Have you ever wondered why there are so many powerless Christians today? What is the most powerful tool we can use but also the most neglected one?
Statistics show that the average Christian spends approximately only four minutes in prayer each day. What a shame! Have we become so proud and self sufficient that we believe we can handle life’s challenges and pressures in our own strength? Are you strong enough to receive material blessings, yet not become greedy, proud, and self-reliant? Do you realize your great need for God? Is there any wonder that we are often powerless Christians? Wherever there is little prayer, there is little power. Only when you spend time in much prayer, will you will be blessed with much power!
I vividly remember the time when I realized the incredible blessing that I have in talking to God, and having Him give me the affirmation that He heard my plea. (I share this complete story in our book, “Big Mountain, Bigger God.”) When our son, Austin, was six years old, we received the devastating news that he was now facing his second malignant cancer that required surgery and extended treatment. I was sitting on our front porch steps, feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me. Again. I began crying and talking to my “Daddy.” I prayed, “Oh God, I can feel Your presence, I know You love me and will carry me through this trial. Dear Father, please show me, in a very real way, that You are also there for Austin and Your grace will carry him through as well. After all, how much can he really grasp Your presence?”
My answer came just a few days later. Austin came to me and said, “Mom, I never told you this, but remember the time when I had so much pain in my stomach and couldn’t sleep at night? You and Dad would rub my stomach until I could go to sleep. Well, one night I woke up and felt this terrible pain in my stomach again, but you and Dad were sleeping. All of a sudden, I felt a hand reach down and touch my stomach. I looked around, but there was nobody in the room! The pain went away, so I was able to go back to sleep again.” What a great affirmation to my prayer! It was what I needed to help me through the difficult months filled with surgery and many painful procedures for Austin.
We find it easy to pray the “Jabez prayer” (“…Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me…” 1 Chron. 4:10) because we are by nature very selfish. Why would we find it difficult to pray for God to bless us and make us prosper? How much time do we invest in praying for others and for victory from our sinful ways? Does it grieve our hearts to see how sinful our flesh is to our Holy God? Are we focusing only on God being merciful, since He has promised to forgive us when we confess our sins? He does forgive us, however this gives us no reason or excuse to live a defeated life. Galatians 5:13 says, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh…” When we only see God as being merciful and not just, we are altering the very nature of God. This, in return, will warp our way of thinking and lead us down the path to complacency and lukewarmness. Contrary to popular belief regarding God’s mercy, the Bible says that this is a scary place to be because we become nauseating to God. (Rev. 3:15-16) We need this daily connection with God because we are so prone to wander away from Him and become ensnared by the enemy.
I struggle to make prayer a priority in my life. I know it is essential in order for my life to be effective. I am challenged with the thought that the most important thing isn’t what I say to God, but what God says to me. If I really believe this, does my life demonstrate it? Do I have enough boundaries established in my life so I take time to listen to Him? Why should an all-powerful God have His children, who are representing Him, live powerless lives? Are we bringing shame to our great God? Got prayer? Got Power!