One of my favorite Scripture passages in the gospels is found in Luke 18:1–8. The first verse states the Lord’s purpose, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” The purpose of this parable was to encourage God’s people in the matter of praying; it was also to give them an incentive not to quit praying.
As a young pastor on the outskirts of Philadelphia, God gave me the good fortune of having a godly seasoned pastor as my trusted associate. His name was Al Johnson, and he believed in the power of prayer.
Speak to nearly any believer and they will usually agree with two general statements. The first being that to accomplish what God has called us to do requires a commitment to a disciplined prayer life. However, the second general truth that nearly every believer agrees with is that they do not pray enough.
There are ongoing efforts today to remove every semblance of God from our society. Ironically, those who are pushing these efforts from a platform of “tolerance” are increasingly intolerant of Judeo-Christian values and beliefs.
A Look at the Confidence, Condition, and Certainty Available When We Pray
In First John chapter five, we are assured that God both hears and heeds our prayers. The fact that God hears our prayers is a statement of His omniscience, and the fact that God answers our prayers is a statement of His omnipotence.
The word panacea means “a cure-all for problems or difficulties.” It has the idea of an effective remedy or solution for all problems regardless of their dimensions, difficulties, or dismay. Trials and afflictions are part of the Christian life. Without them, we can’t grow in the Lord.
The Epistle of James could be classified as a wisdom book of the New Testament, similar to the “wisdom books” (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon) of the Old Testament. It is also a book that has an emphasis on prayer. In the blessed promise of James 1:5 we find both themes combined.
In this Psalm, young David is running for his life from King Saul. God providentially preserves him, and he has a message for all who come behind him: there is a God in Heaven who hears the cries of His children! No matter why and how far we run, God is only a prayer away.
After admonishing every believer as Christian soldiers to put on the whole armor of God and identifying each piece of that armor in Ephesians 6:10–17, Paul commands us to be, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18). Prayer must be our attitude and action in our battle with Satan, the flesh, and the world.
Praying for my husband allows me to have a positive impact in his life. Something usually happens when we pray for others, especially for our husbands. When we pray for our husbands, the hardness in our heart softens, our anger recedes, our hurts are healed, and forgiveness takes place.
As recently as a few weeks ago, I stood with Dr. Daniel Kim at the DMZ by North Korea. It’s a heartbreaking feeling to stand just a few hundred yards away from people locked in a country of repression and, for Christians, a place of severe persecution—and be able to do nothing to help them.
A few weeks, ago before the Sunday evening service, we had one of the meetings that I most look forward to—a Pastor’s Prayer Partners fellowship. This is a group of people in our church who have committed to pray with a partner for me, my family, and the ministries of our church. Their commitment and faithfulness is a tremendous blessing and encouragement to me.