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What Makes A Prayer Powerful?

Posted by on May 28, 2014

What Makes A Prayer Powerful?

Have you ever wondered what makes a prayer powerful?  Or why is it that some people seem to get the answers to their prayers right away while the answers seem to take forever for others?  I, myself, was asked these questions one time by a friend and until recently, I honestly didn’t have an answer.  It has remained a big mystery to me as well.

But now, I’m here to present an answer to the big question, “What makes a prayer powerful?”.  I wish I could say that my mind came up with this answer but no.  All credit goes to God who was so gracious to show me and help me understand through firsthand experiences (which happened multiple times over the course of 35 years) just how we can tap into God’s mighty power through prayer.  

Prayer – which is our conversations with God – is very personal.  Whether we are coming to God with petitions, or seeking forgiveness for our sins, or simply expressing gratitude for all His blessings, there’s power in it that can’t be fully measured or described in mere words.  It can only be experienced.   I’ve personally seen God answer many of my prayers (for myself, my family, and for other people) in ways that were too astounding, no human could possibly take credit for it or deny God’s hand in it … and every time He does that, it just strengthens my faith in Him even more.

I’d like to believe that many of you are longing to experience the same power in your prayer life.  I’d also like to believe that I’ve been made to witness these things not so that I could keep this revelation all to myself but to share it with other people, that they may be inspired and encouraged as well.  So if you would be willing to spare a few minutes reading this post, I’m here to share with y’all what I’ve learned. :)


What Makes A Prayer Powerful?


1. Understand Who God Is

When we come to God in prayer, it is important that we know just WHO we are approaching.  WHO is this Supreme Being we call “Father”?  Why do we even come to Him?

Our prayers are powerless if we don’t even know who God is, what He is truly capable of and why He would even care about what we need.

Oftentimes, when we pray, there is still a huge question mark in our mind if God would even answer.  Worse, we also often question if He can even fix the problem!

One way to get to know God more intimately is by reading the Bible and meditating on His Word daily.

In the Bible you will find God’s many promises, words of comfort and guidelines for His children.  You will also learn what God Himself revealed about His nature, and how we can protect ourselves from being misled by common misconceptions about Him.  You will find that you’ll grow deeper and more intimate in your relationship with Him as you get to know Him more and more.

Believing comes from knowing, and knowing from the Word of God. (Wolfgang Spreitzel, The Engineer)


2. Adopt The Right Attitude

What makes a prayer powerful is when we come to God in complete surrender to His POWER (His ability to do the things we ask for) and His WILL (His desire for us as it relates to our particular situation) which (again) can only stem from a deep knowledge about who God is.

Consequently, knowing very well Who you are praying to, makes it easier to pray with an attitude of reverent submission to His POWER and WILL.  

Intense FAITH and TRUST in God encompass this attitude:

  • FAITH in His POWER 
  • TRUST in His WILL 


3. Have Faith In His Power, Trust In His Will

Faith is the belief or confidence in someone or something, while trust is faith in action.  

Will you be able to put your faith in someone you hardly even know?  Certainly not.  You’ll need to know the person fully well first, right?  However, what makes FAITH so special is that it requires no proof or visible evidence:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)

I wonder how many people had faith that Charles Blondin could walk across the Niagara Falls on a tightrope before his first attempt in 1859.  Probably not a lot.  But after having performed the stunt so many times, I imagine many people eventually  developed faith in his skills.  One man named Harry Colcord displayed his faith in action by clinging to Charles’s back while he tightroped his way across the Niagara!  In other words, Harry’s faith in Charles was so deep and strong, he was willing to put his life in Charles’s hands!  I would imagine how tough it must have been for Harry to take that leap of faith, since Charles had never carried a man on his back (while crossing the Niagara) before.  He could have said, “I want you to prove to me that you can even do it. Why don’t you take Quasimodo first, then we’ll talk!”, but he obviously didn’t do that (at least not that I know of).  Harry must have known Charles all that well  to have faith that he could do the daring (and potentially fatal) stunt, and even trust Charles with his own life doing it.

When it comes to prayer, faith without the same “I-trust-you-with-my-life” kind of confidence is not faith at all.

A powerful prayer requires a good understanding of not only WHAT GOD CAN DO but most importantly, of WHO GOD IS which (I reiterate) we can only acquire through reading the Bible every day. 

As I mentioned earlier in this post, FAITH and TRUST in God means yielding to His POWER and WILL.

When we pray, we should always follow the example modeled to us by Christ who declared “…yet not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).  The first half of coming to God in prayer requires FAITH that He is able to grant our request.  The second half recognizes that if the request falls within His plans and desires for us, then He will.  So we recognize that He will or He won’t depending on what He knows is best for us.  Either way, we are at peace with it and we will gladly accept it.  That’s another manifestation of our TRUST in Him.  

“For prayer is request. The essence of request, as distinct from compulsion, is that it may or may not be granted.”  (C.S. Lewis)

Once we get a good grasp of who our Father is, how merciful, gracious, compassionate and loving His heart is, then we can completely trust that He will always – ALWAYS – give us what’s best for us.  It may not be the answer we’re looking for, or it may not look like the best outcome at the moment, but if we trust that He…

  • knows what He’s doing
  • is in control of the circumstance
  • sees things further down into the future that we don’t
  • has plans to prosper and not harm us
  • loves us

…then we can experience peace, joy and victory even as we wait for an answer to our prayer.


4. Keep Your Heart Pure

We should never neglect the importance of confessing our sins and sincerely seeking God’s forgiveness before we proceed to presenting our petition.  If you know you are harboring sin (any sin, regardless of how trivial you might think it is) in your heart, you must first confess it to God and earnestly repent from it.

Why is this important?  Because sin hinders the effectiveness of our prayers.  The Bible says that God will not answer the prayers of a person who’s living in sin.

If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear. (Psalm 66:18)

By confessing our sins, we are asking for cleansing and purification of our hearts from all iniquities so that we can be made right with God again.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Live your life in obedience to Christ and faithfully abide in His Word – that’s what makes a prayer powerful!

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” (Psalm 84:11)


5. Pray With Fellow Believers

Finally, you should know that there is tremendous power in group prayer.  By praying with other Believers, you get the spiritual support that you need in storming the gates of hell.

Now why did I use the phrase “storming the gates of hell” and how does it relate to our topic?  Do you know that the struggles and challenges we face as Christians are actually battles that are spiritual in nature?  The Bible tells us so:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

Furthermore, the Bible also shows us that sometimes the answer to our prayer is delayed not because God hasn’t heard our prayer yet or hasn’t responded yet.  The devil and his legion of demons are hard at work to keep us from receiving the answer to our prayer!  The following verse, which was taken from the book of Daniel, explains this (in this verse, it was an angel of God speaking to Daniel):

Then he continued, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.  But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.’  (Daniel 10:12-13)

The angel of God revealed that resistance from the enemy and his forces can cause the delay to the answer to our prayer.  Therefore, just as the angel fought the enemy, so must we also storm the gates of hell through prayer.  And just as the angel received help from Michael, so must we also seek support from fellow Believers in forcefully taking what’s rightfully ours!

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matt. 18:19)


Fellow Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, I hope now you have a better understanding of what makes a prayer powerful and effective!  I hope that this bit of information helps you in finally being able to say a prayer that moves mountains!

If you have any prayer requests, please don’t hesitate to post it in the comment section and I will join you in storming the gates of hell for it.  Likewise, I would appreciate your prayers for my family and me. :)

Thank y’all and God bless!




About The Author: Myla “MyMy” Upshaw

Myla “MyMy” Upshaw is a stay-at-home mom who prides herself on her status as a Filipino Christian wife and mother and “domestic goddess”. She blogs about popular subjects for stay-at-home moms such as fashion, family, beauty, relationships, entrepreneurialism (“mompreneur”), movies, self-improvement, health & wellness as well as about her faith as a follower of Christ.

To learn more about Myla Upshaw, please click here:



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