I believe in the power of prayer and have experienced the change it brings within my heart and soul as I turn to my Savior. Over time it changes you profoundly as you continue to practice it. Just about everything in life requires practice and your spiritual well-being definitely requires practice and patience. Believing in the power of prayer will change you.
When I first accepted Christ as my Savior, prayer seemed like a mysterious thing to me. I wasn’t sure how you could pray and talk to someone you couldn’t see. Yet, even as a child, I had done so. I thought there might be certain words you should use, or not use when you prayed and I definitely didn’t want anyone else to hear me pray! I kept on praying because I wanted to find that connection with God that others talked about. As time passed, I found it.
Why Do We Pray?
The simple answer is that we pray because the Bible tells us to. Since time began, people have been talking to God and hearing back from Him. I believe that God put this desire within us. Just as He longed to connect with us, we long to do the same with Him. God didn’t create us so He could just sit and watch us. He created us to have a relationship.
Genesis says that the Trinity was involved in our creation. Genesis 1::26 The Voice, confirms this:
“Now let Us conceive a new creation—humanity—made in Our image, fashioned according to Our likeness. And let Us grant them authority over all the earth—the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, the domesticated animals and the small creeping creatures on the earth.“
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have a relationship. They talk to each other. Jesus went off by Himself to pray and hear from the Father. Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit speaks what He hears God say. The Father spoke out loud in times past and to His Son at His baptism. They have voices and they participate in conversations. Since we were created in their image, according to their likeness, we have a desire to do the same thing. We talk to Him and He talks to us!
Yet, we so often forget to take everything to God in prayer. Many times, I have found myself trying to so hard to figure something out and then realized I had not prayed about it at all. Once I did, peace and answers came. I’m not saying that the problems went away. I’m saying that I changed and so did my approach to the problem.
Why Is Prayer Important?
I believe that the first important reason to make prayer a regular part of your life is to change you – not just your circumstances. Whenever you spend time with God, you are naturally changed. Husbands and wives change each other. Not by forceful actions or harsh words, but by sharing their love and deepest self. We do that through words and actions. We spend time together just talking. This conversation and relationship based on love is expressed by talking and listening.
The popular saying – Prayer Changes Things – is very true. Yet, first and foremost, we need to let it change us. Rather than trying to get God to change others, we need to take a different approach. Go to God with a desire to get to know Him. When you are reading the Bible, combine reading with prayer. Ask Him what the verse means and then listen as He tells you.
While I know that God could speak with an audible voice, I’ve never had that happen. Instead, I learned to distinguish His voice inside of me. I know His voice. That’s the part that requires the most practice – learning to hear His voice. It starts with faith – faith that God is and that He rewards those who seek Him. Add to that the belief that He wants to talk to you! He really does. That’s why He gave us the Holy Spirit to live inside us. It’s His job to tell us what God is saying – we just need to listen and learn to distinguish His voice from all the others.
Sometimes, we think we heard from God but we aren’t sure. If what you heard lines up with the Word, and brings peace to your spirit, it is probably God. We have to learn to discern the difference between what He’s really saying and what we simply want to hear. He will never lie, cause you to feel rushed and stressed, mock you, go against His own word, or against His own character.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 The Voice, “Let not the wise boast in their wisdom, nor the mighty in their strength, nor the rich in their wealth. Whoever boasts must boast in this: that he understands and knows Me. Indeed, I am the Eternal One who acts faithfully and exercises justice and righteousness on earth. These are the things that delight Me.”
Prayer is important because God wants us to know Him. We do that through the written word and the words of the Holy Spirit to our inner man. We need both. I can read the Word but, when the Holy Spirit talks to me about it, He talks in a way I understand and explains in a way I am able to relate to.
In daily life, I can read instructions on how to put something together. Or, someone can show me. I like both because their demonstration helps me understand what I read. YouTube videos are a great example of our need for a voice to help us apply something we have read. The Holy Spirit’s job is to show and tell us. This happens in prayer.
Prayer Changes You
How? I can tell you how it has changed me. My childhood was far less than ideal. My Mother is and was a narcissist and was an alcoholic. A stream of men went through her life, she was a terrible Mother in most ways, and I grew to hate her. Even after I was saved, I sill held unforgiveness because she was wrong and had hurt me. I felt justified. One day I was praying and telling God all about how terrible she was. Suddenly, I heard, “What about you?”
I stopped praying and reminded God that I wasn’t talking about myself, I was talking about my Mother. Again, He repeated the question and I didn’t like it. Then, the third time, I relented and realized what He was saying. It wasn’t unkind. It was a statement meant to cause me to realize that I too was imperfect, had hurt people, and had sinned. I needed to forgive and I did. I forgave and asked God to help me rekindle a love for my Mother. He did. Prayer changed me.
Prayer is an act of love and humility. We go to our loving Heavenly Father, knowing He will give us what is good in His sight. We go to Him to ask for guidance, forgiveness, enlightenment, mercy, grace, and more of His love. We also go to Him just to worship and praise Him.
Prayer is a way to gain perspective on our lives. We often develop tunnel vision, seeing only one solution, no solution, or solutions we dislike. But God sees from a perspective we cannot and through prayer, we are brought into His perspective. He sees beauty where we see none. He sees hope where we see hopelessness. He sees and brings light where we see only darkness. When we are caught in despair, He pours out hope. He changes us as we spend time with Him.
The Healing Power of Prayer
There are many types of healing accomplished through prayer. The one we usually think of first is physical healing precipitated by prayer. James tells us this in James 5:14 TPT, “Are there any sick among you? Then ask the elders of the church to come and pray over the sick and anoint them with oil in the name of our Lord.“
“The mighty Spirit of Lord Yahweh is wrapped around me
because Yahweh has anointed me, as a messenger to preach good news to the poor.
He sent me to heal the wounds of the brokenhearted,
to tell captives, “You are free,”
and to tell prisoners, “Be free from your darkness.”
I am sent to announce a new season of Yahweh’s grace
and a time of God’s recompense on his enemies,
to comfort all who are in sorrow,
to strengthen those crushed by despair who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful bouquet in the place of ashes,
the oil of bliss instead of tears,
and the mantle of joyous praise
instead of the spirit of heaviness.
Because of this, they will be known as
Mighty Oaks of Righteousness,
planted by Yahweh as a living display of his glory.” Isaiah 61:1-3 TPT
The Fruit of Prayer
Prayer produces things in us. It is our lifeline to obtain the things listed in Isaiah 61:
- Healing for broken hearts
- Beauty instead of ashes
- Oil of bliss instead of tears
- A mantle of praise instead of heaviness
- Becoming a living display of His glory
Why do I say these come through prayer? Because, it is through our connection with Him that we are filled, changed, healed and made new. That connection is far deeper than the surface of our lives. Prayer is the revealing of the depths of our being to the God who cares and who is the only one able to truly heal us. He knows us intimately and sees us individually because He cares.
Prayer is A Mystery
Do I understand how all of this happens? No, I don’t. However, through faith, I obtain what God has promised, not through my mental understanding. I become more and more like Jesus as I spend more and more time with Him. It is a mysterious exchange that only God could accomplish. My weakness for His strength – my sorrow for His joy. All through our relationship of love and communication with one another.
How we can communicate with the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God is truly a mystery. Yet, it’s true!
How can you come to believe in the power of prayer to change your life? By praying. Just try it!
What can prayer do? It can make the impossible possible and turn darkness into light. But this can only happen as you place yourself and your life in God’s hands through prayer.
The Power of Prayer
Scriptures on Prayer
- “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life,” Philippians 4:6 TPT
- “This is the reason I urge you to boldly believe for whatever you ask for in prayer—believe that you have received it and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 TPT
- “Pray constantly.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 HCSB
- “And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede[a] on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs[b] too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 TPT
- “Whenever you pray, be sincere and not like the pretenders who love the attention they receive while praying before others in the meetings and on street corners. Believe me, they’ve already received in full their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your innermost chamber and be alone with Father God,[f] praying to him in secret. And your Father, who sees all you do, will reward you openly. 7 When you pray, there is no need to repeat empty phrases, praying like those who don’t know God,[g] for they expect God to hear them because of their many words. 8 There is no need to imitate them, since your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray like this:
‘Our Father, dwelling in the heavenly realms,
may the glory of your name
be the center on which our lives turn.[h]
Manifest your kingdom realm,[i]
and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,
just as it is fulfilled in heaven.
We acknowledge you as our Provider
of all we need each day.[j]
Forgive us the wrongs we have done[k] as we ourselves
release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
Rescue us every time we face tribulation[l]
and set us free from evil.[m]
For you are the King who rules
with power and glory forever. Amen.’[n]
And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.” Matthew 6:5-15 TPT
- “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 HCSB
- “Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 HCSB
- “Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed.” Ephesians 6:18 The Voice
- “So, first and foremost, I urge God’s people to pray. They should make their requests, petitions, and thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity. Teach them to pray for kings (or anyone in high places for that matter) so that we can lead quiet, peaceful lives—reverent, godly, and holy— all of which is good and acceptable before the eyes of God our Savior who desires for everyone to be saved and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 The Voice
- “He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged:” Luke 18:1 HCSB
While I could add many more Scriptures to this, I primarily want you to be encouraged about the role of prayer in your life. Maybe you have prayed all your life but never really realized what it has done for you. Or, perhaps you have only prayed during a time of crisis. It could be that you have seldom prayed at all. No matter what your situation is, the invitation is open to all without judgment or condemnation. Pray always about everything. God is delighted to hear from you!
Prayers in the Bible
Various forms of the word ‘pray’ are mentioned at least 375 times in the Bible. In addition, there are over 200 prayers in the Bible from the Old Testament to the New. Prayer is an important subject because it is meant to be an important part of our lives.
There is a wonderful book called All the Prayers of the Bible. Click on the picture to learn more and purchase the book. I have used prayers directly from scripture so many times in my life. When I didn’t know how to pray or what to pray, or just want to put the Word to work in my life, I personalize them and then pray them because they are powerful.
What Prayer Can do
I hope this gives you a glance at what prayer can do for you as you incorporate it into your life. Prayer is as simple as saying, “Hello God – I love You!” You can pray on your knees, standing up, walking around, driving, laying in your bed, while you’re exercising, at work, at home, at play. You can pray in any position at any time with any words you have. You can pray out loud or silently. Just remember two things:
I would also encourage you to start a prayer journal. You can write out your prayer word-for-word or just the parts that seem most important to you. While you’re writing, write out some Scripture. The simple process of writing helps us remember and focus. In addition, it’s awesome to look back and see what God has done and how you have changed.
If you want to create your own prayer journal, follow this link to Woman of Noble Character by Sue Nelson – Creating A Prayer Journal – to get step-by-step directions as well as links to printables. Creating a Prayer Journal or War Binder will allow you to create something that works for you.
Women Ministering Pray and Lead By Example
As women in ministry, we must lead by example. Christian leaders should pray. Does that mean being on your knees for hours every day? Not necessarily, but it could happen. It means we need to be faithful in prayer. We don’t need to tell everyone how long we pray every day, but, we can’t ask others to do what we are not doing. The first premise of successful leadership is to lead by example, not just words.
I know there are times when your prayer life can feel as dry as the Mojave and God may feel about as close as another solar system. However, I also know that we have to persevere through those times because it will change. Then, we can honestly encourage others to do the same because we understand, having been through what they are going through.
So, I want to encourage all of you wonderful women who are changing the world by sharing God’s love to pray and to pray without losing heart. Pursue God like David did. He talked to God all the time and poured everything out to Him. The ‘man after God’s own heart’ was a Prayer Warrior. I encourage you to follow in his example.
Let me know how prayer changes you! I would love to hear your experiences with prayer, journaling, and meditating on God’s goodness.
**WM uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.
You might also enjoy reading part of this study in Psalm 119 – Longing for God in Psalm 119