The act of praying: Making God’s power available where needed!

October 10, 2007 at 9:33 pm 3 comments


Jesus was found constantly praying – we see the Gospels replete with instances of prayer. However, there is one particular situation which shows the nature of prayer. Found in John 17 and specifically in Luke 22:31-32 , Jesus turns to Simon Peter in the Upper Room during the Last Supper and says: “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” (This was actually followed by Simon Peter confidently saying that he will never deny Christ – and miserably failing thrice a few hours later)

Let’s break this down: Jesus knew that the epic battle was at hand. The submission at the Garden of Gethsamane, the cross-examination, the cruel lashing, the agony of the Cross and the impending betrayal by those He held dear was surely weighing on Jesus’ mind. Jesus knew that Satan was going into full attack mode, and that He had to allow that to happen. The situation is very much similar to what happens to us in our lives: challenges to face, decisions to take, needing to live for Him instead of looking after “Numero Uno”. But knowing that Simon Peter was going to need some major help, Jesus stepped in to pray for Peter’s faith. And by that prayer, (I believe) He equipped Peter with power. It is interesting that Jesus did not pray for Peter’s deliverance from temptation – He simply prayed that Peter’s faith holds up. When Peter failed (thrice!), I believe this prayer helped Him.

Later, it was Peter who held the rag-tag group together in Acts 1 and got Matthias elected to replace Judas’ place in the twelve. It was Peter in Acts 2, who on Pentecost stood up and filled by the Holy Spirit, spoke the first message of repentance: This expression of faith resulted in three thousand believers added to the fledgling group in just the one sermon! (See the connection to the ‘faith’ that Jesus prayed for?) Peter went on to become the one of the primary leaders of the Church. However, Jesus’ prayer that Peter would “strengthen his brothers” when he “turned back” was, I believe, that crucial element that made God’s power via the Holy Spirit available to Peter at the right time, and enabled him to start down this path.

That is not all: In John 17, John records another, longer prayer that Jesus prayed at this time for all who would believe. To wit, in John 17:20-21 Jesus, concluding a prayer for His disciples, also prayed for YOU and ME! “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you

So, what does it mean for us? It is clear that Jesus thought it was important enough to pray specifically for His disciples, and by extension, for us too. Via that prayer, He made God’s power available not only to Peter and the disciples, but to us as well. This prayer was specifically, an all encompassing prayer for strength, faith and unity. Jesus knew that we needed God’s Power, and He made it available for us through His prayer. Does that not mean that when we pray, we are making that same Power available to others? And this, my friend, is the point of this post.

From now on, I would like to constantly realize that when I pray for anyone (including myself), it is not simply a matter of rote. When I pray for my child, I am participating in revealing that Power in his or her life (I have two kids). When I pray for FMPB Missionaries or for a loved one to be saved, that Power will go ahead of them and soften the hearts of those who are about to hear the Gospel. When I pray for a sick friend, God’s power will work through the medicine and the Doctor for healing. When I pray for my own self, I remind myself that the Power that raised Lazarus from the dead is available to me too. When I do my part in prayer, God can move on His part.

If my prayer works, so will yours. All you will need is to have Faith: In God, and in His Nature, and in His Power to revive and to transform, to endow and to save, to heal and to sustain, and to do everything that is required where and when it is needed.

Before I end, I want to point out one more aspect: Jesus said “when you have turned back” and NOT “if you turned back“. Jesus prayed this prayer in faith, believing that God will hear and act on this prayer, and we need to have that same faith: That when we ask for something that is in alignment with God’s plan, it will happen. St. Paul, in Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” So until what we have asked for comes to pass, may the peace of God stay with you and help you through Christ Jesus. May God help change your prayer life through this simple message.

In His Service always,

John Kanagaraj

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Entry filed under: Life, Nature of God, Nature of Man. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mrlonely  |  December 6, 2007 at 9:24 am

    prayers can change everything, make impossible possible…they are a path to heaven.check out what rhapsodysinger has to say about the power of praying at http://dailylight.wordpress.com/

    http://dailylight.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/reading-44-from-st-francis-of-assisi/#more-47

    Reply
  • 2. Audra  |  July 18, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I want to thank you for that message. My heart feels heavy today, and I needed this word. I am asking that any who read this would pray for me, as I will for you.

    Reply
  • 3. The heart of a leader « Letters from a Layman  |  August 1, 2008 at 11:02 am

    […] The second one is this: That a leader constantly prays for those he (or she!) leads and serves. A leader has to be concerned for his group. Paul establishes this right away when he says (Phil 1:3-5) “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,…” This leader prays with joy and thankfulness; he keeps them close to his heart (v 1:7 and 1:8), fondly remembers them often, and uses every remembrance to pray for them. I found another nugget in this: You will find great satisfaction from praying for someone who is brought to your remembrance right away. Rather than wait for “prayer time” to pray for this person or persons, why not keep them in prayer whenever you remember them!? Rather than fill your mind with concern and worry for a loved one, why not use that time to thank God for that loved one, and pray for that person? Exercise is a great time to pray – see this earlier post for my thoughts on the act of praying. […]

    Reply

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