The Power of Prayer
Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is essential to the Christian experience. Although much can be found about prayer in the Bible there are three passages that help to put prayer into perspective for me:
Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us... Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith...
We can have confidence as we approach God in prayer. We can enter the very throne room of grace without fear or shame because of what Jesus has done. If you are like me with a sinful past and are still making mistakes, this is an important concept.
The second passage is the Lord's prayer itself. Luke 11:2 When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
I usually start my prayer sessions with the Lord's prayer since it is recommended by Jesus himself. It simply and eloquently covers all the bases. Then I move on to specific issues, which allows me to communicate in a personal, intimate relationship with God. I share all my hopes and dreams and cast all my cares upon him. I always ask for forgiveness and for God to change me for the better.
He has not let me down. I was a very vile person in my youth. I was addicted to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, with filthy language, bad temper, and various other defects of character. Over the years ,God has changed me and taken me from victory to victory. His promises are sure and although I am not yet perfect, I am grateful I am not what I once was. Prayer has had everything to do with the changes wrought in me.
The third passage is Daniel 6:10 ...Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
This passage is a great example and reminder of the effectiveness of a consistent prayer life. While I am sure he had his weak moments, there is no mention of Daniel sinning. How unlike David, Samson, Moses and most other Bible characters who had noteworthy defects of character. Daniel stood firm in his relationship with God, even though he was in a heathen land and in a position of power and temptation. I sometimes pray dozens of times in the course of a day depending on my circumstances. However, I always try to consistently communicate with my maker at least three times a day like Daniel. In fact, I just don't feel right if I miss a session.
I am reminded of a Pastor who taught me before your feet even touch the ground, pray before getting out of bed. Wise advice! It starts you off on the right foot each day. Whatever trials await you, whether known or unknown, can be prepared for in advance. Power and help are available for all situations.
I am also reminded of a line in an old Country Gospel song Mountains of Gold (Dave Butler) which says that money can't buy peace when you're sleeping and a conscience that's free. I know what can - prayer.
The power of prayer gives me something for which the rich and powerful would trade kingdoms and fortunes. When I retire for the evening, I review the trials, the sins, the regrets, the worries of the day and lay them at the feet of God in prayer. Then I drift off to sleep with something beyond price, peace when I'm sleeping and a conscience that's free.