Become stronger with this simple exercise
We read a remarkable account in Genesis where Abraham bargains with God over the fate of the city of Sodom. Abraham was deeply concerned beacause his nephew, Lot, lives in Sodom.. He interceded passionately, appealing to God's mercy. “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis18:25)
Part of the power in prayer is that, like Abraham, we know that God will deal with us through his mercy and grace.
Abraham's approach is humble. “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes” (Genesis18:27)
This brings to mind the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee, being of one of the religious elite, reminded God about his good works and reputation. The Tax Collector confessed his unworthiness. Jesus said of the tax collector, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Abraham's pleas were humble but persistent. He started haggling at fifty and got down to ten. If ten righteous people were found in Sodom, the city would be spared. Jesus taught us about the effectiveness of persistent prayer in the parables of the Persistent Widow and the Persistent Neighbor. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
Anything big enough to worry about is big enough to pray about. Paul wrote, :”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Prayer focuses the power of God like a magnifying glass focuses the sun’s power. Abraham's prayer focused God's power on one family. Sodom was not spared (there were not ten righteous there) but God remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the disaster that overthrew the cities. (Genesis 19:29)
Another great example of the focusing of God’s power is found in Acts 4. Peter and John were in jail for preaching the gospel. God's people prayed, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:29-35)
- The place where they were meeting was shaken.
- They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
- All the believers were one in heart and mind.
- They shared everything they had.
- The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power.
- Much grace was upon them all.
- There were no needy persons among them.
View a video of “Unleashing God's Power through Prayer.”
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This is part of the sermon series “How To Be Spiritually Successful.” It is based on the Masterlife study “The Disciple's Cross.”