The Power of Prayer

It is only relatively recently that I have glimpsed that prayer is powerful, and seen why prayer is powerful. Here I'll share what I have learned.

Before this, for the longest time, I used to believe that the quickest and most effective way to bring about positive change to a situation, was to use direct physical action, without necessarily involving any prayer.  Part of this was probably a lack of faith.  Although I believed in God, I felt a need to be useful via direct practical action.  I didn't really question whether my desire to be useful was in order to help the situation/person affected, or whether it was out of a desire of self-worth, or out of a desire to honor and help God (e.g. by doing good works).  I really don't know, and couldn't tell you.  The book of James has always stuck sharply in my head, too, which has tended to make me lean heavily toward works - probably as a way of showing my faith and my love.

But I didn't have the balance of prayerful contact with God about the situation, and this was not so good.  

In fact, I tended to have what is probably a fairly common misconception: that I am being much more useful by taking direct action than by praying about things.  Now I know that this is wrong: both prayer and action are important, and action without prayer is not very meaningful on a spiritual level (just as prayer without action is not meaningful in faith, as in the book of James).

What made me realize how wrong I had been all these years?

Well, two things in combination.  The main one was a church sermon about prayer and why it is so powerful.  The second one was remembering that the spiritual word is the 'real' world - the one which is more solid, more heavy (click here for my other post about that), and the one we know here on this planet is the ephemeral one (click here for a different post about that).

So when we pray, we tap into that more solid, more real world of the spiritual.  To use a very secular analogy, it's a bit like the movie The Matrix, where they use telephones within the fake computer-generated world of the Matrix to communicate with friends who are in the real physical world.

In our case, not only do we tap into that 'real world' from our ephemeral one when we pray, but also, we get to talk directly to the big boss! That's right.  We get to talk directly to God.  Imagine how powerful this really is, if we really understood it fully. When God sees us pray, he knows we are serious.  Sometimes he wants to know if we are really willing to commit to keep praying about something.  Even if it's something 'good' (e.g. like praying for other people), remember we are like children compared to God.

God can send messengers.  There have been numerous examples of this in the Bible. Or he can answer our prayers in other ways.  Even if the answer to a prayer is "no" or "not yet", we should not get so upset by that.  Furthermore, prayer is not just about getting answers to requests, but rather, it is about building a relationship with God.  That's right! With the big boss, the leader! Imagine that! Prayer is powerful, yes, because we tap into the real world (the spiritual one, not our planet Earth).  But more importantly than that is the relationship we have with God.

Anyway, what I wanted to get across in this post is that when we pray, it's not just like sending mail to a recipient who will never read it.  We get to talk to the leader of the Universe, and we get to know Him.  Not only that, but when we pray we can tap into the power of that real world that is beyond ours. Without prayer, we might be doing a whole lot of ineffectual running around in this ephemeral world, I know I did.

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