2 chronicles 7:14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Very few of the 5 billion people on this planet will ever maximize the full potential that God has placed inside them. Most people live mediocre lives. The full extent of their capabilities and talents go untapped. They are not even aware of the tremendous potential they possess. What is “potential”? It is your unused strengths. Your hidden talents. Your untapped abilities. Your capped or locked up capabilities. The definition for potential: The energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others.
If you decide that you do want to release your potential, the next step is to understand the principles God has established for unlocking potential.
keys to unlocking potential: potential is released through intentional and purposeful prayer.
1.Everything starts with prayer. Simply, prayer is talking with God. We pray when we open our heart to the Almighty. As simple as this is, it is also something people need to hear. Too many people feel that prayer is a certain sound or spoken VERY loudly. Others feel prayer is something that takes place in a certain place or with a certain posture. But none of those things are requirements for true prayer. In fact, you can sound holy and not be doing anything other than talking to yourself or the ceiling.
True prayer is open, honest, humble, and personal. It is a matter of relationship and it can happen no other way.
2. Create a culture or lifestyle of prayer. Conversation is a part of any vital and growing relationship. We sometimes measure the quality of a marriage relationship by how well the couples communicates. Or to state it another way, one of the first things people point to as evidence that a marriage is in trouble is a lack of communication.
If you do not have a desire to pray, then you do not have a desire for a meaningful relationship. The same is true for our relationship with the Father. True, honest, heartfelt conversation is a sign of a healthy relationship. A lack of conversation, or conversation only in public is a sign of a relationship in trouble.
It is through the prayer life of a committed, devoted servant that God can bring out the strength and power that He wants to demonstrate in the Child of God.
3. Listening is part of prayer. Paul’s commands to pray always or said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing.” Obviously, it cannot mean we are to be in a head-bowed, eyes-closed posture all day long. Paul is not referring to non-stop talking, but rather an attitude of God-consciousness and God-surrender that we carry with us all the time. Every waking moment is to be lived in an awareness that God is with us and that He is actively involved and engaged in our thoughts and actions. The Greek is, “Pray without intermission”; without allowing prayerless gaps to intervene between the times of prayer.
When we are in a state of continual conscience prayer we can then hear God respond and speak to us so that we can know and hear His heart. If prayer is to be a conversation with the Almighty then we have to allow time for God to speak to us, otherwise we are giving a lecture to God informing Him of everything we have already decide needs to be done and the prayer is more information for God rather than guidance from God. In fact, it is far more important what God says to you than what you said to God.
4. Repentance is essential for effective prayer. Prayer changes us. Prayer doesn’t change God, Prayer doesn’t change things, Prayer doesn’t change circumstances, Prayer changes us. Our prayers often reflect the statement, “Everyone thinks of changing humanity, but no one thinks of changing themselves.” Real prayer changes us. Repentance is the turning from our ways and into Gods ways.
Real prayer is not only soul satisfying; it is life changing. When you and I spend time with Jesus, he changes us. “To pray is to change. Prayer is the central avenue God uses to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, we will abandon prayer as a noticeable characteristic of our lives. The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need and the more we desire to be conformed to Christ.” The transformation that Christ provides is more of a “turn-formation”, turning from our evil ways.
Don’t pray unless you want to change. Prayer propels us into action. Prayer advances God’s kingdom. Pray ignites a church to move outside its walls.
5. Obeying the voice that comes through prayer. Prayer unleashes the power of God and two characteristics dominated the apostle’s prayer meetings: God presence and God’s power. Is it any wonder that the Evil One seeks valiantly to keep Christ followers from praying? When we don’t pray Satan has won the battle. But when we do pray, the presence and the power of God are unleashed.
For those disciples in Jerusalem they experienced the power of God in a very tangible and real way. “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken” (Acts 4:31).
The practice of prayer in a believer’s life is an incredible, virtually untapped power source. Prayer moves the hand of God. Prayer prevails. Prayer turns ordinary mortals into men and women of power with the potential of God at their disposal. It is the key that unlocks the storehouse of God’s riches. It is the call that moves heaven to act on behalf of earth. Seek after God’s potential He has placed in us through prayer!
Pastor Rob Beckett, Shepherdsville First Church of the Nazarene
Restoring the “Image of God” to the broken and hurting