Just How Powerful is Prayer, Anyway?

Just How Powerful is Prayer, Anyway?

Recently, I was reading Same Kind of Different as Me.  It was towards the end of the book (spoiler warning) and a woman named Deborah was near death.

On one particular night, after she had not been able to speak for a week, Deborah suddenly opened her eyes and was exclaiming out-loud about the angels in the room.  She also spoke to Jesus, telling Him she’d like to stay on earth for awhile more.

The next morning, a close family friend came by to say he’d seen a vision (at the same time as the angel incident the night before).  In his vision, he said Deborah’s spirit was longing for heaven, but the “saints on earth were keeping her bound here”.   Later, the husband discovered members of their church had surrounded their house, clasped hands, and prayed for Deborah’s complete healing during the time Deborah saw the angels.

If all the details in this story are true, which they claim to be, it makes me wonder about the power of prayer.  Just how much power does it really hold?  The power to push back death?  The power to change the will of God?  If Christ had come to take Deborah home, why did He not end up doing so?   Clearly, Deborah did not end up healed, so why prolong the suffering?

A few chapters later, another close family friend was struck by the “presence of God” in Deborah’s room.  It was a profound and life-changing experience for him.  Was that why Deborah was not taken home that night?  Or was it because of the prayers of the saints?

We know, at times in the Bible, God heeded the request of man.  Joshua asked for the sun to be still.  Gideon asked for a double-check test.  Abraham asked for a town to be spared on behalf of a handful of righteous men.   Is prayer still so powerful?  And if so, why aren’t we engaged in it more?

What do you think?

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  1. I firmly believe in the power of prayer and know that God is moved by the prayers we offer up to him. This is a message which must be taught to our families so that they firmly believe it too.

  2. that’s a great question. I guess sometimes I forget the power that available and other times…. well I think that I only want Jesus and Heaven, because I know I don’t really want hell. I am not as committed as I should, because if I were, I would be able to recognize that power. I also think that we miss the power because we don’t practice prayer. Everytime we pray there is not going to be a miracle or a “feeling of closeness” to the Lord.

  3. I wonder if that’s one of the reason that people don’t post comments? That even though you might like what someone writes, you’re not sure how to reply?

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  5. It’s the old “curse of knowledge” dilemma isn’t it? It’s easy to assume visitors know how to comment or even that commenting is encouraged. Excellent post.

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