The Power of Prayer
Everyone says it. Sometimes I get weary of hearing it. Prayer is that one thing we should all do a lot of and most of us, maybe all of us, don’t do enough. There have probably been millions of blogs and articles written about prayer, so why write another one? Because I think, I hope, this story will cause you to begin to believe in prayer to the point where you will pray.
A few days ago I was sitting in a meeting for Converge World Wide (Our denomination formerly known as the Baptist General Conference) and we began to talk about the issue of women being ordained. As we began to bring up specific names I learned that Christine’s (The lady running the meeting) husband was my pastor when I was 8 years old. As we began to talk she made a statement that caused me to pause. She said, “We did a lot of praying for you!” At that time in my life I lived in an abusive home. My step dad (at the time) was not a good man. After the meeting I called my mom and we began to talk about prayer and how God has protected me because of the prayers that were offered on my behalf.
I was suppose to be the kid who was strung out on drugs, sleeping around, and generally messing up my life. Statistically, that should have been me, but it wasn’t. Why? I think the answer is simple, prayer. You see my mom prayed for me daily (and still does), my grandparents prayed specifically for God to protect me from the environment in which I lived, my aunts and uncles were praying for me, and apparently my pastor and his wife were praying for me. I believe it is God’s ability to intervene in the affairs of mankind and the prayers of those around me throughout my life that moved God to work in my life. Prayer works, not because it is a magic incantation, but because of the God who hears the prayers.
I’ve always known prayer was important, you’ve heard the pleas from speakers and pastors forever. I’ve made those pleas myself, but I don’t know if I have ever taken prayer as seriously as I should have. I wonder, are you praying for your staff and your students? Are you doing it enough? I pray, but not as much as I should!
If you are like me and you don’t pray as much as you should, maybe some self evaluation would be helpful:
- Why don’t you pray?
I think I don’t pray as much as I should because I didn’t believe it really mattered that much. I would rationalize it, God knows my thoughts anyway…right! I believe now both because of Scripture and because I have seen it.
- How do you pray?
I most often pray as I go through the day, but I now realize that I need those focused times of prayer in my life for my staff and students.
- Why do you pray?
I pray because I need God to intervene in my life and in the lives of others.
Let me close with a prayer for you
Dear God, we all need you to work in our lives. Our arrogance and self reliance cause us to think we can do ministry without you…forgive us! Remind us to pray for our staff, our students, and our families. Help us to pray as a way of life with our staff, with our students, and with our families. Ultimately you are the source of power and we can really do nothing without you and when we depend on you, you are glorified for what you do and not us. Thank you for the cross, for the resurrection, and for eternity. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
John Byrne's Bio
John Byrne has been involved in youth ministry for more then 15 years. His ability to engage, challenge, and speak relevantly to his audience has led to speaking opportunities nationwide including camps, seminars, conferences, and training events. He has also written for Group Magazine, Youthworker Journal, and contributed to Youth Ministry Lemonade: turning “sour” experiences into leadership success. To see more of his writing check out the YM Theology blog.
John knew he wanted to be a youth pastor at the early age of 13. While attending Oak Hills Bible College he met the woman of his dreams and convinced her to marry him. After a two year honeymoon in the great state of Colorado he returned to his home state of Minnesota to finish his Biblical Studies degree from Northwestern Bible College.
John’s passion is living out the great mission (commission) in his life and helping others do the same. He does this through writing and speaking as well as missional living in his own neighborhood and community.
John is currently the Student Ministries Pastor at The Rock of Southwest, a church in Littleton, Colorado. He lives in Littleton with his wife Christa, daughter Catrina 11, and son Joash 4.