By Dr. Stan Toler (1950-2017)
If you had a super power, what would you want it to be? I love to ask people that question. The responses are always interesting.
Flying tops the list. Others will say teleportation, invisibility, or x-ray vision. It’s fun to speculate about the good we might do if we had some unusual ability—or the adventures we might have!
That’s all fantasy, of course, but there really is a super power available to you, and to everyone—it isn’t so much a power we possess as it is a way to access the ultimate source of power. I’m talking about prayer.
When we pray, we have access to the presence of God himself, and His incredible power is available to us. As the apostle James put it, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Here are four ways that we can tap into God’s power when we pray:
- God’s resources become available.
Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” That’s not a platinum card to take to the shopping mall. It’s a promise that God will respond to provide for those who ask in faith.
When we have a need, we often try everything but prayer to meet it. Begin where the power is. Begin by calling out to God.
- You experience a supernatural calm.
The apostle Paul said after you have prayed, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds” (Phil. 4:7). I don’t know about you, but I think freedom from anxiety would be a great super power to have! That can be yours when you pray in faith.
- You make the past disappear.
John wrote, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). A sincere prayer of confession releases God’s forgiveness, washing away guilt, shame, and regret. While you may live with some consequences of past action, your prayer heard in heaven will make the guilt disappear.
- You unleash God’s healing.
God is merciful, and He often releases his healing power to those who humbly ask. James wrote, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well” (James 5:14). Is that a guarantee that every prayer for healing will be answered in the way we desire? No, but it does indicate the relationship between prayer and healing. We often miss out on God’s power because we simply don’t ask to receive it.
It would be a shame to have the super power of flying yet travel everywhere on foot; or to have super strength but allow yourself to be oppressed by others. And it’s unfortunate that many of us fail to use the truly amazing gift that we have available to us every day—prayer.
How active is your prayer life?
What would you do today, even now, to take advantage of this awesome power?
How have you seen the power of God at work in response to your prayers?