Prayer – Provision For Power And Progress

Title: Prayer - Provision For Power And Progress

Bible Book: Luke 18 : 1

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: Prayer; Power from God; Progress in Christian Living



We have all heard or read about great prayer-warriors, like Praying Hyde, David Brainard, Hudson Taylor, and George Mueller. More than likely, hearing of the great things that God did in and through these men fills us with utter amazement. The sad thing however, is that most of us think that this type of power in prayer is no longer obtainable in our generation.

The fact of the matter is, great power in prayer, and the great spiritual progress obtained by it, does not have to remain only a sentimental wonder of the past. Power in prayer is the spiritual birthright of every child of God, since we all have been granted access to the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom.5: 1, 2). But prayer is not only the right of every Christian; it is the responsibility of the Christian as well. Our Lord made this very clear in our text, when He said, “…Men ought always to pray.”

A man by the name of S.D. Gordon once said, “‘The greatest thing anyone can do for God and for man is to pray’” (Herald Of His Coming, Vol. 51, No.4 (604); April 1992, pg. 1). The modern-day Church desperately needs men and women who are dedicated to the ministry of prayer. I am convinced that there will not likely be another significant move of God in our generation, unless Christians get back to the business of prayer. Oh that God would once again raise up some mighty prayer-warriors among us.

John Wesley once declared, “God does nothing except through prayer” (Ibid, pg. 1). I believe Wesley was right. Perhaps that explains why relatively little is being accomplished for God in our day. We have simply ignored the necessity of prevailing in prayer.

May God awaken our hearts to the great need of the hour—the need for powerful, passionate, prevailing supplication before God.

I. There Are Saints To Be Strengthened

Often we tend to think that nobody understands what we’re going through. But though one person’s problems may not seem to be so bad to someone else, it’s still difficult for the one going through it. That’s why we need to pray for one another.

When Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy he once remarked to his mother, “Momma, you can’t be good without praying.”

“How do you know, Robert?” she asked. “Because I’ve tried!” he answered.

This brings to mind a story about another little fellow—one who had been sent to his room because he had been bad. A short time later he came out and said to his mother, “I’ve been thinking about what I did and I said a prayer.”

“That’s fine,” she said, “if you ask God to make you good, He will help you.”

“Oh, I didn’t ask Him to help me be good,” replied the boy. “I asked Him to help you put up with me.” Our Daily Bread, June 15.

A. Prayer Is Needed For All Saints

Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”

James 5:16b & c, “…pray one for another…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

The Bible tells us in the book of Galatians to, “bear ye one another’s burdens…” (Gal.6: 2a). Praying for one another is an excellent way to fulfill that command. The weight that many of our brothers and sisters in Christ are presently bearing may break their spirit, unless you and I care enough to hold them up before the Lord in prayer. When it seems the boat of your life is about to sink, it’s comforting to know that people are praying for you. Our prayer support may be the only thing that keeps  someone from going under. It’s too bad that so many saints have so little confidence in prayer.

I heard a story of a ship that was sinking in the middle of a storm, and the captain called out to the crew and said, “Does anyone here know how to pray?”

One man stepped forward and said, “Yes sir, I know how to pray.”

The captain said, “Wonderful, you pray while the rest of us put on life jackets — we’re one short.” Author unknown. Taken from

B. Prayer Is Needed For The Afflicted And Sick

James 5:13a-15, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray… “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

Though our prayers for the sick must be subject to the will of God in any given situation, He still hears the prayers of faith for the sick.

Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story.

“A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the girls responded, ‘Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won’t feel so lonely.’

“That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, ‘If God sent that, I’m sure He also sent a doll!’ And she was right! The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child’s sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies’ group to include both of those specific articles.” Our Daily Bread.

C. Prayer Is Needed For God’s Spokesman

Ephesians 6:18-19, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,”

Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:”

Thessalonians 5:25,“Brethren, pray for us.”

It was E.M. Bounds once said: These two propositions are wedded into a union which ought never to know any divorce: the preacher must pray; the preacher must be prayed for. E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer, pg. 109.

Mr. Bounds also added this insightful deduction, concerning praying for the preacher: If Paul was so dependent on the prayers of God’s saints to give his ministry success, how much greater the necessity that the prayers of God’s saints be centered on the ministry of today! Ibid, pg. 113.

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703—March 22, 1758), that great old preacher of a few centuries ago, had this to say about praying for God’s man:

If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers—had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them—they would have been much more in the way of success. Ibid, pg. 108.

II. There Are SoulsTo Be Saved

A. We Must Pray For The Lost, Because They Are Spiritually Dead

Ephesians 2:1, 4-5, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”

Colossians 2:13, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

What does it mean to be “…dead in trespasses and sin” (Eph.2: 1)? When a person is physically dead, they are uninfluenced and unaffected by the things of life. Paul often used this idea to describe the fact that, when a person is lost, he is insensitive to, uninfluenced and unaffected by the things of God, and the spiritual life that is found through faith in Christ.

A little girl called out, “Mommy, you know that vase in the china cabinet, the one that’s been handed down from generation to generation?”

“Yes, dear, I know which one you mean. What about it?” “Well, Mommy, I’m sorry, but this generation just dropped it!”

Let’s not drop our chance to pass on the greatest gift ever given—the gift of eternal life provided through Jesus Christ! Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, PastorLife.

B. Pray For The Lost, Because They Are Darkened Mentally

Corinthians 4:3-4a, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4a In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…”

Ephesians 4:17b-19, “…walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”

C. Pray For the Lost, Because They Are Dominated By Sin

John 8:34, “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”

Romans 6:20, “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.”

Ephesians 2:2-3, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

D. Pray For The Lost, Because They Are Destined For Judgment

John 3:36b, “…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Romans 6:23a, “For the wages of sin is death…”

Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Folks, we need to witness to the lost, telling them what Christ has done for us through His forgiveness and salvation. But we also need to pray earnestly for them that their blinded spiritual eyes will be opened to the truth before it’s too late; for apart from placing their faith in Christ as their personal Savior, they cannot escape God’s judgment.

Gary Tindle was in a California courtroom charged with robbery. He asked and got from Judge Armando Rodriguez permission to go to the bathroom. While the bathroom door was guarded, Mr. Tindle climbed up onto the plumbing and opened a panel in the ceiling. Sure enough, a dropped ceiling with space between. He climbed up and into the crawlspace and headed south.

He’d gone thirty-plus feet when the ceiling panels broke from under him and dropped him to the floor right back in Judge Rodriguez’s courtroom (Paul Harvey, “For What It’s Worth,” p. 129).

You cannot get away from the Judge of the Universe. One day you will end up in front of Him and there will not be a place to hide! Author unknown. Taken from

The real question we need to ask concerning the assertion that the lost are destined for judgment is whether we truly believe it. Or is it simply religious rhetoric?

A renowned criminal in Britain, just before going to the gallows, was having Scripture read to him somewhat piously by the chaplain. He suddenly broke in and said, “Sir, if I believed what you say you believe about what you are reading, even if England were covered with broken glass from shore to shore, I would gladly walk over it—on my hands and knees, if need be, and think it worth living to do that—if only I could rescue one soul from that hell about which you have read!” Alan Redpath, The Making Of A Man Of God, published by Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey; pg. 131.

III. There Are Strongholds To Be Stormed

2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

We need to stop trying to solve spiritual problems with mere human cleverness and intellectualism. We don’t need smarter saints, but rather, more spiritual saints, who realize the value of fervent supplication before God. “You can afford to be ten times less clever if only you are ten times more spiritual” (Ibid, pg. 134).

You may be asking, “But just what is a spiritual stronghold?” According to Bro. Charles Stanley:

A stronghold is an area of sin that has become part of our lifestyle. It may be a harmful habit (drugs, fornication, smoking) or it may be an attitude (rejection, loneliness, worry, doubt). We use a whole arsenal of rationalizations and speculations to support the habits or attitudes. But the knowledge on which these strongholds are based directly opposes God’s truth (v. 5).

Satan pumps us full of lies which secure these strongholds…

Our responsibility as Christians is to tear down these strongholds through Spirit-filled prayers. How? There is only one weapon—the sword of the Spirit. We must fight these lies with God’s Word. We must fight specific lies with specific truths. Charles F. Stanley, Handle With Prayer, published by Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois; pg. 118.

A. Storm Strongholds Invoking The Name

We Need To Storm These Spiritual Strongholds Invoking The Name Of The Savior. John 14:14, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Acts 16:16-18, “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

B. Storm Strongholds Invoking The Blood

We Need To Storm These Spiritual Strongholds Invoking The Blood Of Christ’s Sacrifice.

Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

Satan can’t stand it when the child of God invokes the blood of Christ, for it was that sinless, precious blood that spelled his doom on Calvary.

When a large religious service was being conducted at the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco, many people quickly became aware that the minister delivering the main address was not thoroughly orthodox. Although a gifted speaker, he began to direct most of his eloquence against the power of the blood of Christ.

Ruth E. Marsden relates that when his fluent oratory ended, a timid, elderly lady stood up in the midst of the crowd and softly began to sing a great hymn by William Cowper as a touching rebuttal to the modernists remarks. A hush fell over the assembly as they heard those faint but familiar words: “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.”

Before she could begin the second stanza, approximately a hundred people rose to join her. By the time she reached the third verse, nearly a thousand Christians all over the audience were singing that blessed song of faith. The triumphant, thrilling strains rang out loud and clear: “Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power, till all the ransomed church of God be saved to sin no more.” Many were deeply moved as that humble believer stood up for her Lord and with the light of Heaven upon her face gave testimony that she had found peace through the blood of His cross! Author unknown. Taken from

C. Strom Strongholds Invoking The Truth

We Need To Storm These Spiritual Strongholds Invoking The Truth Of The Scriptures.

Matthew 4:1, 4a, 7a, 10b, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 4a But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written…7a Jesus said unto him, It is written again…10b Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written…”

What am I saying? I’m pointing out one basic fact. That fact is that when the Son of God was tempted by the devil, He always answered Satan’s proposal with the Word of God. Three times Jesus  referred Satan to the truth of God, written in His Word. We would do well to practice the same tactic.

IV. There Is Spiritual Awakening To Be Sought

A. Make Revival Your Earnest Daily Plea

Psalm 85:6 “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”

Jeremiah 64:1-4, “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heaven, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, 2 As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence! 3 When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 4 For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”

B. Men Who Earnestly Pray Will Receive God’s Promise

2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

George D. Watson once said: All the great epochs of divine providence and manifestation in the world have been preceded by great prayer.

All down the ages, whenever God has come forth from His hiding place to make bare His arm in judgment, or manifest His glory and reveal His Presence, the Holy Spirit has preceded such events by moving on God’s elect great burdens of prayer.


Herald Of His Coming, Vol. 51, No. 4 (604); pg. 9.

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