Cutting-Edge Prayer
Author: Dan Gabbert
Publish date:
 
 

One day, oil was discovered on the land of an old man in Oklahoma. He had lived in a small shack without electricity. He had two horses, which he used for transportation and for work on his farm. Suddenly, he was thrust into the modern world with all his sudden wealth.

The old man went into town and bought himself a new suit of clothes and a brand new, shiny Cadillac, which he had delivered to his shack. He dressed up in his new clothes and drove into town sitting in his grand car, pulled by a team of horses! Power was available to him—the power of more than a hundred horses, but he had not learned to access that power. He didn’t know how to turn on the switch and make it work, so he used the only power he understood: his two horses.

Is it possible that we could experience this problem in our prayer lives? Do you have a two-horsepower prayer life? Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell makes this observation:

There is a power in prayer that is undreamed of. It is the great unused potential of Christianity. Christ stripped the veil from this power and offered it to us.

How do we connect with God to transform prayer from a weak and mundane religious duty to an intimate, intelligent, power-filled, life-changing experience with the Almighty? The Bible tells that it is by “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The use of the Scriptures can add some very momentous and powerfully healing elements to our conversations with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

The Holy Spirit uses the Bible to supernaturally transmit the very spirit and life of Christ to His earnest followers (see John 6:63). Here are several ways that the Bible equips us for a powerful prayer life:

1. The Word enables us to know God more intimately.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent (John 17:3).

It is impossible to have an intimate and open conversation with someone you don’t know. Even here on Earth, the intimacy of our conversations with others and our willingness to disclose our innermost thoughts, feelings, and needs, is based upon how well we know and trust those we are talking to.

God’s Word provides the essential means by which we get to know Him and His Son Jesus Christ (John 5:39; 14:9), and thus gain confidence and trust that He “is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him” (2 Timothy 1:12).

For example, if you meditate upon Isaiah 53, the Holy Spirit may impress your heart with the incredible suffering Christ went through to be your sin-bearing Saviour.

Heavenly insight melts our hearts and increases our confidence in the love God has for us (Jeremiah 31:3) and the freedom we have to cast all our burdens upon Him (Psalm 55:22).

Daily time spent in the Bible getting to know the true and living God through earnest meditation upon His character is so renovating to prayer life. God’s Word opens the doors to heaven’s greatest blessings and to everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2-4).

The bottom line: The better I know God, the more fulfilling and healing my conversations become with Him.

2. The Word enhances mental and emotional healing.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (Romans 15:4).

Among the amazing prayer-enhancing gifts received through God’s Word are four major healing elements. People are spending millions of dollars trying to gain these concepts from psychiatrists and counselors: learning, patience, comfort, and hope.

Christ, our Creator and Redeemer, also wants to be our Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6). Anyone willing to cooperate with Him may find healing and deliverance from all their destructions, including every weight and sin which can so easily ensnare anyone. This healing comes through Scriptures (see Psalm 107:20; 119:24; Hebrews 12:1-2).

Notice 2 Corinthians 10:4-5:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (in our thinking and desires); Casting down imaginations (in our thinking and desires), and every high thing (in our thinking and desires) that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Something wonderful occurs when we choose to go to God’s Word for guidance, and by faith and His grace (2 Corinthians 9:8), faithfully practice taking every thought and action captive to the obedience of Christ.

Our faith-filled thinking and responding actually brings our emotions into captivity to Christ as well (see Proverbs 23:7; Matthew 12:34-35; Philippians 2:5; 1 John 2:5-6). The famous commentary Testimonies for the Church states it this way:

By steadfastly keeping the will on the Lord’s side, every emotion will be brought into captivity to the will of Jesus (volume 5, 514).

The bottom line: The more we see life through Christ’s eyes (Ephesians 1:18-19; Philippians 2:5), the more Christ-like our mental and emotional balance will be. The result is more peace and power in our prayer life (see Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 119:24).

3. The Word enables us to pray according to God’s will.

And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him (1 John 5:14-15).

Our asking must be according to God’s will; we must ask for the things that He has promised, and whatever we receive must be used in doing His will (Education, 257-258).

Every promise in the word of God furnishes us with subject matter for prayer, presenting the pledged word of Jehovah as our assurance. Whatever spiritual blessing we need, it is our privilege to claim through Jesus (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 133).

As we, through the Word of God, take the time to know Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to orchestrate His transforming work in our hearts (see 2 Corinthians 3:17-18), we shall have an ever-growing confidence to approach our loving heavenly Father in intimate, intelligent prayer. We will ask for and receive what only He can provide His followers: spiritual and mental healing, restoration, victory, and eternal life. Praise His Holy Name!

It’s very interesting to note that of all the armor of God Ephesians 6:13-17 encourages us to gird ourselves with, there are only two offensive weapons: the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God—and prayer. What an amazing combination! God wants to empower us to be victors instead of victims (2 Corinthians 2:14).

The bottom line: When with a surrendered will, we ask God in prayer for what He has promised us in His Word, with a determination to practice what He’s taught us, it is His delight to grant the petition we’ve requested!

I’ve found it to be unmistakably true that “Prayer is the key in the hand of faith that unlocks heaven’s storehouse” (Steps to Christ, 94).

I hope you’ll allow the Holy Spirit to draw you to the Word of God and a more intimate, healing, fulfilling, ongoing conversation with our loving Saviour and God.

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