Monday, February 16, 2009

The Power of Prayer

In The Holiness of God, a book by R.C. Sproul, the point is made that before the death and resurrection of Christ, not even Christians had access to God. "The moment Jesus was slain, the instant the Just One died for the unjust, the veil in the temple was torn. The presence of God became accessible to us. For the Christian, the 'No Access' sign was removed from the gates of paradise. We may now walk freely on holy ground. We have access to His Grace, but even more, we have access to Him."

In our sinful state, all we deserve from God is his wrath. As we know, Jesus stood in our place and took the punishment for what we deserve. Not only do we now have eternal life, but we have access to the presence of God in our current lives.

God yearns to have a personal relationship with us. We are his children and he's passionate about our lives. So what does a personal relationship look like? It might seem odd to compare it to any relationship we have here on Earth. Usually we can pick up the phone and talk to someone we are in a personal relationship with. We can grab coffee, shoot them an e-mail, give them a hug, whatever it is. We can't really do any of those things with Christ, but it's still so important to maintain a personal relationship. In my opinion, the most powerful way to do that is to be in constant prayer.

Carolyn McCulley said, "[God] didn't just make us all and then stand back to have a good laugh. He is Lord over his creation, lovingly ruling over all things..."

Being in prayer and communication with him, even over things that we may feel are insignificant, is so important! He cares and wants to hear from us. This is something that I struggled with and continue to need to remind myself.

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 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 5:13-18 (ESV)

Pray in all things!

(Mark Driscoll had an excellent sermon on prayer--click here to listen.)

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