The idea that power is inherent in prayer is a very popular one. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is, quite simply, the power of God, who hears and answers prayer. Consider the following:
1) The Lord God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).
2) The Lord God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him. Prayer to God should be made:
A. Persistently (Luke 18:1),
B. With thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6),
D. Within the will of God (Matthew 6:10),
E. For the glory of God (John 14:13-14), and,
F. From a heart right with God (James 5:16).
3) The Lord God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” (Psalm 18:6).
4) 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).
Philippians 4:6 - Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
John 15:7 - If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Mark 11:24 - Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].
1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.
Romans 8:26 - Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Matthew 6:6 - But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:7 - But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Luke 11:9 - And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Another popular idea is that the amount of faith we have determines whether or not God will answer our prayers. However, sometimes the Lord answers our prayers in spite of our own lack of faith.
In Acts 12, the church prays for Peter’s release from prison (v. 5), and God answers their prayer (vv. 7-11). Peter goes to the door of the prayer meeting and knocks, but those who are praying refuse at first to believe that it is really Peter. They prayed he would be released, but they failed to expect an answer to their prayers.
The power of prayer does not flow from us; it is not special words we say or the special way we say them or even how often we say them.
The power of prayer is not based on a certain direction we face or a certain position of our bodies.
The power of prayer does not come from the use of artifacts or icons or candles or beads.
The power of prayer comes from the omnipotent One who hears our prayers and answers them.
Prayer places us in contact with Almighty God, and we should expect almighty results, whether or not He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests.
Whatever the answer to our prayers, the God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us, according to His perfect will and timing.
Many people believe answered prayer is God granting a prayer request that is offered to Him. If a prayer request is not granted, it is understood as an “unanswered” prayer.
However, this is an incorrect understanding of prayer. God answers every prayer that is lifted to Him. Sometimes God answers “no” or “wait.”
God only promises to grant our prayers when we ask according to His will. “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” (1 John 5:14-15).
What does it mean to pray according to God’s will?
Praying according to God’s will is praying for things that honor and glorify God and/or praying for what the Bible clearly reveals God’s will to be.
If we pray for something that is not honoring to God or not God’s will for our lives, God will not give what we ask for.
How can we know what God’s will is? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it. James 1:5 proclaims, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
A good place to start is 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24, which outlines many things that are God’s will for us.
The better we understand God’s Word, the better we will know what to pray for (John 15:7). The better we know what to pray for, the more often God will answer “yes” to our requests.
Jeremiah 33:3 - Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Matthew 26:41 - Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.
1 Timothy 2:5 - For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
James 5:16 - Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Ephesians 6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Psalms 34:17 - [The righteous] cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Luke 18:1 - And he spake a parable unto them [to this end], that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;