Monday, October 1, 2012

Prayer Power

          What’s the most powerful thing in the world? Could it be a bomb or a tornado or a hurricane or an earthquake or a solar flare?
          First, I suppose we might want to determine what we think we mean by “powerful.”  How could we define power? Power is the ability to act or do something or is capable of accomplishing or doing something.  
          So, my hand has power because it can take a pencil and write words on paper but that’s probably not what we would think of as being powerful. Powerful is the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Powerful is the ability to stop a speeding locomotive or to catch a speeding bullet. Oh, wait, that’s Superman. Well, that’s a good definition of power whether he was a real person or not.  In our imaginations and in the comic books he could do all these things.
          How about being able to create things? Would that be seen as being powerful? I’ve seen ladies take apples, flour, sugar, and lard and create some awesome pies. Is that what we mean by being powerful?
          Well how about someone who build skyscrapers? I just read the other day that people are already considering building a tower 3,280 feet tall. It’s scheduled to be completed in 2018.  That’s kind of powerful.  It takes some kind of power to begin the construction of such a huge building let alone the risk involved. But is that kind of power what we’re talking about?
          A few weeks ago James in his epistle talked about the tongue being powerful, hard to control and able to cause a lot of destruction. And, today James talks about prayer and the power it is capable of unleashing.
          Did prayer even enter your minds as the most powerful thing or force in the world? It probably didn’t. I would have said something like splitting an atom or something as being the most powerful thing in the world, but prayer. Who’d have thought prayer would even make the top ten?
          A lot of folks still might not believe it. Because they’ve tried it, once or twice, and it hasn’t worked for them. Nothing happened and so they gave up on trying it anymore.
          So, what do you think? Is prayer the most powerful thing in the world? Or do you think there is a power greater than prayer?
          How can any of us prove that prayer is the most powerful force in the world? Let’s see. How many of you have prayed for rain this summer? Were your prayers answered? Okay, how many of you have prayed to win the lottery? Were your prayers answered? No. Then how can we say that prayer is the most powerful force in the world?
          Let me ask you a question. What do you do when everything else you’ve tried has failed to produce the results you were looking for? What do you do when nothing else has worked; what do you do? You pray…and why do you pray?  Because it’s the most powerful force in the universe, that’s why you pray. And when all else fails we turn to the Creator of it all and ask for help.
          Often what we pray for doesn’t happen so we don’t think prayer is too powerful. The thing is we don’t use it every day.
          What happens to our bodies if all we do is sit in the recliner and what the football games or HGTV? Our muscles and joints and everything else atrophies and we lose our strength. 
          Don’t you think the same thing could happen if we don’t use prayer more than when we have an emergency? Well, doesn’t it make sense?
          We should be praying all the time. What did James say? Is anyone sick? Then call the elders and ask them to come and pray.  Is anyone in trouble? Then they should pray? Is anyone happy? Then they should sing songs of praise, happy prayers. Has anyone sinned? Then confess the sin and pray for each other.
          What does James say then? The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James uses Elijah as an example of the power of prayer. He prayed for it to quit raining, and it didn’t rain for 3 years, and then he prayed for rain and it came.
          So, now what’s the most powerful thing in the world? What has the most capability to effect change than anything else in the world? What’s that? Prayer you say. That’s right, prayer.
          So, what are you going to do this week? The same old thing, buy a lottery ticket and “hope” that you win. What about praying for your neighbors, the ones you don’t get along too well with? What about praying for our presidential candidates? What about praying for our school? What about praying for each other?
          What about prayer? Friends, I believe prayer is the most under utilized powerful gift God has given us. It’s free and we don’t use it everyday. We use our tooth brushes more than we use prayer. Be honest, don’t we?
          So, I ask you to this week make a commitment to pray for each other this week. You know there’s something going on in each of our lives that we’d like someone to pray for. We’re all getting older and things break down in our bodies and we “need” prayers. We lose our glasses; we lose our keys; we forget where we’ve put our flash drives. Don’t laugh, I couldn’t remember where I put mine yesterday.
          How many of you use computers? They need to be prayed over every minute. I talk to mine more than I talk to Linda some days.
          We laugh but we need prayer and we need people who will pray. The most simple yet most powerful thing in the world and we don’t take advantage of it.
            Friends, let’s trust in God to hear and answer our prayers. Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.

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