Prayer’s Transforming Power

Article by Dr. Les Hollon, Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

God’s promises are released in our lives by prayer.  The book of Acts, through 31 instances, passionately conveys the stories of early believers being transformed as they prayed.

 

These accounts connect to our 21st world as we lean into God’s presence.

 

Aligning our will to a prayerful awareness of God’s will becomes the key for successful decision-making.  As our human will seeks alignment with God through prayerful intimacy, our lives are altered by the prayerful insights received and by the actions we take after saying “Amen.”

 

Our desire for intimacy with God is a common desire.  Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until we find rest in thee” (Confessions 1.1).  We hunger to live intimately with God.  Prayer enables us to know more of God and to know that we are known by God.  Prayer enables us to walk with, talk to, and listen to God.

 

With revolutionary equality, prayer is available to everyone, everywhere, any time because God loves us equally and desires for each of us to know His love. These truths jump off the New Testament and into our lives as we trust God.

 

We are like the Christians from Acts as we lean into the transforming power of prayer.

 

During a recent Wednesday, I was inspired by the tenacious desire of people to live intimately with God, others, and themselves.  The day began with a pre-dawn breakfast with a group of men – all accomplished in their differing vocations – who wanted to pray with one another and talk meaningfully about life lessons learned. Each event of the day followed the other in prayer:  a visit with a man whose wife who had recently died; a gathering of women who meet weekly to pray, sing, study, and share; a meeting with a university leader who cast a prayerful vision; a prayerful staff meeting to discern ministry needs; a large conversational luncheon for people to meet and greet meaningfully; a funeral service that became a worship experience guided by prayer; a graveside service that ended with a crescendo of prayer; an evening meal that became a resting place for a tearful young woman who wanted to connect with her church family; the faith family at midweek worship service, praying prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication; a Bible study which opened with Paul’s admonition for Christians earnestly and lovingly to pray for the knowledge and use of their spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1); talking with a family who was deciding to join the congregation; meeting with a man in preparation for his baptism; loving, laughing, and praying with my wife; texting a prayer to a man who wife had just suffered a miscarriage; reviewing the day’s experiences; prayerfully writing; and falling asleep in renewed awareness of God’s goodness and graciousness.

 

Prayerfully yielding to the Spirit means the Spirit is free to instruct our minds, inspire our hearts, empower our spirits, and embolden our bodies.

 

Since at birth we are made in God’s image, we have the Spirit with us in the beginning.  Since our belief in Christ, we have the Spirit helping us to believe.

 

But the Spirit has much more for us, and this more unfolds as we continually yield our will into God’s will.  As we desire, receive, and obey, the Spirit grows us from the inside out.  When we conclude praying, we find ourselves saying, “Amen. Rejoice.”

 

Pastor Les Hollon

 

Saul’s Conversion

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

- Acts 9:1-9 (NIV)

 

“This, then, is how you should pray:

” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ “

- Matthew 6: 9-13 (NIV)

 

This article was written byLes Hollon, Pastorof Trinity Baptist Church.  For more information about God and your place in His world, contact Dr. Hollon, click over toTrinity Baptist Church.

 

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Posted on 19 April, 2010 in Motivation, Spirituality
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