The Power of Focused Prayer

We can learn to unlock the secret power in our lives if we learn how to focus our prayer, even as Jesus did.  Last week we talked about the focus of prayer being a preoccupation with God’s will for our lives.  When Jesus prayed He was praying the Father’s will and He knew it because He was always in close communication with the Father.  Whenever Jesus prayed, things happened and so it is no wonder that the disciples asked Him to share the secret with them, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).  Prayer was the heart of Jesus’ success and it is also the key to our success as Christians.  I have a quote on the wall above my desk that is attributed to D.L. Moody, but actually came from a friend of Moody’s in a private conversation they had together.  That man, Henry Varley, was a British revivalist (we would call him an evangelist today) and it was made in the context of that conversation.  It made such an impact on Moody that he remembered it over a year later after Varley had all but forgotten it.  But it is a powerful quote and one that has affected me over the years.  The quote:  “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a person who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.”  Another author, I believe it was R.A. Torrey, added to that quote, “and understands the power of prayer.”  
 
We have power available to us in prayer, but the question is, do we understand that power?  In James 5:17-18, CSB  we are reminded, “Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.  Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”  If we think that God cannot do through us what He did through Elijah, then we don’t understand God and we don’t understand the power of prayer.  James’ words to us are important for us to understand, “Elijah was a human being as we are . . .”  What James, the brother of Jesus by the way, was saying to us is that Elijah was no different that we are.  We have a tendency to almost deify characters from the Bible, but if there is one thing that the Bible does, it most certainly doesn’t hide the faults of the persons we find within its pages.  If Elijah was just like us, then we have the same power available to us that was available to Him!  Please don’t rush past that, we have that same power available to us!
 
So let me reiterate to you, I believe that the focus of prayer is praying the will of God.  I also believe that there is true  power in focused prayer. I know that Elijah knew the will of God.  In 1 Kings 17 and 18 we have the story of Elijah telling the evil king Ahab that God had told him to tell the king that it would not rain for 3 1/2 years . . . and it didn’t.  Again, please remember, “Elijah was a human being just like us!  Those words are not just there by happenstance or by chance – God wants us to know that we have power through prayer.  That lack of rain didn’t have anything to do with Elijah, he was simply God’s mouthpiece.  It is God who worked through Elijah and it is God who will work through us.  God has exactly the same plans for us that He had for Elijah and all of the saints of old.
 
When we pray we want to pray in cooperation with God.  God is looking for people who, in desperation if you will, will jump in with both feet in prayer.  Prayer ISN’T just listing off our needs to God; prayer is as much listening to God as it is talking to Him.  So as we pray, we are listening to His voice and then as He directs us we are not only praying His will but we are sharing His will.  So back to the quote by Varley to D.L. Moody in that conversation, “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a person who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.”  That CAN BE you and me.
 
God can do with you and me more things than we ever dreamed possible.  God can do for you and me more things that we ever dreamed possible.  God can do through you and me more things that ever dreamed possible.  Finally, God can do in you and me more things than we ever dreamed possible!  There is power in prayer and it is available with, for, through and in you and me.
 
Do you believe it?  I can’t answer that for you.  The problem, I believe, is that most of us don’t believe that because we don’t spend very much time in prayer.  I am going to challenge you today to pray more.  There is no secret formula; there is no specific amount of time; there are no magic words; it is simply loving God more than you love your free time; more than you love television; more than you love your sleep; more than you love your hobbies; more than you love anything else!  I want to urge you to pray more.  Why not ask God how much time He wants you to spend and then do it.  Just a thought . . .
 
I believe there is power in focused prayer, after all“Elijah was a human being as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land.  Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.”
 

Leave a Reply