Prayer is an important part of our Christian life. We all pray every day. Sometimes we pray individually, sometimes we pray with others. However, there is a special, miraculous power in our personal prayer and that is what I am going to discuss in this short article.
In order to analyze this miraculous power in personal prayer, we will be going through the prayer life of some of the most prominent prayer warriors in the Bible.
As you all know the story of Jacob, he was an ordinary man like you and I, but with a special anointing from the LORD Almighty. However, prior to this anointing, Jacob was living a very hard life in his uncle Laban’s house.
After finishing fourteen years of hard service in Laban’s house, Jacob returns to his home town in the land of Canan and on the way at Peniel, while resting in the open filed he get a visitation from the Angel of the LORD.
24So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”27The man asked him, “What is your name?”“Jacob,” he answered. 28Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, e because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.30So Jacob called the place Peniel, f saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”( Genesis 32, 24-30)
Remember, Jacob was in a very desperate situation. He spent fourteen years in hard labour with his uncle Laban and now returning home with a large family but not rich. Besides, to make matters worse, he is going to meet his brother Esau (who was angry with him for stealing the blessing) on the way.
Jacob really knew in his heart; without a divine intervention he wouldn’t survive. So, when he met the Angel, he wrestled with HIM the whole night and would not let HIM leave without blessing him. Because, he was really desperate for a blessing, he was desperate for a divine intervention. And the Angel of the LORD finally blesses him.
Saints, what we need to notice here is: when Jacob was in a desperate situation, he wrestled alone, he did not have any companions to help. His hopeless situation forced him to wrestle and he prevailed over the angel and he was blessed.
Rest of the story, all of you know very well.
Similarly, some of you might be going through very tough situations and you might have already approached the prayer teams in your Fellowship or even have asked your pastor to help you in prayer.
But wait, let me ask you: have you been on your knees and wrestled in prayer to seek God’s Blessing? If No; please do that first, do not give up wrestling on your knees until you see the required change in your situation. I am sure, if God could bless Jacob, HE could bless you too, what you need is, persistence like that of Jacob.
Joshua was another character in the Bible who resorted to prayer in order to gain victory over his enemies.
Here the context is: Joshua is fighting the five kings of the Amorites at Gilgal and he wanted the sun to be still until he avenged all his enemies.
He prays to the LORD Almighty and his prayer was answered. The verses below tell the story.
12On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” 13So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, (Joshua, 10, 12-13)
Joshua was an ordinary person like you and I, but in a time of desperation he went on his knees before the LORD and HE answered him.
Here, what we need to note is, he went before the LORD alone, He alone interceded on behalf of the nation of Israel and the LORD Almighty answered His Prayers.
I am sure, if you are willing to go on your knees, you too could be victorious over your enemies just like Joshua.
9Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, c saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (1Chronicles, 4, 9-10)
Jabez was a layman like you and I. His mother named him Jabez saying “I gave birth to him in pain” so, from the day of birth itself his bad luck began; he might have gone through a lot of sufferings in his life before he was rescued by the LORD Almighty.
Though everyone in his family and neighborhood considered him as an unlucky guy, he did not give up his hope in God. He knew if the Almighty God wants, HE could bring a turnaround in his life. So, what he did?
He spent time on his knees before the God Almighty and things started changing. Jabez did not ask anyone to pray for him, he did not send any prayer requests to his church. He started praying alone, he spent time with the LORD almighty and things changed in every area of his life.
Saints, I don’t know what you are going through, but I can assure you one thing, if you are willing to go before the LORD Almighty on your knees, things will change. You will be blessed more than you could imagine.
5But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. 6Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.(1 Samuel 1, 5-6)
Hanna was another unlucky character in the Bible. She was married to a man called Elkanah. Since the LORD had closed her womb, she had no kids and her rival (the other wife of Elkanah) taunted her year after year.
Once Hannah came to the temple and started praying with so much sorrow and bitterness in her heart that even Eli (The chief priest) thought she was drunk. The taunts of her enemy brought her on her knees before the Lord Almighty and He answered her prayer by blessing her with a son whom she named Samuel.
Here, Hanna, did not ask a prayer group to pray for her, she went by herself to the temple and started crying out to the LORD Almighty and He listened to her cry.
Similarly, if you are confronted with a situation that seems almost impossible to change, I would like to advise you to go before the LORD in prayer by yourself, before you ask any prayer group to pray for you. First, you need to humble yourself before the LORD and cry out to HIM, so that He will change your situation.
1The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:
In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”(Nehemiah 1, 1-3)
Prophet Nehemiah was another important character in the Bible who went on his knees alone and achieved great things for the Kingdom of God.
First let me give you a little bit information about the context;
Some men from Jerusalem came to visit Nehemiah and he asked them about the condition of the city, the temple and the people and they answered:
“The people are in disgrace; the walls are broken down and the gates have been burned down.”
When the prophet heard this, he wept bitterly and went on his knees before the LORD and prayed. He was all alone, no prayer groups were with him. After the prayer, he courageously approaches the king and gets permission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
This was not an ordinary achievement for a Jew in exile in a foreign land. God made the heart of the king favourable to Nehemiah; it happened only because of his prayer. Nothing else.
If you have an issue in your mind, which requires the intervention of the Lord almighty; please go on your knees and weep before the LORD. Surely, he will answer.
Also, when you are confronting a problem don’t sit before the Television and watch soaps while leaving the responsibility of prayer to your church intercessors group. If you want a solution from God:
first, you need to pray before anybody else pray for you.
King David was another man of God who always went on his knees before the LORD Almighty to find solutions for his problems.
I think, King David, many times, throughout his life, went through huge challenges, but he never gave up on praying and because of those fervent prayers he was successful in everything he did.
We could learn many lessons from the life of King David. If I say “King David depended on God more than anybody else in the Bible” it wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The psalms he wrote have enough evidence for this.
King David was surely a man of prayer who spent a lot of time on his knees before the LORD Almighty.
Prophet Elijah was another great man of God who went on his knees before the LORD for anything and everything. He was just a one-man army. But he accomplished great things for the Kingdom of God and he did it alone.
He too spent a lot of time in prayer and it is evident in his accomplishments.
When he prayed for no rain; it did not rain, when he prayed for rain after three years, it started to rain.
He challenged the four hundred prophets of baal alone and killed them.
Saints, God does not need a million warriors to accomplish great things for HIS kingdom, he needs only one man like Elijah, one woman like Hannah.
If you and I are willing to go on our knees, we too could accomplish great things for HIS kingdom.
Prophet Daniel was another wonderful man of God in the Bible. He had the habit of praying three times a day before the LORD Almighty. He too was an exiled Jew in Babylon but held a very prominent position in the Palace of the Babylonian King.
All his achievements were the result of his prayer and obedience to God’s Commandments.
Even when his obedience to God’s commandments put him in a life- threatening situation, he did not give up the habit of praying. Even when he heard about the plan to execute him for not bowing down before the statue of the Babylonian King, he did not fear nor did he stop praying.
As usual he went up into his room and opened the windows towards Jerusalem and he prayed. The following verses tell the story clearly.
10Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.(Daniel 6, 10)
Beloved in Christ, I don’t know what you are going through, or who is threatening you because of your faith in Christ. Remember, you have a very powerful weapon in your hands; that is prayer. Kneel down and pray as Daniel did, and you will see the glory of God in your life.
Prophet Jeremiah was another important character in the Bible who fought for the righteousness of God. He too was a one-man army who fought alone.
Though he had many enemies in Jerusalem he was not afraid of them. Despite the challenges, he stood faithfully for the Kingdom of God and preached righteousness and obedience to people.
The power for all this came from his prayer life. He wept and prayed more than any other prophet in the history of Israel.
Saints, if you are fighting for the Kingdom of God, don’t give up in the face of opposition. Jeremiah never gave up. He prayed and fought, similarly you too should pray and fight. You might be alone but do not worry, Angels are watching over you, as they watched over Prophet Jeremiah.
10.Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
You might have read the four gospels a hundred times but what did you learn from them about the prayer life of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ?
Like HIS prophets I mentioned above, HE too prayed a lot. In fact, during His public ministry, most of the nights, He spent in prayer and He prayed alone. He did not allow anyone to be with him when he was communicating with His heavenly Father.
Before, Jesus started his public ministry, he fasted and prayed for 40 days. Similarly, before you embark up on something important for the kingdom of God, you too should fast and pray.
You don’t need prayer groups and your church members to pray with you. If the calling is for you, if the revelation was given to you, then you alone should go on your knees and pray.
This does not mean that you should not associate with your fellow-believers for prayer.
Corporate prayer has its place, but it should not replace your personal prayer. Your personal prayer has a special status and anointing that is different from the corporate prayer. Corporate prayer is an intercessory prayer and it has its importance and purpose so we should not neglect it either.
I think I have already given a list of ten prayer warriors from the Bible. Still, there are a lot more to give, but in order to keep this article a bit short, I would like to close the list with ten.
The reason for writing this article is to illustrate the importance of personal prayer in a believer’s life and its potential for achieving great things for the kingdom of God.
nowadays, in the contemporary Christian world, there is a tendency among believers to focus more on corporate prayer and less on personal prayer.
The main responsibility of prayer has been shifted to the prayer ministry groups in churches and it seems like believers spend a lot less time on personal prayer.
The trend seems like this: when someone has a prayer need, first he or she contacts the prayer group for prayer rather than the person himself taking the responsibility of praying for that particular need.
Every church needs a team for intercessory prayer but we should not lay all the responsibility of prayer on them. Personally, each believer should be responsible for his/her prayer life.
Dear Saints, we are 24×7 on the heavenly Radar and we worship a God who answers our prayers. So, we should be willing to approach the Throne of Grace with confidence.
15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;he delivers them from all their troubles.18The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.(Psalm 34, 15-18)