Does God do anything without prayer? That’s a question that came up when I was doing a study on prayer. Several people have pondered that question to me after experiencing a miraculous answered prayer when they felt like they were staring down the end of their rope in life. David Jeremiah even states the following: “I scoured the New Testament some time ago, looking for things God does in ministry that are not prompted by prayer. Do you know what I found? Nothing. I don’t mean I had trouble finding an item or two; I mean I found nothing. Everything God does in the work of ministry, He does through prayer.”
Prayer is the way you defeat the devil in Luke 22:32
Prayer is the way you get the lost saved in Luke 18:13
Prayer is the way you acquire wisdom in James 1:5
Prayer is the way a backslider gets restored in James 5:16-20
Prayer is how the saints get strengthened in Jude 20 and Matthew 26:41
Prayer is the way we get laborers out to the mission field in Matthew 9:38
Prayer is how the sick get cured in James 5:13-15
Prayer is how we accomplish the impossible in Mark 11:23-24
I’ve studied extensively the early church and prayer was central and key to it in the book of Acts. You’ll find that Acts is a veritable hand book on prayer and how God’s power in it is available to us. In the book of Acts, everywhere you turn, the disciples are praying and remarkable things are happening in response. Whatever was amazing involved prayer. This is true from the very first chapter and onward. Right after Jesus’s ascension back into Heaven, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and congregated in an upper room. Luke lists all the people who were present, all those who would make up the leadership, and foundation of the early church. Then he says, “these all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer…” That was the foundation of the church from which everything else flowed. It all got started through prayer. And that was even before Pentecost! So then, did the things change when the Spirit came upon the church as described in Acts 2? Not if by change we mean that the church curtailed its praying. If anything, it vastly increased. As you progress through the book of Acts from one chapter to the next, one verse to the next all you see is prayer. You see prayer and its result in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:41; you see it again immediately following the sermon in Acts 2:24-31; you see more prayer in the selection of deacons in Acts 6:5-6 as well. It becomes clear early on that prayer is their top priority of their leaders. Prayer covers the book of Acts like a fine and bright paint job on a classic show car. The church prays when Peter is thrown into prison in Acts 12:5 and it’s still praying when he is miraculously released in chapter 12. Heartfelt prayers are also said when the church sends out Paul and Barnabas as missionaries in Acts 13:3 and also during their journey in 14:23. All through Acts, you see prayer. It is the foundation around which the dynamic early church was moving and breathing. In those days there was no such thing as a powerful church without prayer and it’s the same today. There is not a powerful church without prayer. Some even say that was then, but this is now and maybe we’re beyond that. But if you go back and look at the life of Jesus from over 2,000 years ago until all the way up to now. You will discover that even after all the disciples went out and passed on that all the great revivals and awakenings of church history were fueled by the power of prayer. Even Jesus as recorded in Mark chapter 1:32-33 had possibly the busiest day of His life and it says…”And when evening had come, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door.” When was the last time a whole city gathered at our door?? Eventually, of course, even Jesus need to rest. But not long after He finally got some rest after maybe the busiest day of His life we read, in Mark 1:35 “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” He had to be exhausted, but the morning after a crazy and busy day when it would be easy to sleep in and skip prayer He chose to get up early and pray. Jesus knew the life-line of our lives here on earth is through prayer to God and He set an example for all of us.
Pretty much anything and everything that has its weight of significance in our lives and anything God wants done in us and in the church really boils down to one thing…Prayer. Here’s a great quote I heard while studying prayer as well from an unknown source: “What we do for the Lord is entirely dependent upon what we receive from the Lord, and what we receive from the Lord is entirely dependent upon what we are in the Lord and what we are in the Lord is entirely dependent upon the time we spend alone with the Lord in prayer. It is impossible for us to do or to be anything that God wants us to do or to be anything that God wants us to do or be, apart from spending time in the prayer closet.” Like a good and perfect Father that God is, He desires daily and frequent walking and talking with Him so that we can all be like King David is described in 1 Samuel 13:14 and also Acts 13:22..”A man after God’s heart.” David did this by continual and affectionate prayer and praise to God. James 4:2 clearly states that “we have not, because we ask not.” Let’s all give thanks to a merciful and loving God who answers our prayers. I’ve learned to really thank my parents for example for always praying for me because an awful lot of things were spared unto me because others like my parents were interceding and really praying for me. God yearns to spend time with you in prayer and in doing so radically changes your life and others around you for His wonderful glory by humbling ourselves and being his earthly vessels. As I’ve gotten older and seen my father miraculously healed of cancer, my daughter straightened out in the womb in a matter of minutes after praying during her delivery, my sins forgiven, ill friends made whole in right away while praying, pain and swelling go down during prayer, and so many other miracles and every days tender mercies it has become an honor and a pleasure to realize that God really does nothing in or through me that isn’t initiated by prayer by me or someone else praying. And what a treasure it is to spend time with Abba Father alone and with the Body of Christ talking and seeing the power, love, grace and mercy of Christ in prayer..the supreme link from our heart to God’s heart that changes everything for the better when we humble ourselves in prayer.