The Power of a Praying Woman
Do you ever feel that God doesn't hear your prayers or feel unworthy to pray to God? It is times like these when you need to pray and trust in God. There are lots of examples of the power of prayer in the Bible, mostly by men, but these also apply to women, so be encouraged, God wants to hear your prayers and he will answer them.
'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.' (Philippians 4:6-7)
What a wonderful verse this is. We can take encouragement from the fact that God will hear and answer our prayers if we just pray in faith, trusting in him and believing that he will hear our prayers. He will give us a peace about every situation that we face. That quite simply is the power of prayer.
We know that prayer is important as it is mentioned over 500 times in the Bible but how do we pray? First we must humble ourselves before God. Two examples of this can be found in the Bible:
Daniel 6:10 ...'Now Daniel went home to his upstairs room where his window opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.'
Luke 18:13-14 ...'The tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to Heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I (Jesus) tell you that this man went home justified before God. For everyone exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.'
In the first instance Daniel got down on his knees before God. I find that getting down on my knees is a good way of humbling myself and coming to God. It can become uncomfortable, but I find it is a way of reminding myself how insignificant I am compared to God and how amazing God is that he would send his son Jesus to die on the cross so that my sins could be forgiven.
Some people may not physically be able to kneel but the second example of the tax collector shows us that it is the attitude of a person's heart that is the most important thing. He recognised he was a sinner, which we all are and this is an important first step in coming to God in prayer.
You don't need to worry about what you say when you come to God. He knows your thoughts and what your needs are. Sometimes I feel unworthy to come before God but ...
'Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask him.' (Matthew 6:8)
Does this mean we should not pray? No, Jesus teaches us that prayer is an essential part of having a relationship with God. Jesus himself prayed on many occasions recorded in the Bible and teaches us how to pray.
'Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.' (Matthew 6:9-13)
In the Bible we read of a couple of women and the power of prayer. We read in 1 Samuel Chapter 1 how God answers the prayers of Hannah. She was at probably the lowest point in her life and desperate for a child. "In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly, Hannah was praying in her heart." Only God could answer her prayers and he did giving her a baby boy Samuel. I think the most important thing to remember here is that no matter how low we feel or how troubled, God is there and will listen to our prayers. Talking to friends may help, but only God has the true answers. God may not answer our prayers as we would choose and sometimes when we ask for things his answer maybe to wait or the answer may even be no. God sees the bigger picture, so trust in Him.
In Luke Chapter 2 we read of the prophet Anna. Since she became a widow after 7 years of marriage until the age of 84, "She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." Her reward for this faithfulness was to meet the baby Jesus in the temple. When she saw Him, "she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem." The example of Anna's faithful prayer life, is one which I think should encourage us to keep on going with our own prayers. She had the perfect excuse to give up when her husband died and hard times came but she didn't, she clung on to the promises in God's word.
Prayer is an essential part of a Christian's life. It helps us to grow in our relationship with God. I think the lyrics of the old favourite hymn "What a friend we have in Jesus" sums up the benefits of prayer. Prayer sustains us; it keeps us going and gives us strength. I encourage you to listen to the words of the hymn and take time to talk to our wonderful Saviour.
None of the versions of the hymn on Youtube that I found contained the 4th verse so I have included the lyrics below from the orginal by Joseph M. Scriven ...
"Blessed Saviour, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear; May we ever, Lord, be bringing All to Thee in earnest prayer. Soon in glory bright, unclouded, There will be no need for prayer - Rapture, praise, and endless worship Will be our sweet portion there."