Highly advanced aliens land on the earth for a visit. The first person they see is you. As a gesture of good will to mankind they offer you a simple device which can cure illness, change the attitude of people, bring harmony and peace to your country and relieve us from the burden of sin. They give it to you and leave it with you and in your hands.
What would you do with such a powerful and simple device?
- Sell it to the Guptas
- If you are a man – take it to pieces to see how it works.
- Keep it to yourself – a secret
- Hand it over to the United Nations or the president of your country
- Share it with everyone and anyone who wants it to the benefit of all
Imagine the power you hold in your hands? The ability to change things for better in the world. Especially when you know it works and you have seen it in action.
Now please can I ask all of you to hold your two hands together, palm to palm, fingers pointing upwards.
Amazing! You all own one of these devices. A direct line of prayer to the God who made heaven and earth.
Karl Barth said – To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of this world.
There is so much to be passionate about in prayer because the results are there for us all to see. How many of you here today have witnessed or been involved in praying for something and God has provided?
Do you know how often God positively answers prayer?
Prayer is not just a church ritual to make us feel better. Prayer is raw power. Prayer is access to the Almighty God.
Your prayer can obtain what otherwise will be withheld. Prayer can accomplish what otherwise remains undone. Prayer can accomplish what a willing God can accomplish. How can you not be passionate in prayer?
James 5:13-15 (The Message) Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven—healed inside and out.
I don’t know about you but the biggest danger in my life is a casual – far too casual – approach to my communication with God. There are times when I take it for granted or just casually say something to Him. Bordering on the irreverent and even the offensive.
Over the past 3 weeks we have talked about prayer and the necessity of a right attitude – maybe that should be a righteous attitude – when talking with God. A need for openness and reverence and sincerity and directness when kneeling before the Almighty God.
What we need to remember is the miracles that do follow prayer when God listens to us and our call to Him. Whilst the aliens landing and handing over a machine is a joke the power of prayer is not a joke. It is real and most of us – if not all of us – have been witnesses to or involved in prayer that has healed the sick, healed the broken-hearted, healed the hurting, healed the angry, healed the unforgiving, healed the unwise, healed the rifts splitting peace and harmony, healed personal issues and so I can go on ad infinitum.
What is the limit to the power of prayer?
Well – what is the limit to the power of God? A loving God willing and wanting to move closer to us.
I read a quote the other day which said “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit. There are footsteps on the moon”. Well now there are man-made vehicles on Mars and other far distant planets. What is the limit for man now?
Nowhere near the limits of God – if He has any at all. How can the God who created all of the heavens and earth be limited by anything? So why should your prayer in righteousness, in reverence, directly, openly and sincerely be any problem?
The Gospel reading today illustrates the point. Jesus instructed the disciples not to tell anyone else He was the Messiah. He told them to keep the secret because at this stage they did not understand what Jesus was really all about. Many thought He was a military commander come to rid Israel of its invaders. The danger was their lack of understanding of Jesus and who He is and what He came here to do.
Sometimes we fail to understand who Jesus Christ really is and His power on earth and in the heavens. Do we really appreciate what Jesus did on earth when He walked as a man? Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus Christ can do anything – cure the sick, still the seas, feed the 5 000, change water into wine and so we can go on. Furthermore Jesus made us a promise that we can do anything He did – and even greater things – if we do it in His name.
Do you honestly believe that is true?
If we do not, how can we believe in the power of prayer?
If you really believe in the Word of God and believe He died and rose again from the dead – then what is the limit of your prayers? I do not believe there is a limit.
Do we really understand God’s Word – the Holy bible – and have we understood the contents? I am not talking about reading a chapter a day – or however many you read. I am talking about really understanding and believing in the Word of God.
If we do not really understand the Word of God, how can we believe in the power of prayer?
If we use God’s Word when we pray, when we prepare to pray and in our everyday lives then we grow in our knowledge and love of God. We learn the Truth. The Truth draws us into a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit and the light which is Jesus Christ. We need them both in our lives all the time.
R A Torrey was a prolific and powerful Christian author at the turn on of the 20th century. Here’s what he said……..
“We learn to abide in Christ by feeding upon His Word, His written Word as found in the bible, and looking to the Holy Spirit to plant these words in our hearts and to make them a living thing in our hearts.
If we then let the words of Christ abide in us, they will stir us up in prayer. They will be the mould in which our prayers are shaped” and then later on he says “Triumphant prayer is almost impossible where there is neglect of the study of the Word of God.”
He also describes the prayers of George Muller who would begin by reading and meditating upon God’s Word until, out of this study of the Bible, a prayer began to form itself in his heart. A prayer led by God and His Word. How powerful is that prayer when God Himself is the author.
I cannot conclude any better than using the words of Jesus Christ printed in
John 14:15-17 (The Message Bible)
The Spirit of Truth
“If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you. I will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can’t take him in because it doesn’t have eyes to see him, doesn’t know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!