What is the power of prayer? How can prayer bring a person back to life? How can it heal the sick? How does prayer comfort those who are anxious or sinking into the depths of depression? Why do Christians pray for their future spouses or pray prayers of protection over their children as they send them off to school? How can prayer impact those who don’t know Jesus or help in a time of crisis like a pandemic?
The answer is found in one pivotal scripture. In Matthew 18:18-20, Jesus tells us about the power of prayer when he said,
“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
There are dozens of real-life accounts in the Bible where Jesus and other disciples battled in prayer. God shut the heavens and prevented rain from falling for three years at Elijah’s request. He parted the red sea for Moses to lead His people through. He cast out demons; Jesus healed the sick and gave sight to the blind, and, on more than one occasion, raised people from the dead, like Lazarus.
Do we realize the power we have available to us when we take our authority in prayer? If we did, we would be praying in Jesus’ name more. There would be no such thing as doubt, fear, or anxiety because we would be on our faces before God, storming the heavenly realms in battle with the darkness and evil forces in our world.
Talking to God
So, what exactly is the power of prayer? The power of prayer isn’t in the words you utter. It’s not about what you pray or even how you pray. Prayer can be defined as talking to God, but it is much more than that. Prayer is an act of worship that glorifies God and reinforces our need for Him. Through living a life of prayer, we communicate with the very source of and purpose for our existence.
It is our fiercest weapon against the enemy and all things in this fallen world. Priscilla Shirer is the author of the Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer says, “Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and to all his ploys against you.”
Another well-known author, Mark Patterson says, “Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.”
In other words, who you become, the circumstances in your life, and the core of your character are all determined by what you talk to God about. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer. Consider the following:
God Is All-Powerful
The Lord God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him (Luke 1:37). The character and heart of God is the very fabric of the gospel. When we close our eyes, get on our knees, the spirit of God whispers, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” It’s as if to say to our hearts, no need is too great or small.
God Asks Us to Pray
He invites, encourages, and wants us to talk to him. We are to come to him in faith, (James 1:5), with persistence (Luke 18:1), with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), within his will (Matthew 6:10), and from a heart that is right with God (James 5:16).
In fact, in Luke 18:1 we read, “And he [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Hebrews 4:14-16 talks about Jesus as our High Priest and says He can sympathize with us.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We have been given access to the very throne of God through prayer.
He Answers Our Prayers
The Lord God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” (Psalm 17:6). “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). In John 16:23-24, Jesus makes a stunning, sweeping, glorious promise to us:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
In other words, when we ask God to give us a love for our neighbors, he does. When we ask for patience, he begins to tend to our hearts, uprooting areas of impatience and then provides opportunity to practice patience. When we ask him to be near to us, his presence sweeps in and surrounds us like a cozy blanketed embrace filled with his peace and strength.
Even when we lack faith or have very little faith. Sometimes learning to trust God with our prayers is like being a toddler. We wobble, waver and fall. But he doesn’t chastise us. Instead, he encourages us to get back up and try again with his hands held out as he says, “Because of your little faith,” He told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).
Power of Prayer and How Do I Tap into It?
The power of prayer isn’t in the person praying. It’s not a magic formula. It isn’t keywords. It is an open heart, humble and filled with awe of who our mighty God is. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to.
1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.”
In fact, Jesus rebukes those who pray using repetitions or those who pray in public to seek attention or those who don’t have the right heart, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).
Psalm 107:28-30 reminds us, “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” There is power in prayer!
Photo Credit:©Unsplash/Ben White
Heather Riggleman is a believer, wife, mom, author, social media consultant, and full-time writer. She lives in Minden, Nebraska with her kids, high school sweetheart, and three cats who are her entourage around the homestead. She is a former award-winning journalist with over 2,000 articles published. She is full of grace and grit, raw honesty, and truly believes tacos can solve just about any situation. You can find her on GodUpdates, iBelieve, Crosswalk, Hello Darling, Focus On The Family, and in Brio Magazine. Connect with her atwww.HeatherRiggleman.com or onFacebook.
What exactly is the power of prayer? ›
Prayer helps you develop a relationship with God
Just like your parents here on earth, your Heavenly Father wants to hear from you and talk to you. When you pray, He listens. Then He answers your prayers in the form of thoughts, spiritual feelings, scripture, or even the actions of other people.
Prayer also energizes the heart of a believer through the power of the Spirit. Consistent prayer also releases the power of God's blessing on your life and circumstances. Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.What does God say about the power of prayer? ›
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Mark 9:29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.What are 3 purposes of prayer? ›
adoration - praising God for his greatness and admitting dependence on him. confession - owning up to sin and asking for God's mercy and forgiveness. thanksgiving - thanking God for his many blessings, eg health or children.Why prayer is the most powerful weapon? ›
Prayer is the Greatest of all weapons
Prayer is not only another weapon, but the greatest of all the weapons as it infuses the rest of the armor with the power needed to fight the enemy. It is the one thing Paul asks the Ephesians to do for him: pray!
Prayer is important because it helps us to stay close to God. When we pray, we are opening up our hearts to Him and He is able to work in us and through us. Prayer also helps us to grow in our relationship with God. The more we talk and spend time with someone the more we get to know them.What is the true meaning of prayer? ›
Definition of prayer
a devout petition to God or an object of worship. a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession. the act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
The prayer of protection. The prayer of transformation. The prayer of restoration.How did Jesus define prayer? ›
Jesus said that prayer should be a private time between God and the worshipper. Jesus does not mean that it is wrong to pray with others, but the prayers should be sincere and for the right motives.What are the two important parts of prayer *? ›
Honesty and modesty is an essential characteristic of this part of prayer. We often pray for others, our church, and for ourselves. The Bible tells us that we can confidently bring our concerns before God. The second part of prayer is when God speaks to us.
What are the four reasons to pray? ›
- God's Word Calls Us to Pray.
- Jesus Prayed Regularly.
- Prayer is How We Communicate with God.
- Prayer Allows us to Participate in God's Works.
- Prayer Gives us Power Over Evil.
- Prayer is Always Available.
Dear God, please give me strength when I am weak, love when I feel forsaken, courage when I am afraid, wisdom when I feel foolish, comfort when I am alone, hope when I feel rejected, and peace when I am in turmoil.What is the most important element of prayer? ›
Praise, pardon, and petition are three essential elements of prayer that we will encounter in our journey through the Lord's Prayer.How does prayer change things? ›
Prayer changes us by nourishing our faith in God. As we communicate with God, we learn that He is truly our great provider and it is only through God that we can receive impossible breakthroughs in our lives.Why does Jesus say prayer is important? ›
He felt that prayer was necessary in order to stay in touch with God's will for his life and ministry. The disciples learned from Jesus asking him, “Lord, would you teach us how to pray?” That is when Jesus gave them and us what we call the “Lord's Prayer.”What is the impact of prayer in our life? ›
Healing presence - prayer can bring a sense of a spiritual or loving presence and alignment with God or an immersion into a universal unconsciousness. Positive feelings - prayer can elicit feelings of gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, and hope, all of which are associated with healing and wellness.What does the Bible say about the importance of prayer? ›
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.Why does God teach us to pray? ›
Why did the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray? The disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray because they noticed the importance and priority prayer had in His life, and they took note that Christ's prayer life was, in many ways, the source of His holiness and power.What is prayer and why is it important to pray? ›
Prayer is communication with God. We do this by praising Him, confessing our sin before Him, thanking Him and asking Him for our needs and desires. Prayer is communion with our Creator. When we pray, we engage in loving fellowship with the Maker of heaven and earth.What is the most powerful prayer ever? ›
It is called the "Jesus Prayer", and it consists simply in uttering the single word "Jesus" (or "Lord Jesus", or "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner") in any situation, at any time and place, either aloud or silently.
What Bible verse says prayer is powerful? ›
James 5:16. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.What are two things Jesus taught us about prayer? ›
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. He said that some people pray only so others will see them praying. Jesus taught that we should say our personal prayers where we can be alone, if possible. He said that some people say the same words over and over when they pray.Who was the first person to pray in the Bible? ›
Abraham. The first notable prayer whose text is recorded in the Torah and Hebrew Bible occurs when Abraham pleads with God not to destroy the people of Sodom, where his nephew Lot lives.What is the best form of prayer? ›
Adoration is generally considered the most noble form of prayer, a kind of prostration of the whole being before God.What are the four pillars of prayer? ›
"The Four Pillars of Prayer" is a guide to prayer's four important and universal aspects: Quality, Consistency, Activity, and Passivity- any fashion of prayer can be plugged into this formula to find the most communion with God in your Prayer life and Life of Meditation.What are the four elements of prayer? ›
They are based on a well-known format: A.C.T.S. = adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.What are the 3 parts to prayer? ›
Throughout Scripture, we see prayer as having several distinct but interrelated dimensions: praise, pardon, and petition. Prayer often begins with praise—acknowledging who God is and responding in worship. The more we meditate on his character and compassion, the more we will want to glorify him for who he is.Why does Jesus tell us to pray? ›
Whether I am right or wrong, we must continue to pray these prayers, really pray them, because Jesus tells us to pray them and because the world needs these prayers to be answered. The rest of the Lord's Prayer is concerned with our personal needs. Jesus places God's agenda before our agenda.What is the true meaning of prayer in the Bible? ›
Prayer in the Hebrew Bible is an evolving means of interacting with God, most frequently through a spontaneous, individual, unorganized form of petitioning and/or thanking.What is the most important quality of prayer? ›
1) Prayer is sincere
You don't need to pretend to be more than who you are in this moment. Simply open your heart to God and be honest and sincere, even if that means sharing your doubts and disbeliefs, your disappointments and discouragements, your struggles and grief.
How can I make my prayer life powerful? ›
- Know to whom you are speaking. ...
- Thank him. ...
- Ask for God's will. ...
- Say what you need. ...
- Ask for forgiveness. ...
- Pray with a friend. ...
- Pray the Word. ...
- Memorize Scripture.
I've heard it said that God answers prayers in one of three ways. God says “Yes,” and you receive what you ask for. God says “No,” and you have to accept it and move on. Or God says “Not Yet,” and you learn to be patient and wait.What are the 5 elements of prayer? ›
The Prayer Hand is an easy way to remember five essential aspects of prayer: confession, petition, intercession, thanksgiving and praise.What are the five points of prayer? ›
- #1 – God's Will Is Heaven on Earth. ...
- #2 – Live a Life of Prayer. ...
- #3 – Come Boldly… ...
- #4 – You Have a Right to Believe and Receive. ...
- #5 – Always Start at the End.