Yesterday, I walked past my dad’s book shelf and glanced at the books he had. On the top row, a small book caught my eye. The Power of Positive Prayer by John Bisagno. Something inside me immediately told me that I should read this. I’ve been struggling this summer with my prayer life. My time talking to God is always short, and I feel like I never leave refreshed. Most of the time I feel like I’m just speaking to a wall. Yesterday, I spent the whole afternoon reading the old and breaking book (it’s a 1972 copy). After reading it, I can honestly say I have a new perspective on how I want to approach my conversations with God.
One of the biggest aspects that Bisagno spoke about is the importance of faith. He notes that believing God is just able to do something is not faith. Faith is believing He will do it. If we pray to God seeking an answer, but hold doubt in the back of our mind, He won’t answer. There are multiple stories in the bible where God said He did not do something because no one had faith Him. If I don’t believe God will soften my unbelieving friend’s heart and use me to minister to them, then He won’t. If I don’t believe God will answer my worried prayer, He won’t. When we harbor doubt, we are questioning God’s overall sovereignty. We have to believe that God already has an answer to our prayer before we even ask it. We need to pray big because God is big. Nothing is impossible for Him.
Bisagno also discussed how we should discern God’s will in our prayers. So often, we end our prayers with “If it be thy will.” That’s like the biggest cope out we can say. Its giving God a way out because we don’t want to feel silly if the outcome isn’t what we expected. God doesn’t need a way out. Once again, we show doubt and uncertainty in God’s power to answer. Our prayers should end in “Your will be done.” This says that we have faith that God is going to answer. He has a plan, regardless of if we expect the one we get. God’s will is also spoken throughout the bible. We know that it is always God’s will that we follow His commandments, and it is always His will to save the unsaved. Anytime we pray about those things, we should praying knowing that God’s will is to be done. We don’t have to question it.
I don’t know that I have the words to accurately express the way God spoke to me yesterday. I don’t know if my words can accurately summarize the principles John talked about in the book. But what I do know is that this book shed a new light on prayer for me. God used this book to speak me through what I have been struggling with. My prayer life has been lacking because I didn’t know how to pray. I have been going at it as a to do list of requests. I have doubted God’s power to actually answer.
Prayer is quite possibly the most powerful act of ministry we can offer. I need to pray with faith. I need to go to God boldly. I need to surrender myself to Him often. I need to pray like I truly believe prayer is powerful.