Praying in Light of God's Power

“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17

The prophet Jeremiah begins his prayer by acknowledging the omnipotence of God. He does this by looking to creation. Spend any time in nature and you will be quickly overwhelmed by its magnificence. Now contemplate the truth that everything we see (and don’t see) was conceived, formulated, designed, and manifested from nothing except the power of God through His Word.

From the inner workings of the cells in our bodies to the orbits of the moons around Jupiter, every detail was made through and by God’s power. This is the truth that has baffled scientists for ages: that out of nothing came everything. Apart the fact of God’s omnipotence, that is certainly perplexing.

When we begin our prayers by affirming and declaring God’s omnipotent nature, we are more likely to pray in accordance with the will of God. Understanding the omnipotence of God is what gives us confidence in our prayer and petitions, knowing that He is able to do all things in accordance with His will. The phrase “Nothing is too hard for you” is the same phrase the Lord used to describe himself in Genesis 18:14.

God reminds us of his power

When Sarah doubted God’s ability to give her a child, God’s response was to point out his own limitless power. We see this acknowledgment of power again at the end of the Book of Job. In his repentance, Job begins by humbling himself and saying, “I know that you can do all things…” (Job 42:2). Throughout Scripture we see a pattern of acknowledging and emphasizing God’s omnipotence, particularly in light of our own feebleness. When that happens, we can pray humbly yet confidently that the God of all power hears our prayers and cares for us as a loving Father.

However, it is also necessary to understand that although God is all-powerful, there are some things God cannot do. Titus 1:2 states that God “never lies.” Hebrews 6:18 states that “it is impossible for God to lie.” More generally, Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:13 that “[God] cannot deny himself.” That is, God is unable to act in a way that is contrary to His character or nature. Because He is perfect, any action against his nature would cause him to cease to be God.

Why bring this up? Because Jesus emphasized this principle when he was teaching his disciples how to pray. He began by acknowledging God’s nature (“Father in heaven, hallowed by your name”) and then prayed for God’s will (“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”). When we pray, we should first acknowledge God in his omnipotence. But we should also pray for and according to His will, understanding that in His righteous, infinite power, he will not take action against himself or his character. It is us who are to bring our hearts and minds into alignment with his will.

Take time now to pray. Spend the first few minutes of your prayer acknowledging the things that demonstrate the omnipotence of God.

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