NASHVILLE (BP) – Jeana and I were in our mid-thirties when she was diagnosed with cancer. Her diagnosis moved us to pursue God, and prayer was our first choice, not our last. We both learned much about prayer through that experience. More than anything, we learned that prayerlessness must not prevail in the life of a believer. Each follower of Christ needs to pray with confidence, and each church needs to pray with power.
Deep theological truths are foundational to prayer
The foundation of a building often goes much deeper than the surface. The bigger the structure, the deeper and broader the foundation must be.
The same principle applies to prayer. Confidence in prayer occurs when built upon God’s character, His Sovereignty, His work as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and His great and mighty power.
When we believe these deep theological truths, it strengthens our confidence in the power of prayer.
Five Scriptural principles your prayers can stand on
God loves us so much that He demonstrates innumerable ways to pray about specific life situations. Here are five examples:
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat and the people of God were surrounded by their enemies, facing inevitable defeat. Then the Spirit of God came upon a man named Jahaziel, and he declared, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast number, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15).
In response to their prayers, God sent a state of confusion among their enemies which caused them to fight against each other and destroy themselves.
Scriptural principle: Give your battles to God. They are not yours, but His.
Always remember: God is with you.
Do you need God to do something in your life, family, career, school, church or nation that only He can do? Do you need a miracle?
After entering the Promised Land, the people of God had to take the land from their enemies. Joshua called to God, asking Him to do something only He could. “Sun, stand still over Gibeon” (Joshua 10:12-14). God stilled the sun in response to Joshua’s bold prayer. The Lord fought for Israel, giving them victory.
Scriptural principle: God, the Creator, stopped the sun and moon to answer one man’s prayer.
Always remember: God can do anything. By faith, ask God to do a miracle in your situation and bring Himself glory through it.
Our bodies are decaying even now. Although health and fitness can enhance our lives, only God determines our years.
In 2 Kings 20, King Hezekiah became terminally ill. When Hezekiah faced this grim reality, he responded: “Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord” (2 Kings 20:2). God added 15 years to the king’s life!
Scriptural principle: There are times we become gravely ill, and God heals us because His purpose for our life is not yet complete.
Always remember: God can heal you here on earth, but He will heal you completely in heaven one day.
Do you desire to pray for others effectively? Often, we only pray for others when there is a crisis. How can you pray daily for pastors, church leaders, friends, family members and others?
The apostle Paul wrote, “We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9).
Scriptural principle: Pray for others to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, to have God’s perspective, and to integrate their lives biblically, spiritually and practically.
Always remember: God expects us to pray for each other.
- Open Doors
Paul encouraged Christ’s followers in Colossae to pray for opportunities. He wrote, “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3).
This is a powerful request. Scripture details times in Paul’s life when God closed the doors or told Paul he did not need to go where he planned. Paul wanted opportunities to advance the Gospel, not for personal gain.
Scriptural principle: Ask God to open doors so you can advance the Gospel more effectively.
Always remember: Deepen your walk with God and He will broaden your influence.
Whatever your situation may be, talk to God about it. Search His Scriptures. Stand on His Word when you pray. By faith, believe that God can do more in a moment than you can do in a lifetime.
Always remember this: When we pray, we depend on God. When we do not pray, we depend on ourselves.
Now is the time to lead.