Wednesday, April 29, 2015

There is No Power in Prayer

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

It was my junior year in college (Or senior year, maybe. What's twelve months between friends?) and I was at a weekend conference about prayer when the speaker took to the mic and proclaimed, "There is no power in prayer."
And I'm all, Excuse me? Who are you, and what are you saying? Have you hijacked this conference to bring us some heretical teaching? Quick! Someone get the Theology Police!!!
But before anyone had a chance to start throwing things at the platform, and now that he had our attention (BTW,as a speaker, I really admire his clever introduction.) he made his point.
The power exists in and flows from GOD.
And prayer is our vehicle to access that power.
Admittedly, I don't remember the specifics of his teaching that weekend (*ahem* It was 23 or 24 years ago.) but I have never forgotten that statement. And as my faith and prayer-life have grown, so has my confidence that the power is in my All-knowing, All-seeing, All-loving, Completely-able GOD.
I think it is because of this confidence in what God can do, that so I love praying.

The thing is, I am not very eloquent with my words. Sometimes I forget that a person has asked me to pray for a particular thing. (Until God graciously reminds me with a prayer cue.) And occasionally I get discouraged because of my inadequacies. That is, I begin to feel like I'm letting someone down because my prayers aren't good enough.
Which is usually just about the time God's Spirit swoops in to save the day, by reminding me there is no power in my prayers. The power exists in and flows from GOD.
*It isn't up to me to say the right thing at the right time.
*I don't need to come up with the perfect suggestion for how God is to resolve a particular issue.
(I remind myself of this fact when I start listing ideas for Him. *ahem*)
*AND, I get no credit for the good things which occur in this world as a result of my prayers.

Please know, I am NOT saying prayer is ineffective, or insignificant, or a waste of our time. If anything sounding like that ever appears on this blog, please alert the authorities - because either I have gone crazy and need to be hospitalized, or someone has kidnapped me and taken over my blog.
What I am saying is the power is God's and all the glory goes to Him. God sees each of us in our individual circumstances, even while He sees the whole world and knows what is happening everywhere. In His perfect knowledge, God sees what is needed in each situation and, in His unhindered ability, God works out His plan.
And for some reason, in the midst of all He does, God makes Himself available to us - so we can talk to Him, and pour our hearts out to Him, and lay our concerns at His feet. Then we get to watch in wonder as God infuses His power into a circumstance and brings good from bad, replaces despair with hope, frees the captive, and breathes life into dead places.
Not because of our carefully crafted petitions, but because He cares.
So, let us not think of ourselves - the pray-ers - as remarkable, or worthy of thanks and praise. Rather, let us give our adoration to the One who moves, who answers, who is the Power and Source of all good things.
With that heart attitude I pray, and I look forward to seeing how God will act on behalf of Saeed, Julie's parents, Bo, Stacy's friend, Jennifer's friend, Chera, Angela, Edie, Elizabeth, Nick, Ryzen, the Shephard family, the Reeds, Kaira, Kim and Glenn, Amy, the country of Nepal, the city of Baltimore, Kimberly, my grandmother, and this broken world which needs Him so desperately.

The need is great, but HE is greater.



Crys said...

Amen! No credit for us but all Glory for Him :)

Karen Hossink said...

Crys - That's right. Amen!

Mommy's coffee break blog said...

I love this entry Karen (and not only because you mentioned my name :) he he) Thank you so much for keeping me in your prayers. You make an awesome point, and it is very simple but so powerful, "The power exists in and flows from God." For me just thinking that and saying it, gives me such strength and hope. And media/Hollywood loves to say, 'there is power in prayer.' You hear that all the time on t.v. talk shows. They never point out the source of the power is our God. But of course that is because media tends to be atheists/agnostics/ or trying to be politically correct (in a neutral sense) and not say the power of prayer is from God. Anyhow sorry for the long response, he know I get wordy.((hugs))

Karen Hossink said...

Mommy - I love your wordiness. ;)
And I love praying for you - depending on the power of God to carry you through your circumstances. ((hugs))