The Power of Prayer

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Friday Night Devotional by Michael Teng, 3/5/16

When we think about examples of the effective power of prayer, it is difficult not to think of the miraculous life of Elijah. Elijah was a prophet who prayed often and prayed boldly for God’s power to be revealed. As a result, his ministry was marked by miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle. Some of these miracles included resurrecting people from the dead, calling down fire from heaven, supernatural provision of food, and parting of the Jordan river. Above all, Elijah was one of the only people in history never to taste death, and was brought directly to heaven in a whirlwind (1 & 2 Kings). Often when we read about Elijah, we are left wondering what kind of unique and pious man he had to be for these miracles to occur.

However, James almost underwhelmingly states: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly…” (James 5:17)

What a statement! Although Elijah’s life was unparalleled in miracles, he was a human like the rest of us. He got tired and hungry. He feared for his life and well-being in times of trial. He even doubted God’s and asked for God to let him die. Yet, God worked powerfully why? Because he prayed earnestly! The phrase “prayed earnestly” is actually translated from the Greek words “prayed prayers”. What a simple but powerful truth! Elijah, a human much like us simply prayed true and genuine prayers. And what was the result? “And it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.”

How much longer will we doubt the the effectiveness of prayer? When our souls are thirsty for God’s healing, shall we not pray? When sin and temptation threaten us, shall we not pray? May we make even tonight an evening of powerful and prayerful prayer.

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)

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