Religion: Don’t forget the power of prayer

Mary McCaine was celebrating a birthday as we gathered in God's house to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Special prayers were requested for Don, Dot, Wayne and the Doug Christerson family. Steve Mason shared a praise. Doug Cory opened our service with prayer. The business meeting will be held Sunday, Jan. 29, at 6:30 p.m., and Bible study is Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m.

Rick Lett taught the adult Sunday school lesson, "Pick Up Your Mat," a study of John 5:5-16. We are reminded that Jesus is Lord over all creation and values all people. We, too, are to offer compassion to all people and celebrate the works of Jesus. Terry Lett taught children's Sunday school.

Linda Abercrombie shared a devotional, "The Power of a Single Prayer," and read Ephesians 6:18. Never underestimate your influence with God through the power of prayer. God can work powerfully through prayer if we will only pray.

Tyrel Lett asked God to bless the offering, and he and Mitchell Lett served as ushers. We were blessed with special music from Jerry Abercrombie about God's works and healing through prayer in "Unspoken Request." Susan Cory and Karen Gardner led the congregational hymns.

Joe Evans brought us God's message about prayer and the power of prayer, with scripture reading from James 4:2-3. He told us that the purpose of the early church and our purpose of church today is found in Acts 2:42, which says, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and prayers." He also read Acts 6:4, "But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word."

Joe said that the early Christians had much prayer. "Focusing on prayer was their secret. That is when we discover the fullness of power in our lives. Many Christians live today without knowing that power because they don't know the secret. It is to pray and surrender to the will of God and study God's word. God loves to answer prayers. He delights in answering our prayers. Today, churches and Christians spend so little time in prayer. Are we too busy to pray? Too busy for spiritual growth, conversions and baptisms? Prayer is a mighty weapon. The devil knows the power of prayer and is afraid of us calling upon God, the Almighty. Even Jesus left the crowds to go pray to the Father. Prayer has the power to bring us to the true knowledge of our needs, weaknesses, sinfulness and selfishness and shows us who we truly are."

Joe told us that if we pray to God, He will reveal to us who we are and humble ourselves to Him and begin emptying ourselves of our own selfish wants.

"We have a choice. We can live for the things of man or we can take up the cross and live for God. We can then make godly decisions and make room for the incoming power of God. Why is the world like it is? Because people live for themselves, not God. They live for the things of man. It's all about what they want instead of God's will. When we channel the things of this world through ourselves, it results in a mess. Instead, channel it through God, pray and ask what He desires for us: to worship, serve and praise Him. Prayer has the power to bring us to our true needs and cleanse our souls. When was the last time you prayed that your sin wouldn't have dominion over you?" Joe referred to the prayer of David in Psalm 19:12-13.

In closing, Joe told us that prayer, through the Holy Spirit, has the power to set us free from the power of sin, give us comfort and victory over temptation.

"It can uphold our steps. Life is a slippery slope. We can defeat temptation with prayer and we can meet every situation with the power of prayer. Prayer is one of the most precious things we have. It helps open our eyes to see God's wonders. Pray before you open and study God's word that He will have you to receive from it what He wants you to. God works in us and through us. He wants to hear from us. Do you have that sense of presence in your life? Pray with worship and thanksgiving. Every spiritual blessing we receive is an answer to a prayer from someone. Prayer promotes our spiritual growth and likeness to Christ. Close your eyes and look to the face of God in prayer. Prayer has the power to bring the fullness of God's power. Do you desire the power of God at work, home, church, school, community and your spiritual life? God desires to answer us if we pray. The church should be a house of prayer."

We invite you to worship with us Sunday mornings at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m., and worship service at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.