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WEEK 3 – The Necessity of Prayer.
We learned from the previous chapters that prayer is not about convincing God to implement our ideas. Then why do we need to pray? If God were going to do His will without our prayers, then why did Jesus teach us to pray? What does pray accomplish? The author says that although prayer does not change God’s will, it does activate God’s will. Prayer releases the power of God to accomplish the will of God in situations and in the lives of people. Prayer is the channel through which God’s will is brought to earth. O. Hallesby says, “Prayer is the conduit through which power from heaven is brought to earth.”
Because of sin, there exists a gap between what God has prepared and is ready to release and what is happening on the earth. Prayer bridges that gap. To explain this concept further, the author gives us an example of a light bulb and a battery: when there is gap between the source of power (the power of God) and the light bulb (our need), the flow of power is interrupted. Electricity will not jump over the air; it requires a conductor. Likewise, God’s power does not jump over the gap that sin has created. He requires a conductor; prayer is standing in the gap -- being the conductor of His power and His will into the circumstances on earth.
Another reason why we need to pray is because when we pray, we reach into the spiritual realm and grab hold of the will of God for that situation. Prayer helps us to know God’s will, helps us to grow spiritually. God wants us to be a part of his plan, not strangers or just servants. He wants us to be his friends and sons. God doesn’t need us but he chose to involve us. The author gives us two examples: Daniel’s prayer and Elijah’s prayer.
Through reading the word of God Daniel clearly saw and understood God’s will and his plan of returning his people after 70 years of exile. What did he do? Did he sit back and wait for God to do his will? No! Daniel began to pray. Because Daniel prayed, God’s will was activated on the earth; in the year 538 B.C., Judah began to return from exile. In Elijah’s example, we can see that Elijah prayed until the word of God was established in the material realm. For example, God told Elijah that there would be drought for several years. What did Elijah do? Like Daniel, he prayed. When Elijah prayed, God indeed sent drought. Elijah knew that his prayers would enforce the will of God, causing the will of God to be done on earth as it was done in heaven. The author puts it this way: 1) God declares it. 2) Elijah prays it 3) God performs it.
Prayer is spiritual work -- the most aggressive, offensive, pro-active, invasive work. Many people including me mistake prayer for a passive activity. However, prayer is the most offensive and active spiritual weapon because it can focuses and magnifies God’s power on a particular situation or a specific life; think about how the sun’s rays are focused and directed through a magnifying glass. I need to pray because prayer can help me to be spiritually focused and make the will of God clearer in my life in this confusing and distracting world.
Meditation by Caleb Lee
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