Do you realize the true power of prayer? Many people who call themselves Christians, and even true Christians, often don’t understand the power of heartfelt prayer. Prayer is how we communicate with God our Father. It is in His will that we pray.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Thoughts and Prayers
If you watch any kind of news, whether online or on TV, every time a tragedy occurs that makes the news, the news anchors or show hosts will say something like ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the families…”
And more often than not, unbelievers jump on them and criticize them saying, ‘Those thoughts and prayers don’t mean anything.’ Obviously, those nay-sayers do not understand the power of prayer, especially when it comes from the hearts of true believers.
But What About Unanswered Prayers?
Does that mean that God didn’t hear you? No, not at all. Contrary to Garth Brooks’ song about thanking God for unanswered prayers, He does answer you. You just may not like or understand the answer!
For example, my mother was in a great deal of pain toward the end. My brother told me she prayed every night for God to either heal her or take her home. A few short months later, her prayers were answered and she went Home with the Lord. God gave her complete healing, just not here on earth.
Did that mean that God didn’t answer her prayers or my prayers or the prayers of her brothers and sisters at church? No. We may have prayed for her to stay with us here on earth and be cancer-free. And that does happen – if it’s in His will, not ours. But God’s Will was to bring her Home with Him.
So while some may think that God is not answering our prayers, it’s because they don’t understand the true meaning and power of prayer.
The True Power of Prayer
Prayers do work, when we pray in Jesus’ name and understand that when we pray, we realize that the answers are in God’s Will. As it says in the Bible, “Thy will be done.” Not our will, not what we wish and hope and pray for, but God’s will.
Matthew 6 (King James Version)
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Prayers Are Not Always Answered Right Away
They’re not answered “right away” in our time. But remember, the Lord God is outside of our time. He created time, but He doesn’t live in our time. So while some may think He doesn’t hear or isn’t answering, His answer may be ‘No. It is not in My will that it be done.’
Or the answer may be ‘Not yet.’ We have to have patience and trust in the Lord that He does answer our prayers; we just may not like the answer or we don’t have the patience to wait for His answer.
Another example is a man at our church. He suffers a great deal with myriad illnesses.
Some years ago his doctors said he was living nearly hour by hour, not day by day. That doesn’t sound like a very positive prognosis.
After a Thanksgiving service one year, many people gathered around him, all touching him or touching those who were touching him. Deep, heartfelt, sincere prayers were said for his healing, if it be in God’s will.
About two years later, he was still with us here on earth, however, he did have to have one of his legs amputated. Was God not answering our prayers of healing? God’s thoughts on complete healing and His answers seem to be ‘Not yet.’
The man is still with us here on earth, so his complete healing may not come until he’s in his forever Home with The Father. We pray, selfishly I may add, that it doesn’t happen for many years to come.
We Christians Must Believe in the True Power of Prayer
And we must always be in a mindset of prayer. “Pray without ceasing” He says in the Bible. But we must also be patient while awaiting the answer. And then, we must accept the answer, whatever it is, as God’s will being done.
So yes, “thoughts and prayers” are not said idly. Those who believe know that oftentimes those thoughts and prayers bring a great deal of comfort to the grieving, the ill, those left behind when a loved one passes from this earth.
We who express our heartfelt “thoughts and prayers” are asking the Lord to bestow peace and comfort on those who are hurting, regardless of how the situation they’re in plays out.
I know I had a lot of people praying for me when my mother passed, when my brother passed, when my father passed; we have a lot of Christians in our family! And those prayers brought true peace and comfort.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.