People seek power through various means, but are they looking to the right source?
Many people want power. Businessmen and politicians seek the power of wealth and influence. Many young people, especially men, pursue "body building" to seek the power of an impressive physique. People seek power through various means, but are they looking to the right source?
A primary way to tap the ultimate source of power is to build a close and genuine relationship with our Creator-through zealous personal study of His revealed Word, and through fervent PRAYER. This is not a "nicey-nice" solution, but a vital reality.
Some will object: "We have prayed ever since we were children. So what is new?"
Let me explain. Growing up in a "mainstream" Protestant church, I had a couple dozen young "buddies" who were also in the mainstream. Yet it became very obvious to me that NONE of us really "knew" God. Oh, we knew about God, and many of us prayed brief "bedtime prayers," or very brief "grace" over meals-which were often memorized prayers. But to get down on both knees before God, and talk to Him in detail about our needs, hopes and dreams, was foreign to us.
Then, at age 19, I came to a very special college and began to learn about real prayer. Awakening in the men's dorm at 6:30 a.m. or 7:00 a.m., I found virtually none of my dorm-mates in the bathroom or the showers. "Where were they?" I wondered.
Snooping around our dorm, I found that Ray and Marion usually "disappeared" into the attic each morning to pray. Herman had a special place in the basement, and sometimes used the fire escape as a really private place to pray!
Gradually, I learned that one- or two-minute "quickie" prayers were not the answer. These can be effective to supplement one's prayer life, but the really close and powerful contact with God comes by spending at least 20 or 30 minutes daily on one's knees before our Father in Heaven, and by really studying the biblical passages on prayer and faith so that we can know what to pray for and how to pray. We must spend enough time and mental energy truly "communing" with God to get to know Him, pour out our hearts to Him, and actively surrender mind, heart and will to Him daily.
The Bible is FILLED with examples of this kind of prayer-and of its efficacy. The Bible shows that Moses went up to the mountain to pray and fast for 40 days on two different occasions (Deuteronomy 9:9, 18). Of the second occasion, Moses wrote: "And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was angry with you, to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me at that time also. And the Lord was very angry with Aaron and would have destroyed him; so I prayed for Aaron also at the same time"(Deuteronomy 9:18-20). Each time Moses was not only fasting but praying fervently and BESEECHING God for the answer-crying out to Him for long periods of time so that he could truly "commune" with God. Each time, as Moses relates, the answer came!
Yet God does not always tell us when or how the answer to our prayer will come. The Apostle Paul described God's promise to Abraham that he would be "a father of many nations." Yet the fulfillment did not come for HUNDREDS of years! And, in fact the final fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham has not even yet come! So Paul tells us that God is one "who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did" (Romans 4:17). In this passage, God is letting us know that when He decides to do something, it is just as good as done-even though the answer may not come for hundreds of years! NOTHING in the entire universe can stop God's will from being performed, but HE decides the time and the way.
King David of Israel, whom God called "a man after My own heart," was a man of constant prayer, as we see in the book of Psalms. He constantly poured out his soul to God in prayer, in worship, in adoration and in praise. David put his WHOLE HEART into his prayers. This is a vital "key" to successful prayer. We must not just say memorized or "sleepy time" prayers, but heartfelt prayers that come pouring right out of our heart with fire and passion!
We must also be regular and consistent, praying every day of our lives. Even though he was very busy as King of Israel, David stated: "As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice" (Psalm 55:16-17). The King of Israel-busy though he must have been-took time to pray THREE TIMES each day before his God!
The great prophet Daniel did so, too. Notice Daniel 6:10: "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." Though threatened with DEATH if he prayed, Daniel knew his contact with God was more vital to his preservation than anything else.
Later, Jesus told His disciples (and certainly us today): "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:23-24). We are to ask in the "name"-or by the authority-of Jesus Christ. We are to ask IN FAITH-knowing that God will do what He has promised-but we are to come to Him through His Son as our Savior and living High Priest (Hebrews 4:15-16).
We are to "feed" on Jesus Christ and the Word of God in order to build the living faith we need in order to have answered prayers. God tells us through the Apostle Paul: "So then FAITH comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).
So we need regularly to read such passages and promises as Jesus' statements in Mark 11:23-24: "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but BELIEVES that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, BELIEVE that you receive them, and you will have them."
We must also believe God when He tells us to OBEY His commandments. As the Apostle John taught: "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).
Over months and years of regular study, contemplation, communion with God and seeing the ANSWER come again and again-we will KNOW and know that we know that God is there and that He will always answer our prayer IF we ask in faith through Jesus Christ, asking-and living-according to God's will.
As the end of this age swiftly approaches, let us all learn to fully surrender our hearts, minds and wills to our Creator. Walking with Him, TALKING with Him in prayer and surrendering to Him, let us ask that His will may be done on earth as in heaven-especially in our own lives. Then, if we are in fact "walking with God" we will have increasing FAITH that God is there and that our prayers will be answered. God will then be with us-not only as a feeling, but as a REALITY-to protect, guide, bless and deliver us, as our Father, from all the trials and troubles ahead.