Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… We all know prayer makes an impact. We all know we should pray more. How do we put punch in our prayers?
In many ways I’m still a novice when it comes to prayer. I suppose that’s why the disciples came to Jesus one day and asked, “Lord, teach us to pray.” We all need to be life-long students when it comes to prayer.
How do I make my prayers more effective? Do you wonder if your praying makes a difference? I remember an occasion when I was reading through Acts, about how Kind Herod Agrippa killed James but imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1-3). I imagine the church in Jerusalem had an all-night prayer vigil for both of these apostles. I quietly thought: why did God spare Peter, but not James? I’m sure the church had been praying for James too.
John Wimber (left) of the Vineyard Movement was preaching at a conference only days before his own death from cancer. The topic given to him was: “Do you still believe in healing even though you’re dying of cancer?” Wimber said, “Through the years I, and others, have prayed for thousands of people to be miraculously healed. Honestly, most were not; but through the years some were. What I know is in every case, prayer helped. God used prayer to comfort, to encourage, for strength and faith or to lift spirits. In every case praying helped.”
Some scientists took this even further in a research project studying the “effect” of prayer on patients. A famous study by Dr. Randolph Byrd of the University of California followed 400 cardiac patients. Dr. Byrd distributed half the patient’s names to people across the USA and asked them to pray for the patient. Neither the cardiac patients, doctors nor nurses knew about these solicited prayer warriors.
All 400 patients got the same state-of-the-art medical care, but only half were being earnestly prayed for by unknown prayer partners. The results were astounding. Researchers discovered that those prayed for were:
· Far less likely to develop congestive heart failure,
· Five times less likely to require antibiotics,
· Three times less likely to need diuretics,
· None of these 200 patients ever needed a breathing tube,
· Very few developed pneumonia or required CPR,
· And none of these 200 died!
One researcher looking at the meticulous study said: “If the therapy being evaluated had been a new drug, it would undoubtedly have been heralded as a medical breakthrough.”
I’m not suggesting we should only pray and never go to the doctor, but let’s recognize that God invites us into the process, encouraging us to become intercessors. I understand that “intercession” is composed of two Latin words: inter (between) and cedre (to go), OR being a “go-between”—standing between a person and their need: between a sick person and their health; between a sad person and their peace of mind; between an unrepentant sinner and a just God.
To be more effective in our praying, some of us have to become better “go-betweeners”.
November 9 is the Fellowship’s DAY of PRAYER
I would like to invite you and your church to participate in the Fellowship’s Day of Prayer onSunday, November 9. Click the image above to view more details and resources you can use on the day… both small and larger ways to get involved.
Have a blessed week,