole being to God’s work. This is the result gained from prayer. Take when we spread the gospel for example. If we have no idea how to discern whether someone can be preached, we can pray like this: “O God! When spreading the gospel, I see that I lack so much of the truth. I don’t know how to discern people, not knowing who meets the conditions for being preached to. I wish to entrust my difficulty to You and I’m willing to seek You. May You enlighten and guide me, so that I can understand this aspect of the truth and bring more people who conform with Your intentions before You.” When we practice saying such prayers of seeking and of longing and God sees that we have an attitude of seeking, God will enlighten us in what we ask, and meanwhile the Holy Spirit will work on us, guide us into the relevant truth and to find the root of this problem and the path to resolve it. Thus, it will be solved and we will have more faith and strength to spread God’s gospel.
However, if our prayers are making demands of God and unreasonably asking God for His grace and blessings, or if in our hearts we are reluctant to pray to God but follow the rules and give some empty praises, such prayers are not in accordance with God’s will. Therefore, God won’t listen to us and our faith and strength won’t increase after praying. It can be seen that what we should pray and supplicate to God for is extremely crucial and important.
Through the fellowship above, we understand that as long as we pray to God in all things according to His requirements and intentions, we will surely obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and gain the power of prayer. That’s because God is omnipotent and omniscient and there is nothing He cannot do.