The Power of Prayer
Thus far in this mini-devotional on the art of Biblical meditation I have stated that there are three ingredients in truly effective and Spirit filled devotions. The first is feasting on the written revelation of God, the 66 books of the Bible. The second is prayer. And the third is meditation, the art that connects the two. It is this missing art of meditation that guarantees genuine spiritual success and the blessings of God. It is not enough to merely read the Bible. It is not enough to pray for long periods of time. There must be something that connects you to the power that is inherent in the disciplines of the study of the Word of God and prayer. That is what meditation is all about. The technical and theological term for this is called Illumination.
Prayer is man’s way of communicating with God. It is a two-way conversation. We pray. God responds through His Word. It is talking to God, making our needs known after we praise Him for Who He is and submit ourselves to Him via confession of our sins. We do not confess sins to God in order to inform Him. That is an insult to His omniscience. We confess to God in order to seek forgiveness.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10 ESV)
But what is the purpose of prayer? Prayer is for the purpose of praising God for Who He is and seeking out His will and purpose for my life. In other words, to see to it that God’s will in heaven is done for me and through me on earth. We are to request that our daily needs are met such as bodily health and basic necessities. But an integral part of prayer is confession of our sins and seeking mercy and forgiveness. Did you notice 1 John 1:9 above? We are to “confess” our sins. Is this to inform God of what He already knows? Of course not! The word, “confess” means to “agree with God.” It is the means by which He cleanses us so that our prayers are not hindered. We cannot know the purity of the will of God when our souls are filthy dirty with un-confessed sin.
Other aspects of prayer include requesting God's providential care, keeping us away from evil (Matthew 6:13), directing our path (Romans 1:9-10), expressing thanksgiving (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18), finding peace in the midst of anxiety (Philippians 4:6-7), receiving strength and boldness from God (Ephesians 3:14-16,20), finding opportunity for service to God (Colossians 4:3), interceding for the needs of others (James 5:14-16; 1 Timothy 2:1-2) and very importantly, receiving wisdom from God (James 1:5-8). Wisdom stated simply is this – God’s perspective on things.
It has been said that prayer is the spiritual gymnasium in which we exercise and practice godliness. F.B. Meyer once said, “Prayer is educative. The man who prays grows and the muscles of the soul swell from this whipcord to iron bands."
In His grip,
Chuck F. Betters
For more information from In His Grip with Dr. Chuck F. Betters please visit http://www.markinc.org/