Bible Society of South Africa
Carina Francke

Praise him – Day 22

A prayer

Bible text(s)

16So then, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed. The prayer of a good person has a powerful effect.

James 5:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

Prayer is the hotline of hope that keeps an insignificant person in touch with the great God. Through that binding connection we pray and have hope for ourselves, for loved ones, fellow believers and unbelievers. Prayer is more than just an emergency call to get needs met, it is also the hotline that generates power so that through the Holy Spirit I am more able to live as God wants. Prayer is therefore a two-way conversation between God and people. Daily, I wait expectantly, and with full attention, when I read God’s Word so that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will for me.

Listen to what the Word already tells us about God’s will. As believers and image bearers of God in the world, we need to honour God by living simply and doing what he wants. We can know what he wants through prayer and asking that we will continually be filled “with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives …” (Colossians 1:9). This means that we must live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16) and allow God to lead us. Knowledge of his will must go hand in hand with growing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10) – the discovery of his heart, God’s incomparable greatness.

Such a life offers challenges to every believer. It needs a God-focused life and perseverance. Difficult? Not if we ask God that we be “strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).

Jesus’ preaching and teaching about the Christian believer’s lifestyle centres around love. Without it, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13), we do not know God (1 John 4:8) and God is not in us (1 John 4:12). Every believer can be certain that the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (Romans 5:5). We actually bear responsibility to cultivate that “seed” of love, and one way in which we can do so is to pray that our love will increase more and more in understanding and sensitivity so that we may be able to distinguish the things that matter (Philippians 1:9). Why is this distinction necessary? It is necessary so that we, on the day of Christ, may be found pure and blameless (Philippians 1:10).

Prayer has great power and has the ability to change our lives, our circumstances and outlook on life, because God hears every prayer. In the words of RA Torrey: “Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s infinite grace and power. All that God is, and all that God has, are at the disposal of prayer.”

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