Praying Powerful Prayers - The Myths & Truth Of God’s Word

One would think that because every Christian uses the word “Prayer” very often, every Christian knows how to pray. Unfortunately, reverse is the case. Though commonly used among Christians, very few actually understands what the word is all about. And even fewer, pray. Little wonder the things we could have changed through our prayers are left the way they are.
It wouldn’t have been this bad if our understanding of prayer and how to pray hadn’t been laden with tons and tons of myths from different religions, human traditions and vain philosophies. Things that cannot in any way be traced to Christ. In his writings to Colossians, the apostle Paul seriously warned against this.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." (Col 2:8-10)
Looking at today believers, it is not even difficult to see some of these highly held myths and practices that have reduced prayers to mere “religious” duties, and pushed their answers very far away. Below are a few of them. 

  • Prayers Are More Powerful At Specific Times Of The Day
This belief tends to project midnight prayers to be more powerful than daytime ones or daytime prayers to be more powerful than the ones of midnight. So you find believers not feeling like they’ve prayed unless they do it at a very specific time of the day. Especially at midnight.
Is it bad to pray only at night or even at daytime? Not at all. But the belief that except one pray at a particular time, he hasn’t prayed, is completely wrong.

  •  There Is Something Special About Going To The Mountain, Climbing Trees Or Wandering About The Bush To Pray
Some people believe that because Jesus prayed a few times on mountains, there must be a very special anointing in such places. Come on people, the only reason Jesus went to such solitary places to pray in His days on the earth was for the privacy and quietness He would have there. Apart from that, there is absolutely nothing special about praying in such places.
Climbing Everest to pray does not mean your prayers will get to God faster there than they will when you pray in a little corner of your room. Quit endangering your life unnecessarily. There is no mountain or tree in the world that you must climb to get your prayers answered. God is not just the God of the mountain alone like religion make Him look, He is also the God of the valley. He is as much God of the day as He is of the night.
Even under the Old Covenant, God was never pleased with such ideology.
"And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they." (1Ki 20:23)
"And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD." (1Ki 20:28)
If the people of Old were rebuked for such mentality, how much we under a better Covenant who should know better. 

  • A Closed Mouth Is a Closed Destiny. The Louder Your Prayer, The More Powerful It Is
This belief tends to equate shouting at the top of your voice in prayer the same with manifesting the power of God. Tell people who pray this way to bring down their voice a little, especially when you are not a part of the prayer, and you’ll hear “a closed mouth is a closed destiny.” Like seriously? So if I don’t open the whole of my mouth and shout while praying, God will not hear me? And so my destiny will be closed? Is that what the Bible teaches about God?
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Eph 3:20-21)
God is able to do “exceeding abundantly” above all we can ask (with our mouths) or think (with our hearts). So even if I pray in my heart, God hears me. Because He is not just in the faraway heavens waiting for my prayers to come up to Him, He is right here on the earth living within me.
Is it wrong to pray with raised voices, especially in Christian meetings? No it’s not. But to think that one must only pray this way in order to be answered is quite wrong.
So how does “powerful” prayers work? What is the right way to pray and receive answers according to the Bible?
In answer to that, the apostle John tells us
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (1Jn 5:14-15)
In translating that 1 John 5:14 from Greek to English, the translators with the intention of helping you to understand that verse, mistakenly took the comma (,) they were supposed to add after “anything" and placed it after “will.” So if you read 1 John 5:14, you would think the verse is asking you to pray according to the will of God before He will hear you. Verse 15 proves that that is not what it is saying. The right rendering should actually be:
"And this is the confidence we have in Him, that, if we ask anything, according to his will he heareth us."
That is why verse 15 now tells us:
"And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
So before ever opening our lips to pray, we are certain that God hears us. Not that He may hear us but that He hears us everytime. This gives us the confidence to ask for anything regardless of how big or small it is and receive answers from Him. Whether on the mountain or down the valley, whether in silence or with raised voices, whether with fasting or not, we are sure He hears us. His will is to hear us, always.
Again, James points our attention to the importance of persistence and fervency in prayer.
"….. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit." (Jas 5:16B-18)
Using the man Elijah as an example, James tells us the need to be fervent and to persist in prayer till we have seen our answers manifest. If you read that story from the Old Testament, you will discover it took Elijah just once to pray and stop rain from falling in Israel.
"And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word." (1Ki 17:1)
But it took him seven times to have it started again.
"So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel." (1Ki 18:42-45)
Does it mean God didn’t hear him the first time he prayed for the rain to start again? No, God heard him. He always hears us. However due to the nature of our requests, it occasionally takes the earth time to process our commands or answers.
Therefore, knowing that God has heard and released our answers, we start taking steps of faith and persist in prayers till we see them manifest on the earth. We don’t tire out, throw in the towel and quit. We keep at it till we receive all that our heart desires in prayer. That is how praying and receiving works. That is how to pray powerful prayers!
I hope this blesses you.
Glory to God!

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