What makes prayer powerful? Once, I found myself in the front yard of a big burly intimidating man who couldn’t contain his emotion as we gathered around him to pray for him and his family. It was a truly powerful encounter that none of us were expecting, especially him. He broke down in an ugly cry with tears streaming, snot running, and chest heaving as we spent just a moment in prayer. This man was so shaken and undone that he removed himself as soon as the “Amen” was spoken. What makes these powerful moments happen?
Is it using the right words? Some people pray beautiful prayers. Their words are like listening to a well written song or poem. When they say, “Amen”, you might think, “I wish I could pray like that”. I can’t recall any of the words that were prayed for this man. Is it the length of time spent praying that packs a prayer with power? The encounter we had with this man was a brief encounter. Was it the emotional response? No, His emotion was a response to the power not the source of the power.
It’s not our words, length of time, or emotion that makes our prayers powerful, it is the presence of GOD. “…the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? (Deuteronomy 4:7) This man found himself in the presence of GOD and he was overwhelmed. When we intercede for people the goal is to connect them with GOD through prayer. When we connect them with GOD, He brings the power.
Dr. Warren Haynes
Author of Discipleship Uncomplicated