The Power of Prayer


Elijah and King Jehoshaphat are two leaders who teach us important lessons about powerful prayer.

Verse: 2 CHRONICLES 20:1-15

From Scripture, we see the importance and effectiveness of praying with spiritual authority. Elijah, for example, boldly challenged the prophets of Baal because he knew the Lord would hear and answer. And King Jehoshaphat sought God for direction and strength—and called upon the nation to do the same.

Their examples teach what is required for prayer to be powerful:

Dependence on God. The petitions of both men showed deep reliance upon the Lord. Knowing that victory over Israel’s enemies was beyond their own abilities, they asked God to intervene.

A focus on His plan. Elijah did things God’s way against tremendous odds and at great personal risk (1 Kings 19:1-2). Jehoshaphat called for the nation to fast as he sought to discover the Lord’s plan. Because they looked to God for a strategy, they both had a clear goal that led them through the difficulties they faced.

Purity of motive. Both leaders had God-centered intentions and a goal of furthering His purposes. They weren’t trying to gain anything for themselves.

Confidence in God’s faithfulness. Neither man hesitated to ask publicly for divine help. Elijah told the plan to the 450 enemy prophets, and Jehoshaphat called upon all of Israel to join him in intercession.

If your prayers seem to be having little impact, ask yourself, Have I been relying upon my own strength to resolve matters? Is there a selfish basis for my request? Am I lacking confidence in God (James 1:5-7)? If so, turn to the Lord, confess, and seek to follow the example of Elijah and Jehoshaphat.

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