Focus: The legacy of prayer
Jude 1:20-23 (NIV) But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
You may not think of the act of prayer in tangible terms, but the wealth of blessings that have been realized because of it can’t possibly be calculated. There are countless stories of people who were on a wrong road headed for who knows where, but for the prayers of a loving mother or grandmother. That may be your story. Or, it could be the story of someone you know—who you could pray for.
In a time of recovery, it seems like there is little you can do for others. You may not be in a position to offer physical help or finances—but you can pray. You may not see that as the treasure it is. The Bible is so clear regarding the value of prayer and how it can be responsible for saving others from the pit of hell. We tend to take prayer for granted, as though it’s a ‘last resort’ effort. But think of what the Bible says about it and what it can do:
Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.
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Mark 9:29 And He said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it…
Acts 9:40 But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body (of a girl who was dead) he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.
Ephesians 6:18 …praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…
Philippians 4:6-7 …do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
James 5:14-16 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Prayer changes things. It changes everything. Someday, your life on this earth will be over. You will get to be with all of your loved ones who have gone before you to heaven. Think of the people who are already there who may have prayed for you while they were here. How many can you think of who may have prayed for you while they were here on earth? How about older people that you may have never known—who might have prayed for your parents or their parents? The power of prayer is eternal. You were blessed because of someone else’s prayers. Somewhere along the way someone prayed for you. I did. I prayed that the things I write would make a difference in your life. I asked God to give me the kind of specific encouragement you needed to read and absorb.
Think of what you’d like to leave behind. Consider more seriously the people you know who could use some extra blessings and give them a legacy by remembering them in prayer.
Declaration: I will find new strength and share it by seeing prayer as my legacy. I will find the courage to offer to pray for people and then I will do it.
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