top of page

Reasons for Prayer 3

Reasons for Prayer Part 3 Today we will begin looking at Biblical examples of how prayer powerfully changed the outcome of individuals, regions, nations, and situations. Our first example is found in the first book of the bible, Genesis. Here we see God speaking to king Abimelech about Abraham and his wife Sarah. Abraham, out of fear, had told Abimelech Sarah was his sister, so Abimelech sent for her and took her, planning to make her his wife or concubine. But God spoke to him in a dream that night and said, “"Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife." Genesis 20:3 After Abimelech explained his innocence in the matter, God demanded him to restore Abraham’s wife, and have Abraham pray for him, so he and his household could live. This may seem difficult to understand, but God was protecting the lineage of which Christ would be born and protecting the sanctity of Abraham’s covenant with his wife Sarah. The result was quite astonishing. Abimelech return Sarah to her husband, and Abraham prayed for Abimelech. So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; for the LORD had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Gen 20:17-18 Here we see a miraculous turn of events on several fronts, including the prolonging of the king’s life, and the blessing of fertility. This all happened through the prayer of Abraham. Our next example is a man named Jabez. This very short passage is an encouraging insight into the power of simple, but earnest prayer. Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, "Because I bore him in pain." And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested. 1Chronicles 4:9-10 What an amazing response to Jabez’s unpretentious prayer. Isn’t that what we all want? God to hear us when we pray? God to intervene on our behalf? God to be favorable to us? One condition to note is Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, which may mean he honored God more than his siblings. They may have been idolaters, but he had a meaningful relationship with the God of Israel. We may not have a complete answer until we enter heaven. The final example in this post, concerns a woman named Hannah who was barren. Although the passage is quite lengthy, I find it provides inspiration and insight into the astounding results of earnest prayer. So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head." And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!" But Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now." Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him." And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the LORD." Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever." So Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD establish His word." Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young. Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, "O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD. For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD." So they worshiped the LORD there. 1Samuel 1:9-28 What powerful examples of answered prayer! According to scripture, these biblical models have all been written for our instruction and edification (Romans 15:4). We will continue looking at reasons for prayer in our next post. Until then, may God, our Heavenly Father, richly bless and keep you! James Brown CST 09/14/2022
bottom of page