The Power of Prayer…

James 5:16 (NIV)

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.

Our Verse of the Day offers an interesting perspective on prayer. Let’s read the surrounding context:

James 5:13-20 – Prayer Offered In Faith

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 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. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain and the earth produced its crops. (Cf. 1 Kings 17; 18) My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

With the broader context in view, I think we can see the great potential of prayer to impact the circumstances we experience in our lives. We live in a fallen world of sin in all of its myriad manifestations.  We will experience trouble and tribulation. (Cf. John 16:33) We will experience sickness and illness in our bodies. We will be tempted with sin and challenged with the decision to flee its allure. And in these latter days there will be great tribulation ahead; “such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Cf. Matthew 24:21) Indeed, spiritual forces of darkness and evil envelop the earth (Cf. Ephesians 6:12); and the only light available to prevail against the darkness is the light of Christ Jesus our Lord….

John 1:1-5 (NIV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:19-20 (NIV)

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

John 8:12 (NIV)

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 12:44-46 (NIV)

Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

If you think about the light of the sun, it is produced by an internal source of power.  If you think about a light bulb, it can only emanate light when electric power is supplied to it.  Even a simple candle must have a source of fuel and a flame to ignite it in order to provide continual light. And so, I want to focus our attention on the power of prayer to awaken our faith.  We are urged … even commanded … to pray in order to navigate our human existence within the framework of faith. Why? Because our faith expresses genuine belief in the Lord Jesus; and it follows that our faith embraces the light He has brought into the world.

My friends, I submit that prayer is the source of energy to power that light! It is His light within us that overcomes the darkness, but it must shine in order to accomplish its work.  Prayer is the power that activates faith and prompts us to engage the culture (world) around us.  As Jesus taught: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Cf. Matthew 5:14-16)

So, I want to encourage us to let the Light of Life ignite our faith. Let it penetrate the present darkness of our world.  If we want to address the difficulties in the lives of people … if we want to see illnesses healed … if we want to see deliverance from bondage to sin … if we want to help prodigals and unbelievers be reconciled with God … if we want to engage in spiritual warfare and cast down demonic influences; then our faith to move these mountains must be spiritually empowered to accomplish it. And that power is prayer! Yes, it is my conviction that we will not be productive or effective without abiding in Christ … living in an intimate relationship with Him that can only be established and nurtured through prayer. Indeed, prayer is essential for the supernatural ministries of the Church to bring forth light in the midst of darkness.  Prayer is imperative for believers to function as the Body of Christ in this world. So let us be people of prayer! Let us pray without ceasing! For the prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective….

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. ~ Acts 28:7-9

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