The Power of Our Prayers and the Power of God's Response

What if the passion and intensity of our prayers directly influences the passion and intensity with which God answers our prayers?

This is a question asked by Pastor Vincent Dehm, the guest speaker for the young adult meetings at our church this weekend. Before he got into each of his talks he spoke a little about prayer and it's power, with insight that shook me awake in my prayer life.

My prayers rarely hold much urgency.
Bless this day. Help us get a good night's sleep. May we share Your love with others. Amen.
And then I wonder why God isn't making great things happen in my life or using me in incredible ways. I even make excuses for it. As if God's intention is for me to live a mediocre life, being a blessing to the occasional friend, "witnessing" through a positive and loving attitude. Caring for my kids and cleaning my house, and remaining faithful in the everyday. It all sounds good enough, right?

Here's the next phrase Vince used that caught my attention...

God isn't in the business of mediocrity.

Jesus lived a life of daily, even hourly, miracles and incredible real-life testimonies of God's power and healing and life-changing love. And Jesus said, "You'll be able to do more than this." (John 14:12)

What? More?! All I'm asking is for God to just use me. Period. And Jesus says, Actually, He wants to use you in incredible ways--just ask.

Sure I ask. Sometimes. I'm sure I mention it in my prayers. But do I fervently pray, diligently pleading at God's throne for His divine answers? For His powerful interruption in my life? For His unmistakable miracles?

{thisgirlgabbie : god is limitless}

One of my favorite texts is from Psalm 18 verses 16 and 19:
He reached from on high, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

These verses speak of the very personal way God draws me near to Him and is involved in my life. I wrote a sermon about it that I've given at least 7 times. Pastor Vince really caught my attention when he used Psalm 18 in his first preliminary talk about prayer. He started with verse 6 (David is speaking):
In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God.

David pleaded with God and in his distress cried to God. This wasn't a silent mumbled prayer before going on his way. This was heart, body, and soul cries to God. And God didn't disappoint with His response. The earth shook when God thundered from Heaven and uttered His voice.

I can probably count on one hand the times I've thrown myself before God in real, physical and vocal pleas to God. And every time, God responds in real, physical, verbal ways. Providing miracles, opening doors and making His power obvious in my life. These are the times that remind me that God isn't in the business of mediocrity, and my pitiful prayers seem to be the main roadblock keeping me here.

This question--What if the passion and intensity of my prayers directly influences the passion and intensity with which God answers our prayers?--has me convinced that it's time to get real about this prayer business.

The next time I'm tempted to settle. Or falsely believe God doesn't have big plans for me. Or wonder if I've been overlooked. Or crave adventure or a miracle or for God to show His presence in my life in big ways, I will remember to pray with passion--heart, body and soul. And brace myself for God's heart, body and soul response!