Prayer’s True Power
It is not the power of prayer –
The strength of my needy requests –
Upon which I place my hope.
For what are my prayers
If not an appeal
To the mercy,
When someone tells me that they believe in the power of prayer, I am pretty sure I know what they mean, and I do, too. But not exactly. In this little poem, I offer a gentle reminder that it is not our prayers that are powerful – it is the One to whom we are praying. And, yes, I remember what the Letter of James says:
The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.James 5:16
But, is it really the prayer that is powerful? A better translation might be in the King James Version – “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Fervent prayers availeth much, because they appeal to our loving God. In fact, I suspect that to God, the most powerful prayers are lifted up by the most helpless people of faith. It is as Ole Hallesby puts it in his classic book, “Prayer”:
Helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas.
So, let’s believe in the power of prayer, because we believe in the mercy, power, and love of God. And let’s keep appealing to God, trusting that God wants to hear from us, and never more so than when we turn to God with helpless faith.