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Making a Difference By Praying

By Dr. Tom Walker

McDowell Countytom walker mcdowell county Zion Hill Baptist Church
In 2 Chron 7:14 God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The Lord extols the value of prayer in the lives of His redeemed people. Prayer is one of our most valuable assets we have as a Christian, yet we do not pray as fervently and believingly as we should.

Even our Lord Jesus had to spend a great deal of time in prayer, even though He was God the Son, manifested in human flesh. If the Son of God spent much time in prayer, how much more should we as mere human beings, who possess fallen natures, need to seek the face of God?

Probably the main reason we do not converse with God as often as we should, is due to the fact we allow too much of this world system to become a part of our affections and actions. God’s people need to be more heavenly minded. Someone wrongly said, “You can be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.” That is wrong! Let me turn that around and say it as it should be: “You can be so earthly minded that you are of no heavenly good.”

How often and how intensely do you take time to communicate with the Lord? He promises in 2 Chronicles that when we meet His conditions, He will hear from Heaven. That does not mean He will just listen to our petitions; it suggests He will answer them.

It requires faith to take God at His Word. If you cannot believe God can and will answer your call to Him, then you are critically deficient of faith and trust in your life. Why go on in unbelief and miss God’s best when you could have an answer from the glory world coming down into your life and the lives of others.

You can make a remarkable difference in your own life and in the lives of other people if you will use this wonderful tool the Lord has given to you—this matter of praying. I am going to submit several things to you where prayer makes a difference.


Prayer Pleases God


In Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus commands us to pray. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Since the word “ask” is in the form of a command, it stands to reason that if we do what the Lord commands us to do, it will please Him. Prayer is not a mere suggestion, rather, it is a divine order.

Probably the main reason it pleases the Lord is because in doing so, we recognize and confess our need of God’s help. The Bible is definite as to God’s attitude toward a “proud look” (Prov.6:17). It is listed at the top of a list of things the Lord hates. Instead of leaning on God, the proud person had rather attempt to run his own life instead of allowing the Lord to call the shots in daily living.

Ps 138:6 declares, “Though the Lord  be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”

Prov 15:25 states, “The Lord  will destroy the house of the proud.”

Prov 16:5 reminds us, “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”


Prayer Procures Blessings


James says, “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2). So many times, we do without because we do not go to the Lord for what we need. His coffers are full; He has riches untold.

One songwriter put it this way, “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” How many times have we gone without something in our lives because we did not ask for what we needed?

It will bring blessing to an individual life, a home, a church and a nation. We would think it strange if someone were extremely hungry, but they would not ask someone who had food, for something to eat. It makes less sense to know we can obtain for ourselves and for others, if we would only seek for what we need from our God.

An excellent illustration of the deliverance that prayer can bring, is that of Paul and Silas in the jail at Philippi. Acts 16:25 says, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God, and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, and the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” As a result of the prayers of Paul and Silas, a miraculous earthquake occurred, the doors to the prison opened, and what had them bound was loosed. Seeking God brought about their deliverance and the salvation of the jailer.


Prayer Restrains Satan


We have three main enemies: the world, the flesh, and the Devil. If you look in Ephesians 6, one of the weapons of our warfare against these three enemies is prayer.

Following that list of offensive and defensive weapons that are mentioned there, Paul instructs the Ephesian church to be, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18).

None of us have the power to resist Satan like the Bible tells us to do without being prayed up. Spiritual strength and the ability to resist comes as we go to the prayer closet (Matt. 6:6). Satan attacks us when we are weak; he takes advantage of us in those times.

When there is so much at stake in our lives, we cannot afford to give Satan any place in our lives (Eph.4:27).

If Satan ever gets the upper hand in your personal life, your family life, or your church life, you would be wise to offer some effectual, fervent prayers to God (James 5:16). The requests of a righteous person are both powerful and effective. They are dynamic in their working and results.


Prayer Provides Peace


Phil 4:6-7 gives us valuable instruction: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” In these two verses, peace is revealed as a product of prayer.

When we bring our troubles and concerns before God, we have a sense of serenity and renewed strength which comes to face the challenges that lie ahead from day to day. We will have to seek the Lord if we are going to enjoy that inner calm the Lord wants us to possess.

If there were ever a time peace was desperately needed, it is our modern day. There are wars and rumors of wars all around the world. Peace begins with a person being right with God himself or herself. That can happen if one will only approach God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.


Prayer Saves a Nation


I refer back to 2 Chron 7:14, where God says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

            It is man’s wickedness and sin that brings God’s judgment upon a nation. Israel is an example of that very thing. They mocked God’s prophets, worshiped idols, and refused to repent of their evil doings. Because of those things, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and many Jews were carried away into a 70 years captivity in Babylon.

God said if He were going to save their nation, they would have to turn from their wicked ways, but they refused to repent and turn from their sins. They continued in their wickedness until the judgment of God finally came upon them through the Babylonians.

It is my prayer that God will raise up many prayer warriors, who will fight the evil of our day upon their knees. Some said, “Satan trembles when he seeks the weakest saint down on his knees.” God help us to return to that private place to be alone with Christ.


Prayer Empowers a Church


Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

There are so many weak, anemic local churches today. Because of the absence of the power of God, many want to keep adding new programs, thinking they might renew and revive the local church. So many churches are becoming worldly, and the world is getting churchy.

In the context of bearing fruit, Jesus said, “Without me ye can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Christ is saying to us that apart from Him, we are helplessly unproductive in bearing spiritual fruit. If you separate branches from the trunk of the tree, there will be no fruit. That branch depends on the trunk of the tree for the life-giving sap that produces fruit.

Let’s get back to desiring and praying for the power of God to be manifested when we assemble as a church. Folks are looking for something that is real and different from what the world is. Be a church member filled with the power of God that God may use us to point people to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

You can make a positive difference through your prayers.


Dr. Tom Walker is President of Foothills Bible College and Pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Marion, NC. You can read more good Christian News from Dr. Walker HERE.