Prayer is an expression of faith in God in at least three ways. We must believe God is real. We must believe God hears our prayers. And we must believe God will act in response to our prayer (Heb. 11:6).
That’s why I’m asking God to give us faith to pray as a church on Saturday. Faith is a gift. It is not created by music, mood lighting or many words. It is given by the Spirit of God (Eph. 2:8, 3:16-17).
The Bible is full of stories of God doing extraordinary things simply by giving his people faith to pray. Here’s a provoking example from James 5:17-18.
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.”
James is the consummate pastor. He knows our tendency to think of faith-filled prayer as the prerogative of the spiritually elite. So he prefaces the story of Elijah’s prayer with a very helpful reminder. Elijah was just like us. He wasn’t part of Prayer Team 6. He didn’t have a degree in prayer with a concentration in weather and natural disasters. He was a regular guy. Sometimes he failed miserably to trust God (1 Ki 19:1-8). Yet God used him in extraordinary ways simply because he was willing to prayer fervently.
How about you? Do you believe that “the prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16)? If you are a Christian, it’s because God has declared you righteous in Christ. That’s who you are. Thus your prayers have great power. Deploy them. Use them. Make big requests of a big God and watch him do extraordinary things simply because you asked him to.