Prayer is Powerful

by Mike Ratliff

Why do we pray? Don’t we pray because we have been instructed to do so in the Bible? Sadly, most Christians probably aren’t praying in a way that honors God or builds faith. Martin Luther wrote much on prayer. In his chapter “Of Prayer” from Table Talk, we learn the Biblical concept of prayer rather than one from Man’s reason. The following lesson is numbered CCCXXVIII.

by Martin Luther

None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience. It is a great matter when in extreme need, to take hold on prayer. I know, whenever I have earnestly prayed, I have been amply heard, and have obtained more than I prayed for; God, indeed, sometimes delayed, but at last he came.Ecclesiasticus says: “The prayer of a good and godly Christian availeth more to health, than the physician’s physic.”

O how great a thing, how marvellous, a godly Christian’s prayer is! how powerful with God; that a poor human creature should speak with God’s high Majesty in heaven, and not be affrighted, but, on the contrary, know that God smiles upon him for Christ’s sake, his dearly beloved Son. The heart and conscience, in this act of praying, must not fly and recoil backwards by reason of our sins and unworthiness, or stand in doubt, or be scared away. We must not do as the Bavarian did, who, with great devotion, called upon St Leonard, an idol set up in a church in Bavaria, behind which idol stood one who answered the Bavarian, and said: Fie on thee, Bavarian; and in that sort often repulsed and would not hear him, till at last, the Bavarian went away, and said: Fie on thee, Leonard.

When we pray, we must not let it come to: Fie upon thee; but certainly hold and believe, that we are already heard in that for which we pray, with faith in Christ. Therefore the ancients ably defined prayer an Accensus mentis ad Deum, a climbing up of the heart unto God.

Let’s remember that God’s beloved can come boldly unto the throne of grace to pour out their hearts to their Lord who only wants their best.

5 thoughts on “Prayer is Powerful

  1. Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation, but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy, in which we can do without His constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation, we alike need the prayer, “Forsake me not, O Lord.” “Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe.–C. H. Spurgeon Meditation


  2. Prayer glorifies our God and feeds our souls.
    Prayer reminds us of how righteous our God is and brings comfort to our hearts.
    Prayer reminds us of His might and strength and brings control to our minds and bodies.
    It is in prayer that we rest in the mighty hands of our God and no enemy shall pluck us from Him.
    We thank you, Lord Jesus, for the gift of prayer that You so graciously gave us.


  3. Jesus said if we would ask anything in His name He would do it. I am not sure I can fully comprehend the depths of that statement, but this I do know, I have yet to completely believe and test the truth of Jesus’ promise.

    Before I was a Christian my brother became born again at Muhlenburg College. He watched a fellow believer who prayed about everything. She would go into a MacDonald’s and ask God what should she order (He probably would have told her to leave? kidding). My point is that she was on to something, the Scriptures exhort us to do EVERYTHING with supplication and prayer.

    Everything we do without true prayer is an open display of our own abilities and a rejection of God’s power. “Lord, can I watch TV right now?” “Lord, what should we have for dinner tonight?” “Lord, which way should I take to work today?” “Lord, a famous preacher has fallen, before I speak, what should I say if anything?” “Lord, should I eat today or fast to seek You?”

    And the list goes on into corners of our lives that have not seen the light of prayer for decades. Help us, Lord, we pray!


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