If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
A Baptist church was opposed to a bar that was being constructed in their town, so they decided to have an all-night prayer meeting to pray against the bar. Not long after their prayer meeting broke up, lightning struck the bar that was under construction and consumed it in fire. The bar owner was furious, and he launched a lawsuit against the church claiming they were responsible. The church hired an attorney claiming they had no responsibility whatsoever for the loss of the bar. The judge presiding over the case said, “I don’t know how this is going to turn out, but one thing is clear: the bar owner believes in the power of prayer, and the church does not.”
Prayer is the most powerful tool we have as Christians. Through prayer we are able to deepen our relationship with our heavenly Father, through prayer we find the forgiveness and guidance we need from God, and through prayer we are able to move the hand of God, to cause God to do something that He would not otherwise do. A few years ago, I had a reminder of that. In my previous church, we were in the midst of planning to build a new worship center, but we faced a major obstacle. The city owned a street that bisected our property, and to build a new worship center, we would have to acquire that street and build over it. But the city was adamant–they had no interest in selling that property to us. We tried everything. We tried to pressure the city council; that didn’t work. We tried to work with the architect to find an option without that street; that didn’t work. And so as a last resort, I said, “Maybe we should pray about it.” I called our prayer partners together, and we met one weekday morning in the worship center to pray that God would intervene in the situation. We finished praying, and everybody went to work. By midafternoon that same day, the city manager called the chairman of our building committee and said, “Would you all be interested in buying this street?” Within a few weeks, the deal was finalized, and our worship center was eventually built.
Too many of us have the philosophy “When all else fails, pray.” But for the prophet Elijah, prayer was not a last resort–it was the first line of action against impossible situations. And that is why Elijah was such an extraordinary person. Even though he was an ordinary man, God used him in an extraordinary way. The past few weeks, we have been looking at Elijah’s story in the Bible to learn his secrets for success and significance. And this week we will look at secret number five: Significant people learn how to unleash the power of prayer. Elijah is a perfect demonstration of someone who unleashed the power of prayer in his life.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Practice the Principles of Powerful Praying” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.