Give me a word, Lord: THE POWER OF PRAYER

I John 5:14-15 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.

Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

I remember with great fondness our first church prayer meeting after reopening following closure due to COVID. Oak Hill Baptist Church gathered together, and we prayed! Boy did we pray! We prayed with specificity for our nation and our national leaders. We called out specific requests for specific leaders. We prayed for our own church family, our community, families who have recently lost loved ones, those who are ill, and so many more. I’m here to tell you that I enjoyed that prayer service with every ounce of my being! There is something special about gathering together with a body of believers, your church family, and praying.

I’ve already told y’all that I pray from the time I wake up until I fall asleep at night. I even pray if I wake up during the middle of the night. So what’s the big deal about gathering together for prayer meeting? Oh, my friends, that’s where mountains are being moved! Am I saying that God doesn’t hear my individual prayer? Absolutely not! In fact, I’ve seen Him answer my prayers all too often so I know for a fact He hears. But there is just something so sweet and so special when two or more are gathered in His name, calling on Him together, for a common request or need.

I love what John tells us in I John 5:14-15. We can have CONFIDENCE in our prayers! If go to the Lord and ask Him anything that is according to His will, He hears us, and if we KNOW that He hears us, we can KNOW that we will have what we asked for. That’s a pretty awesome truth! There is a little catch there if you didn’t see it. We have to go to Him and ask in accordance to His will, and if we ask according to God’s will, we can rest assured peacefully knowing the prayer has already been answered.
As a small child, I remember our pastor preaching a sermon from this text, but of course, I was too young to really comprehend the “according to God’s will” part. I remember praying for a Hershey’s candy bar. I could say that God didn’t answer that prayer, but over the past 50+ years, I’ve consumed my share of Hershey bars so even though that wasn’t an appropriate prayer, I guess God even answered that one. But seriously though, when we go to God in prayer, and we ask things of Him, we need to ask for His will to be done in the situation.

There’s a movie called “The Wishing Well,” and in this movie a person could throw a coin in a wishing well, and the wish would come true. There was a catch though. The wish had to be “the right wish” in order for it to come true. In a way, this can be related to prayer. God hears everything we say to Him. Every coin we toss into the wishing well is acknowledged. But God isn’t a wishing well or a magic genie in a lamp. He’s God. If we go to Him with the desires of our heart, and our desires are the “right” desires that align with His will, then we can rest assured that the prayer has been heard and will be answered. We may not see the answer today, but we can rest peacefully knowing that God has already handled it. There is true power in prayer!!

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