Powerful prayer – perfection vs. consistency
Powerful prayer doesn’t require perfection. God does not expect Christians to be “perfect” but he does expect them to be consistent. Perfectionism and inconsistency lead to opposite destinies. Perfectionism exalts personal merit and leads to pride, legalism, self-righteousness and control. Consistency assures dependence on God and leads us on the road to integrity. Prayer is not magic and even less so something with which we can manipulate God according to our will independently of our consistency with the laws of the spiritual world.
Powerful prayer and character
When the Word of God affects our character we begin to see our own needs from God’s perspective, and in this way our prayers begin to be fully answered. Jesus said “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” (John 17:7). When God’s words abide in us and we abide in God’s Word His character pours into our lives. This is the power of a consistent life and a character that is in agreement with the Scriptures. Powerful prayer doesn’t require perfection but it does require a certain level of character.
Powerful prayer and faith
However, the Bible is far from affirming that a prayer by itself will always bring great results. James spoke of the prayer “of faith” as the saving the sick and that the prayer of a “righteous man” avails much. Prayer requires elements like faith and character to synergize it.
Usually, when we speak of powerful prayer, we emphasize faith. Unfortunately, too often this is communicated in a mystic and inconsistent way. Too often the guilt of consistent failure is irresponsibly attributed to someone’s “lack of faith”. Regardless, the fact is that faith is able to produce supernatural and powerful prayers and this is what is generally emphasized. However, James goes beyond the prayer of faith in explaining the effectiveness of the prayer of a righteous man. This demonstrates how the character of the person can affect the development of the prayer focusing on the relationship with God through which His hand is moved. Faith alone is not sufficient for effective prayer there must also be character and relationship in order to catalyze the effectiveness of the prayer.
Powerful prayer requires both faith and character. One of the main reasons that there is so much failure and ineffectiveness in prayer is often irresponsibly due to the lack of faith of those who pray. Many people don’t recognize it but character and not only faith is necessary to tap into the potential of powerful prayer.
Powerful prayer and intimacy
This approach to character and the lifestyle of the intercessor is what I want to emphasize. The truth is that powerful prayer is merely a consequence of our intimacy with God and the mutual trust that exists between us. Just think of the ease and effectiveness of the prayers of Christ. Powerful prayer is not merely fruit of what we know about God, or what we do for God, but of who we are in Him and to Him. By that I am referring to our relationship with Him, beyond the fact that we are His spiritual children and He is our heavenly Father.
The example of Christ as an intercessor illustrates a life built on a true foundation of relationship with the Father upon which He (God the Father) was able to edify a permanent work of salvation and spiritual blessings through the life and prayers of Jesus His Son.
Powerful prayer and identity
Power in prayer is not only the fruit of what we do for God, but who we are in Him. It is not only the fruit of our ability to work for God, but also of our ability to confidently rest in Him. It is not the fruit of our spiritual anxiety, but the powerful released by hearing God and waiting confidently in faith for the fulfillment of His promises. Prayer is not merely a war against hell, but above all an unshakable peace with God. It is at this point that the cross enters the scene as the fulcrum between faith and character. This is not an article about how to pray or about models of prayer, but about the power that a proven character, transformed and trusted, has over the spiritual world.
My purpose is not to offer a magic formula or power prayer model that will guarantee your prosperity, but to encourage the building of true foundations upon which God will build an enduring work.
Powerful prayer to the all-powerful God
When we enter into the dimension of character we can understand how God can show Himself in a greater way and far beyond the limits of our faith than we could achieve through our greatest prayers. A trustworthy character which is the fruit of voluntary submission to God’s means and measure of teaching and discipline is a sure factor that moves God to act exceedingly abundantly more than what we ask or think. Just as the apostle Paul experienced; “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20). This is contrasted with a much more common yet ineffective approach to prayer which presents formulas and models of prayer that promise prosperity and success.
Many things can cause God to act beyond our prayers and dreams exceeding our expectations. One of them I firmly believe is a trustworthy character which is the fruit of voluntary submission to God’s dealings and the principle factor of a powerful prayer life.