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The Power of Prayer

Devotions

Not many Christians have heard of Emma Dryer. In the late 1800s, Dryer left her successful career as an educator to join evangelist D. L. Moody in Chicago. For over a decade she helped begin a training school called the Chicago Evangelization Society, today called Moody Bible Institute. D. L. Moody described Dryer as “the best teacher of the Word of God in the United States.” Biographers note that the power behind Emma Dryer’s life was her devotion to prayer. Dryer was a devoted prayer warrior!

The power and nature of prayer is shown in today’s passage. Jesus taught His disciples that when they pray, they should avoid the outlandish and gaudy prayers which were common practices of the day (v. 5). Jesus encouraged His disciples to find a secluded space and speak directly to the Father (v. 6a). This approach allowed those who prayed to be open, authentic, and humble as opposed to fake or full of pride. Jesus taught that a quiet prayer would be rewarded (v. 6b).

Jesus then gave His disciples what we call The Lord’s Prayer. This template shows us how to pray (vv. 9–13). We address the Lord as Our Father. In Romans 8:15, we are told that as the adopted children of God, we can cry out “Abba Father”—an intimate way of addressing God, much as a child will call out for Daddy. This is followed by recognizing that we serve the God Almighty who resides in heaven. His name is holy (v. 9).

Jesus concludes by outlining three portions of prayer: give us, forgive us, and lead us. This approach and template is one Emma Dryer also adopted. The Lord used her prayers and life to impact the world with the Word of God and the powerful message of Jesus Christ.

>> Even though it may take years to see an answer, you can be assured that your prayers are being heard. Let’s pray to the Lord in a reverent and humble manner: “Holy Father, Give us. Forgive us. Lead us.”

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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