Apologetics, Biblical Doctrines, Church, Faith

What Happens When People Pray

The Christian is a person of many high privileges. Life is not all doom and gloom. Believers have many sweet privileges that the unbeliever will never have. The Christian has the privilege of going to the Bible and reading God’s love letter to his heart. It is nice to be loved. The Christian has the privilege of going to church and hearing a gospel sermon that will help him to lead a better life. The Christian has the privilege of fellowshipping with the finest people on earth—the people of God. The Church remains the most glorious institution on earth, and it is growing. The Christian has the privilege of helping others, as a Good Samaritan, with no thought of reward in mind.

The Christian has the privilege of serving in the only army that will be forever victorious. Alexander the Great finally met defeat by the banks of the river Jhelum while invading India. Napoleon had his Waterloo in Belgium. Adolf Hitler had his Stalingrad in Russia. Kim Sung Il, Grandfather of Kim Jon Un, could go no farther than the 38th parallel in Korea. But the army of Christ will one day conquer the world, and inherit the earth, for of His kingdom, there is no end.

“Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!

Christ, the royal Master,
leads against the foe;
Forward into battle,
see his banner go!

Onward, Christian soldiers,
marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus
going on before!

At the sign of triumph
Satan’s host doth flee;
On, then, Christian soldiers,
on to victory!

Hell’s foundations quiver
at the shout of praise;
Brothers, lift your voices,
loud your anthems raise!

Like a mighty army
moves the church of God;
Brothers, we are treading
where the saints have trod;

We are not divided;
all one body we,
One in hope and doctrine,
one in charity.

Onward, then, ye people,
join our happy throng,
Blend with ours your voices
in the triumph song;

Glory, laud, and honor,
unto Christ the King;
This thro’ countless ages
men and angels sing.”

Sabine Baring-Gould
1834-1924

The Christian has the privilege of prayer, and therefore every believer has great spiritual power. The privilege of prayer must not be neglected.

As there are great privileges given to the believer, so there are great powers in a Christian’s life. There is the power of what a person is. It was a dark and gloomy day in Boston. The next day a reporter wrote these words in the paper: “It was a dark and gloomy day yesterday. Then Philip Brooks walked through our office and the sun began to shine.” Mr. Brooks was an Anglican minister, and pastor of the prestigious Boston’s Trinity Church. Oh, the power of a Christian life! Has anyone’s day been made brighter by your life? Does anyone want to live for Christ because they have seen Him living in you?

There is the power of what a person says. Just think of the power that men have spoken for good or evil. During the days of the great depression President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave American’s hope by reminding them that, “the only thing we have to fear is, fear itself.” Later, when the winds of war blew in Europe, Winston Churchill held the nation of England together during the dark days of WWII. When Hitler threatened to invade the island, Churchill went on the radio and roused the people by saying, “We will never give up. We will never surrender. We will fight on the beach. We will fight in the streets. We will fight from house to house but we will never give up.” The only Englishman the mad dictator of Germany ever feared was the resolve and rhetoric of this Prime Minister.

Then, there are the warm words of Jesus Christ Himself calling sinners to salvation. “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

There is power in what a person says.

There is power in what a person does. Jesus “went about doing good” and that gave Him a mighty power among the people. Billy Graham wanted to be a big league baseball player. God wanted him to be an evangelist. Because he followed God, Billy Graham was been given tremendous power and influence.

Surely the Christian’s greatest power is the power of prayer. It has been said that “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” Kingdoms have been won, souls have been saved, churches have been built, lives have been blessed and changed because of prayer. The sick have been healed, and prodigals have been brought home because of prayer.

On July 10, 2018, the last of 13 desperate souls, trapped underwater in a dark cave in Thailand were rescued. A headline asked in bold letters, “A Miracle, OR Science.” Without question, millions of people around the world were praying for the 12 young soccer player, and their coach, to be rescued. No expense was spared their deliverance from the waters of death. Did science play a large role in the rescue? Absolutely! Was God merciful and answered the prayers of His people? The evidence is that He did. Prayer has worked many marvelous things. To encourage our hearts in this area, the Bible contains many promises concerning prayer.

Consider five promises associated with prayer.

First, in prayer, sins will be forgiven. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).David sinned greatly. How did he find peace? He prayed for forgiveness in Psalm 51:1-3 and he received it. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”

Second, in prayer, wisdom will be supplied. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). God’s wisdom provides guidance for daily living.

Third, in prayer, healing will be divine. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (James 5:14-15).

Fourth, in prayer, basic needs will be provided for. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).

Fifth, in prayer, covenants will be honored (Matthew 18:19). Dr. George W. Truett was a pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. He was preaching on the promise of Matthew 18 in a revival service. During the time of the invitation a woman stood up and asked for all to hear. “Dr. Truett. Do you believe what you just preached?” “Yes I do,” he replied. “Then will you covenant together with me that my husband will be saved during these preaching services?” Dr. Truett later confessed that he was stunned for the moment with the boldness of the request. Suddenly, a man stood up and said by faith, “I will covenant together with you in prayer to believe that your husband will be saved.”

The strangers met together at the altar to pray. The next night the woman brought her husband but he was not saved. However, the day after, while the pastor was in his study, there came a knock on the door. It was the unsaved husband on his way to work. But first, he had to find out what he must do to be saved. Covenants will be honored, when people pray.

This is what happens when people pray.

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