Is There Really Power in Your Prayer?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, May 8, 2012.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    The power of TWO....

    Matthew 18:20 - The Message (MSG)

    "Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there."

    I believe that prayer, when it is done unselfishly and unceasingly, is the where we have the power to affect change here on earth. :type:

    What others have said about prayer:

    “God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.” — John Wesley

    “Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” — D. L. Moody

    “Our praying, however, needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage which never fails.” — E. M. Bounds

    “A day without prayer is a day without blessing, and a life without prayer is a life without power.” — Edwin Harvey

    What are your thoughts on prayer in your relationship with Him?
     
  2. matt wade

    matt wade
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,156
    Likes Received:
    76
    Matthew 18:20 actually says "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

    The only part of the passage your quoted that is somewhat acceptable is "And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there." What's up with the rest of the nonsense that your "bible" puts in there?
     
  3. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    We also have to deal with the verse before that, Matthew 18:19
    I understand that God answers prayer. I am quite uncomfortable with the idea that there is "power" in prayer. The power resides with the Creator of the universe.

    We pray because the Lord told us to ask for what we want. But I don't like any implication that we can command God with our prayers.

    Remember the story of Jesus' encounter with Bartimaeus? Jesus said Bart was blind for that moment, when He would display His power in him. Did Jesus know in advance that he would heal Bart? Of course. Even so, Jesus made Bart ask. "What do you want?" "Lord, I want my sight."

    Bart's request was not for Jesus' benefit. It was for Bartimaeus to teach us all of our total dependence on God.

    I do believe God answers all prayer. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes yes. Sometimes, not now.
     
    #3 Tom Butler, May 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2012
  4. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    13,381
    Likes Received:
    728
    The context is church discipline
     
  5. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly. Isn't this verse simply stating that God will honor whatever decision two or more elders make when they do so in prayer, regarding a church discipline matter?

    This is probably one of the most misused verses in the Bible.

    Back to the power of prayer.

    I have studied prayer and still have questions about it. For instance, will God actually change His will if we ask Him to? If I have terminal cancer, and two million people hold hands and pray for my healing, is God going to change His mind and heal me? Or, if it is my time to go, will God take me regardless?

    It is my opinion that we Christians misuse prayer more often than not. I believe that the purpose of prayer is for us to find God's will, not try to change it.

    I don't believe that prayer changes God, i believe it changes people.

    John
     
  6. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    BTW Dude, I was given a copy of the Message a few years ago. I spent one evening reading it, and the next day it went into a dumpster several miles from my house. It was more like reading a novel than a text.

    I use KJ at church, but have several versions for study....but the Message is not one of them. Perhaps a more credible version would be more appropriate.

    Matthew 18:20 has nothing to do with the general prayers of Christians. It is about church discipline only. There are many verses that teach about prayer in general, but that is not the truth that this passage is talking about.

    WoF people use this passage as some sort of magical ritual, thinking that if two or more of them touch and agree on anything that God is bound to grant thier wishes (like God is some kind of a geenie or something).....but that is not the purpose of this scripture. It is merely saying that God will honor the decisions of elders regarding church discipline when the decision is made in prayer.

    Like i said, this is one of the most misused scriptures in the Bible.

    John
     
  7. Amy.G

    Amy.G
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    13,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the Message is appropriately titled for the times we live in.

    The Mess Age.
     
  8. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jas 5:16b The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
    Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

    Prayer does change things....for who? Usually the prayer. Can we see results from our prayers? Yes. My ladies SS class did a 9 month study on prayer. During that time we kept prayer journals for 1 year (most still keep them now, several years later). At the end of that year we added up the answered prayers...over 3,000 answered prayers. We then looked at what that meant. Had we changed God's mind, was it because we were praying in God's Will, was there some magic formula we'd hit upon?

    We discovered what it meant was that God honored our faithfulness in prayer by allowing us to see the answers to so many of our prayer requests.

    And P.S., Bro Dude, if you PM me your address I'll be happy to send you a Bible so you don't have to use The Message....:)
     
  9. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,114
    Likes Received:
    52

    IF you have the faith of a Mustard Seed....

    The Power resides in the object of faith, GOD....
     
  10. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no question that the Bible instructs us to pray constantly, especially for one another. And there is no question that God blesses us when we acknowledge Him in prayer.

    When i did a study about prayer I discovered that my prayers were selfish, and that i was asking God to conform His will to mine, instead of me conforming to His.

    When i started praying for Him to change me instead of me changing Him things got a whole lot better for me, and prayers were answered.

    John:praying:
     
  11. dcorbett

    dcorbett
    Expand Collapse
    Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,411
    Likes Received:
    1

    AMEN and AMEN!!! Prayers are often answered and we don't even know it, because they weren't answered with the answer we wanted!
     
  12. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes.

    God does not change.

    Let's go further. If God has ordained all that will come to pass, why pray (other than the fact that God told us to pray)?

    Because there are some things that God has ordained to come to pass in answer to prayer. So if the prayer doesn't happen, the answer doesn't happen.

    This example is from an old blog run by Jim Bublitz called Old Truth:
    So pray. There's a good reason Jesus told us "ye have not because you ask not," and "ask and ye shall receive."

    We can argue over whether God simply knows the future or decrees the future, and that prayer is the trigger. It's irrelevant to this discussion. Pray because we're told to pray, and because Paul tells us the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
     
  13. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    Well.......

    ....first of all, I'm not a WOFer! Secondly, while I believe prayer is powerful, I am also a realist and know that not everything we take to God in prayer will be answered according to our desires.

    For instance, not everyone who is prayed for, regardless of the faith put behind the prayer, will be healed. All of us have a day to die, and sometimes prayer is one of the ways God comes to us and encourages us in what is His will, not ours.

    I am not about to misuse the verse. Nor am I about to not believer that the most powerful tool God gave the church is prayer. Prayer to know His will, not ours. Prayer to know His disires, not ours. Prayer to affect a change in the state of mind and the heart of the individual bringing forth a plea.

    As for the Message Bible, that was totally your choice. I like to use several version to get an understanding that is easy for the Bible novice to see what God is saying. The Message is but one os at least seven versions I utilise in teaching the Word.

    If we will not speak to Him, He certainly can not speak to us. Prayer, like Paul siad, should be done without "ceasing!"
     
  14. seekingthetruth

    seekingthetruth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,611
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did not mean to get you upset, please forgive me. I think I was doing the right thing by pointing out that this scripture has nothing to do with the power of prayer nor God answering prayer.

    In your OP you referred to the scripture a "The power of two", and that is just a completely false interpretation of the subject of this scripture.

    It's not about prayer at all, it is about church discipline. It says that when there is a matter of church discipline that if two people (church elders) come together in prayer and seek gudaince in the matter, that God will honor their decision (bind in heaven what is bound on Earth).

    It is not a broad general statement about prayer and has absolutely nothing to do with the power of prayer or God answering prayer, is is strictly talking about church discipline and God honoring a decision made in prayer.

    While I do believe that God commands us to be in prayer without ceasing, and that prayer brings results, and that there are lots of scriptures to back up prayer, this isn't one of them.

    This is simply not about prayer.

    Dude, this scripture gets misinterpreted everyday, and I don't think I am wrong for trying to correct that when i can. In fact I believe all Christians are obligated to do so.

    As far as the Message, Peterson's misinterpretation of this passage is a good example of how he let his own beliefs outweigh the truth of the scripture. Read the other versions you own, and some commentaries that go with it, and you will see that Peterson went with the misinformed world view that this scripture is about the "power of prayer" and not church discipline.

    I do agree with the previous poster that pointed out that our prayers have no power at all....the power lies in the One that hears our prayers.

    John
     
  15. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    The power is in the One who is being prayed to. Prayer is never to manipulate God but to come into line with God's will. If we are praying in faith the prayer will be answered. The problem is that "praying in faith" is a much misunderstood issue.
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,219
    Likes Received:
    194
    Just for everyone's information, this is actually Matt. 18:18-20.

    For comparison:
    "18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (KJV)

    But the Message "translator" (I use the term very loosely here) seems to have mixed it up with Matt. 5:37--"But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

    Carry on. :type:
     
  17. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,468
    Likes Received:
    138
    John

    First, you didn't upset me. I was simply pointing out the difference between how I believe in prayer, and the WOFer's.

    So, there is nothing for you to ask forgivness for. I love your spirit, and never take anything you say in a way that offends.

    God Bless!
     
  18. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why diss The Message paraphrase? Just look at it as a vivacious contemporary sermonette on every verse of the Bible!
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,219
    Likes Received:
    194
    For Christianettes? :smilewinkgrin:
     
  20. jonathan.borland

    jonathan.borland
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,154
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think more should take it upon themselves to interact with the Word on a level deep enough to "retell" it in their own words or in a way that captures the modern reader with the language/format he is familiar with. As in John 5:39-40, eternal life is not in the words of God but in the Word of God. That said, it's obvious that such paraphrases have more of our own interpretations than actual translations do, but nevertheless magnify the Savior behind the words.
     

Share This Page

Loading...