Empower Your Prayers

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


The power of prayer

I’m no genius, but every now and then, the obvious hit me between the eyes. I wrote a book a while back called “Unlocking the Power of Prayer.” And as I was doing the research, I began to take a look at this whole subject of prayer in the Bible. What does God’s Word say about prayer? 

I looked at the first instance of prayer in Genesis, chapter 20. The second, Genesis 24. The third, Genesis 25. And each time, do you know what I found? 

The prayers of common, ordinary, everyday people like you and I have powerful results!

And the more I looked, the more I found the same thing. The pattern was so obvious, so striking that I came to this conclusion:

Prayer that yields powerful results is normal in God’s sight.

It made me wonder – why do so many people who believe in Jesus have this kind of timid, guilt-ridden, mealy-mouthed attitude toward prayer? Why?

Well, sometimes it’s because we’ve done something wrong, we’ve sinned, and so we feel as though we can’t go to God and ask for His help. Yeah, I’ve been there too. But check this out:

“So the LORD sent a disease against Israel. It began in the morning and continued until the chosen time to stop. From Dan to Beersheba 70,000 people died…” (2 Samuel 24:15).

Here’s what led up to this terrible punishment. King David had sinned against God big time by taking a census of his fighting forces rather than trusting in God. There’s a bit more to it than that, but the bottom line is that it was an act of pride, so God brought great punishment on Israel, as you can see.

And yet when David prayed, even in this, the most terrible of circumstances, amidst great suffering occasioned by Israel’s behavior and David’s sin, what happened?

“The LORD answered his prayer for the country. He stopped the disease in Israel” (2 Samuel 24:25b).

Yes, the LORD answered David’s prayer for the country. He stopped the disease in Israel.

Again, a prayer that yields powerful results is normal in God’s sight. In fact, that’s the only sort of prayer spoken of in the Bible.

Next time, we’ll explore more of just how you can experience that power in your own life.

Life application questions

  • Read through some of the early examples of prayer in Genesis chapters 20, 24, and 25. What strikes you about these passages?

  • How would you rate the health of your prayer life right now, on a scale from 1 to 10? How does 2 Samuel 24:15–25 encourage you about how God wants to help you?

  • Do you find yourself, generally speaking, praying more in the hope that God does something amazing – or in confidence that He will blow your expectations out of the water?

  • Do you ever feel held back in your prayer life? Maybe by things you’ve done wrong or things you haven’t done but feel you should have? Take those things to God in prayer today.