Chapter 9—Prayer Power
Prayer Brings Increased Spiritual Strength—Those who seek God in secret telling the Lord their needs and pleading for help, will not plead in vain. “Thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” As we make Christ our daily companion we shall feel that the powers of an unseen world are all around us; and by looking unto Jesus we shall become assimilated to His image. By beholding we become changed. The character is softened, refined, and ennobled for the heavenly kingdom. The sure result of our intercourse and fellowship with our Lord will be to increase piety, purity, and fervor. There will be a growing intelligence in prayer. We are receiving a divine education, and this is illustrated in a life of diligence and zeal.
The soul that turns to God for its help, its support, its power, by daily, earnest prayer, will have noble aspirations, clear perceptions of truth and duty, lofty purposes of action, and a continual hungering and thirsting after righteousness. By maintaining a connection with God, we shall be enabled to diffuse to others, through our association with them, the light, the peace, the serenity, that rule in our hearts. The strength acquired in prayer to God, united with persevering effort in training the mind in thoughtfulness and care-taking, prepares one for daily duties and keeps the spirit in peace under all circumstances.—(Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 85.)
Strength and grace can be found in prayer. Sincere love is to be the ruling principle of the heart.—(The Adventist Home, 127.)
Devote your mind to spiritual things. Keep your mind from dwelling upon yourself. Cultivate a contented, cheerful spirit. You talk too much upon unimportant things. You gain no spiritual strength from this. If the strength spent in talking were devoted to prayer, you would receive spiritual strength and would make melody in your heart to God.—(Testimonies for the Church 2:434, 435.)
The greatest blessing that God can give to man is the spirit of earnest prayer. All heaven is open before the man of prayer....The ambassadors of Christ will have power with the people after they have, with earnest supplication, come before God.—(The Review and Herald, October 20, 1896.)
We Do Not Value the Power of Prayer as We Should—We do not value the power and efficacy of prayer as we should. Prayer and faith will do what no power on earth can accomplish. We are seldom, in all respects, placed in the same position twice. We continually have new scenes and new trials to pass through, where past experience cannot be a sufficient guide. We must have the continual light that comes from God.—(The Ministry of Healing, 509.)
Prayer Keeps Us in God’s Power—The strength acquired in prayer to God will prepare us for our daily duties. The temptations to which we are daily exposed make prayer a necessity. In order that we may be kept by the power of God through faith, the desires of the mind should be continually ascending in silent prayer. When we are surrounded by influences calculated to lead us away from God, our petitions for help and strength must be unwearied. Unless, this is so, we shall never be successful in breaking down pride and overcoming the power of temptation to sinful indulgences which keep us from the Saviour. The light of truth, sanctifying the life, will discover to the receiver the sinful passions of his heart which are striving for the mastery, and which make it necessary for him to stretch every nerve and exert all his powers to resist Satan that he may conquer through the merits of Christ.—(Messages to Young People, 248.)
Divine Power Awaits Those Who Want It—You may have a deep and abiding sense of eternal things and that love for humanity which Christ has shown in His life. A close connection with heaven will give the right tone to your fidelity and will be the ground of your success. Your feeling of dependence will drive you to prayer, and your sense of duty summon you to effort. Prayer and effort, effort and prayer, will be the business of your life. You must pray as though the efficiency and praise were all due to God, and labor as though duty were all your own. If you want power you may have it; it is waiting your draft upon it. Only believe in God, take Him at His word, act by faith, and blessings will come.—(Testimonies for the Church 4:538, 539.)
Even a Brief Prayer Can Bring Spiritual Power—“I prayed,” he [Nehemiah] said, “to the God of heaven.” In that brief prayer Nehemiah pressed into the presence of the King of kings and won to his side a power that can turn hearts as the rivers of waters are turned.
To pray as Nehemiah prayed in his hour of need is a resource at the command of the Christian under circumstances when other forms of prayer may be impossible.—(Prophets and Kings, 631.)
Prayer Is the Secret of Spiritual Power—Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power. No other means of grace can be substituted and the health of the soul be preserved. Prayer brings the heart into immediate contact with the Wellspring of life, and strengthens the sinew and muscle of the religious experience. Neglect the exercise of prayer, or engage in prayer spasmodically, now and then, as seems convenient, and you lose your hold on God. The spiritual faculties lose their vitality, the religious experience lacks health and vigor.—(Messages to Young People, 249, 250.)
Prayer Brings Power From God—Power will come from God to man in answer to the prayer of faith.—(Testimonies for the Church 4:402.)
Prayer Brings Success in Conflict With Sin—Prayer is heaven’s ordained means of success in the conflict with sin and the development of Christian character. The divine influences that come in answer to the prayer of faith will accomplish in the soul of the suppliant all for which he pleads. For the pardon of sin, for the Holy Spirit, for a Christlike temper, for wisdom and strength to do His work, for any gift He has promised, we may ask; and the promise is, “Ye shall receive.”(The Acts of the Apostles, 564.)
Prayer Lays Hold Upon Infinite Power—True faith and true prayer—how strong they are! They are as two arms by which the human suppliant lays hold upon the power of Infinite Love.—(Gospel Workers, 259.)
Prayer Strengthens Us Against Satan’s Temptations—Satan presents many temptations to the youth. He is playing the game of life for their souls, and he leaves no means untried to allure and ruin them. But God does not leave them to fight unaided against the tempter. They have an all-powerful Helper. Stronger far than their foe is He who in this world and in human nature met and conquered Satan, resisting every temptation that comes to the youth today. He is their Elder Brother. He feels for them a deep and tender interest. He keeps over them a constant watch-care, and He rejoices when they try to please Him. As they pray, He mingles with their prayers the incense of His righteousness, and offers them to God as a fragrant sacrifice. In His strength the youth can endure hardness as good soldiers of the cross. Strengthened with His might, they are enabled to reach the high ideals before them. The sacrifice made on Calvary is the pledge of their victory.—(Messages to Young People, 95, 96.)
Our Prayers Reach God’s Throne—By your fervent prayers of faith you can move the arm that moves the world. You can teach your children to pray effectually as they kneel by your side. Let your prayers arise to the throne of God, “Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?”
God is at work. He doeth wonders, and although He is high and lifted up, prayer can reach His throne. He that is turning and overturning, He that can do marvelous things, will regard the contrite prayer of faith from the humblest of His children.—(The Review and Herald, April 23, 1889.)
Our Voices Reach God’s Ear—The word that was spoken to Jesus at the Jordan, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” embraces humanity. God spoke to Jesus as our representative. With all our sins and weaknesses, we are not cast aside as worthless. “He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6. The glory that rested upon Christ is a pledge of the love of God for us. It tells us of the power of prayer,—how the human voice may reach the ear of God, and our petitions find acceptance in the courts of heaven. By sin, earth was cut off from heaven, and alienated from its communion; but Jesus has connected it again with the sphere of glory. His love has encircled man, and reached the highest heaven. The light which fell from the open portals upon the head of our Saviour will fall upon us as we pray for help to resist temptation. The voice which spoke to Jesus says to every believing soul, This is My beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.—(The Desire of Ages, 113.)
We Need to Wrestle With God in Prayer—Will we carry forward the work in the Lord’s way? Are we willing to be taught of God? Will we wrestle with God in prayer? Will we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? This is what we need and may have at this time. Then we shall go forth with a message from the Lord, and the light of truth will shine forth as a lamp that burneth, reaching to all parts of the world. If we will walk humbly with God, God will walk with us. Let us humble our souls, and we shall see of His salvation.—(The Review and Herald, July 1, 1909.)
The Greatest Victories Are Won Through Earnest Prayer—Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His experience testifies to the power of importunate prayer. It is now that we are to learn this lesson of prevailing prayer, of unyielding faith. The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian, are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth, or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.
Those who are unwilling to forsake every sin and to seek earnestly for God’s blessing, will not obtain it. But all who will lay hold of God’s promises as did Jacob, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded.—(Patriarchs and Prophets, 203.)
Praise and Thanksgiving Bring Power to Our Prayers—Shall all our devotional exercises consist in asking and receiving? Shall we be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive? Shall we be recipients of His mercies and never express our gratitude to God, never praise Him for what He has done for us? We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. If the loving-kindness of God called forth more thanksgiving and praise, we would have far more power in prayer. We would abound more and more in the love of God and have more bestowed to praise Him for. You who complain that God does not hear your prayers, change your present order and mingle praise with your petitions. When you consider His goodness and mercies you will find that He will consider your wants.
Pray, pray earnestly and without ceasing, but do not forget to praise.—(Testimonies for the Church 5:317.)
The Power of Prayer Brings Fruit to Our Work for God—Those in the darkness of error are the purchase of the blood of Christ. They are the fruit of His suffering, and they are to be labored for. Let our canvassers know that it is for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom that they are laboring. He will teach them as they go forth to their God-appointed work, to warn the world of a soon-coming judgment. Accompanied by the power of persuasion, the power of prayer, the power of the love of God, the evangelist’s work will not, can not, be without fruit. Think of the interest that the Father and the Son have in this work. As the Father loves the Son, so the Son loves those that are His,—those who work as He worked to save perishing souls. None need feel that they are powerless: for Christ declares, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.” He has promised that He will give this power to His workers. His power is to become their power.—(Colporteur Ministry, 108.)
Satan Cannot Overcome One Who Prays—The enemy cannot overcome the humble learner of Christ, the one who walks prayerfully before the Lord. Christ interposes Himself as a shelter, a retreat, from the assaults of the wicked one. The promise is given, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.” ... There is no power in the whole satanic force that can disable the soul that trusts, in simple confidence, in the wisdom that comes from God.—(My Life Today, 316.)
Prayer Brings Power to Resist Temptation—Without unceasing prayer and diligent watching, we are in danger of growing careless, and of deviating from the right path. The adversary seeks continually to obstruct the way to the mercy-seat, that we may not by earnest supplication and faith obtain grace and power to resist temptation.—(Steps to Christ, 95.)
Neglect of Prayer and Bible Study Makes Us Vulnerable to Temptation—Temptations often appear irresistible because, through the neglect of prayer and the study of the Bible, the tempted one can not readily remember God’s promises and meet Satan with the Scripture weapons. But angels are round about those who are willing to be taught in divine things; and in the time of great necessity, they will bring to their remembrance the very truths which are needed.—(The Great Controversy, 600.)
Satan Dreads to Have Us Pray—There is a mighty power in prayer. Our great adversary is constantly seeking to keep the troubled soul away from God. An appeal to Heaven by the humblest saint is more to be dreaded by Satan than the decrees of cabinets or the mandates of kings.—(In Heavenly Places, 82.)
The Source of Power in the Reformation Was Prayer—From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation. There, with holy calmness, the servants of the Lord set their feet upon the rock of His promises. During the struggle at Augsburg, Luther “did not pass a day without devoting three hours at least to prayer, and they were hours selected from those the most favorable to study.” In the privacy of his chamber he was heard to pour out his soul before God in words “full of adoration, fear, and hope, as when one speaks to a friend.”(The Great Controversy, 210.)