25 February 2024: The effectiveness of prayer

Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home

25 February 2024


“On my 91st birthday I am praying that we will show more of the caring love of Jesus to one another, and come closer in fellowship to each other at Bethel, not only on Sunday but throughout the week.”



We will give ourselves no rest, ‘Til Your Kingdom comes on earth, You’ve positioned watchmen on the walls; Now our prayers will flow like tears, For You’ve shared Your heart with us, God of Heaven, on our knees we fall, Come down in power, Reveal Your heart again; Come hear our cries, The tears that plead for rain; Chorus: We’re knocking, knocking on the door of heaven; We’re crying, crying for this generation, We’re praying for Your name to be known, In all of the earth; We’re watching, watching on the walls to see You, We’re looking, looking, for a time of breakthrough; We’re praying for Your word to bear fruit, In all of the earth, In all of the earth.”  Songwriters: Matt Redman, Steve Cantellow. For non-commercial use only.


The Lord has been waking me up in the early hours of the morning for a few months now, and I’m okay with that, provided people are okay when I fall asleep in the day-time, sometimes when I am on a visit, and even reading a Scripture out to someone! Early this morning, the Lord brought to me

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

Generally, whenever I see that text on some publication I don’t read it because I’ve read so many over the years. But I felt the Lord gave me some thoughts about it that were a bit different. The first one was that there were these streams of poison, representing evil, and they were flowing in the land and doing more and more damage, destroying people and the good things of the land, spiritually speaking.

How do we stop these streams of poison from completely taking over? The answer was loud and clear, PRAYER! Prayer as outlined in this verse: “If my people who are called by my name.”

Although these words apply to Israel in their covenant relationship to God, we are exhorted that such things are also examples and warnings for us under the New Covenant (see e.g., I Cor. 10:11). So, Christians, those who have put their trust in Jesus, must pray; what an awesome and immense privilege to have an audience with the Almighty at any time we choose:

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Heb. 4:16

The words we utter to God in prayer have to be backed up by godly Christian living – Will humble themselves – In Matt. 18:4 Jesus speaks of a child being the greatest in the kingdom of heaven and that everyone is to take the lowly position of the child, that is to humble themselves as a child, meaning to recognise our complete dependence on God.

and pray and seek my face Prayer is to spend quality time in the Presence of God and then, to seek Him,

you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart and I will be found by you.

Jer. 29:13

And turn from their wicked ways – Yes, we did this when we received Jesus into our lives. However, there are degrees of holiness in becoming more and more like Jesus. I once spent a week in a church that was going through a time of revival. One abiding memory of it all was that I lived very carefully that week not even wanting to read the daily newspaper, just in case there was something that would cause me to stumble and lose this “holy and loving presence of God” that I was experiencing and have never experienced to that degree since. We can ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and to show us anything that He finds unacceptable within, and then, by His grace and power, turn away from it. When such people like this pray, God will act and there will be a mighty impact on our nation, so let’s do it, in Jesus Christ, and by the Sprit’s enabling, Amen.

Quote of the week

“The little estimate we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it” (E. M. Bounds).

Verse of the week

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, by Your Spirit, teach us to pray, in Jesus Christ, Amen.