New Hope Church of Carlisle, Pa

Plug Into The Power of Prayer

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Why Did God Answer Hannah’s Prayer?


“Hannah was a faithful woman of God, but she had cried out to God for a son for many years without success.

She presumed that she had failed to change God’s mind, but she did not understand what God was doing.

She lived during a critical time for Israel, so God needed a prophet to warn the nation.   He did not have permission to act, because there were no prophets and the priests were corrupt.

After several years, Hannah changed her prayers and cried out for a son who would be a man of God.   This was what God wanted, so her prayers were answered immediately.

Samuel was born a year later and went on to be a great prophet during a pivotal time in Israel’s history.   This pattern is repeated throughout the scriptures.

Before God acts in a powerful way, faithful people will be praying and giving him permission to act.” – Ron Mckenzie

I remember vividly when I prayed for Dick years ago— I begged God to save him so he wouldn’t embarrass the family any longer, that he would be a better husband and father but God seemed silent. Why wasn’t he answering my prayer?

Then like Hannah I changed my prayers and ask God to save him for His honor and glory and use him for His purposes and within a couple of weeks Dick surrendered his life to Christ. That’s what God was waiting for all along.

What’s your motive for praying— maybe you need to change your prayers.

“We do not need hundreds of people praying to persuade God.   We just need two or three people who agree with what God wants to do.”







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5 Prayer Quotes


“One core focus of worship-based prayer is the commitment to always start our prayers from the Word of God. This is the key to abiding.” -Daniel Henderson

“The time a Christian gives to prayer and communion with God is not meant for his natural life, but to nourish the life of the Son of God in him.” – Oswald Chambers

“God gets no glory from unanswered prayer.” -David Ireland

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther
“The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You’ll feel more patient and less pressured.” ― Rick Warren

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4 Potenial Pitfalls Of Prayer

4 Potential Pitfalls Of Prayer

What’s your motivations for prayer?

Over the years I’ve had my own struggles with prayer. Four pitfalls I’ve encountered are.

  • Guilt
  • Approval
  • Church growth
  • Revival

I have a passion for research— on just about anything that sparks my attention but the one that keeps me coming back time and again is prayer. I have a large library of books on all kinds of subjects but the biggest section is books about prayer I’ve collected over the years.

Of all the books I have on prayer the ones that have meant the most to me are the ones that keep saying, “The only enduring motive for prayer is that God is worthy to be sought.”

So let’s go back to motivations for prayer and the four potential pitfalls that can hinder prayer. I’ve experience all of these at one time or another. Can you identify?

  • Guilt – This is when we believe that if I do not pray, God does not accept me. We can even do that in other relationships as well. Have you ever felt guilty if you didn’t spend time with another person because you felt they would not accept you if you didn’t? We can carry that motive over to our relationship with God as well.
  • Approval – This happens when we believe that if I do pray, I will be accepted more by other Christians. The Pharisees had this glaring flaw. Like the Pharisees— we try to make sure others know we are praying, like one person says, “this is the wrong approach for the wrong audience.” 
  • Church growth – I learned this from Peter Lord. He asked a group of students: “If God promised you two things: (1) You would go to heaven when you die, and (2) He will never use you in the ministry again—would you still pray?” That caught my attention and touched my inner being because I knew my personal tendency to pray was so that God would use me—for me. Then to finish Peter Lord said, “God will not reduce something as pure as prayer to my  next ego-driven church-growth tactic.” WOW! That was an eye opener.
  • Revival – Like someone said once, “We believe that God will bring revival if we will just “work Him” enough through prayer. This motive for prayer made me think twice about the reason I was praying for revival. How about you?

These are 4 potential pitfalls of prayer we can avoid if we remember “that the only enduring motive for prayer is that God is worthy to be sought.”

I call this a worship-based motivation because God is worthy to be sought whether we feel like it or not— whether our prayer time is dull or energized.

Our number one motivation for prayer is God is worthy.






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Pt. 4 A REVIVAL OF PRAYER by Jessie Penn-Lewis



If we turn again to the Church at Pentecost, and to the Apostles’ attitude to prayer, we shall see how to them prayer was a work.

There came trouble to that Spirit-filled Church, and in the midst of it the Apostle said: “we will give ourselves to” putting this matter straight? No. But “we will give ourselves to PRAYER, and to the ministry of the Word”.

The early Church knew how to pray. They knew how to open the prison doors for Peter. They did not go with a petition to Herod, but betook themselves to “instant and earnest prayer”.

That was praying that “worked” just as effectively as with Elijah and Moses. Here are the Apostles – men baptised with the Holy Ghost – saying, “we will give ourselves to prayer”. Is this the order of “work” in our lives?

We are responsible for the things over which we have not prayed. We think too often that “prayer” means half-an-hour in the morning, special risings, hours, places – even prayer-meetings where half the people go to get right with God, or go mainly for their own personal needs.

Would Elijah have had that mighty, effective prayer, if he had all the time to be going to as “prayer” simply for his own personal growth? No wonder we do not understand that prayer is a work, and that every prayer should accomplish something.

We have seen the work of prayer by Elijah for a whole country, and the work of prayer in Moses for the chosen nation; now let us take the example of Paul in his work of prayer for the Churches, and individual believers.

First, see how Paul himself craved the prayers of the saints he addressed, although he was a man baptised with the Holy Ghost. He knew God, and yet almost with tears he pleads that God’s children should join him in his intercessory life, and share with him in his service and conflict.

Have we not left the pulpit unprotected by prayer? How much do you pray for your minister?

How much have you prayed for the man in the pulpit, side-tracked by the doctrines of demons of to-day?

We are responsible even for the things we grieve over in the Church, because we have not watched unto prayer.

It has not dawned upon many of us that we must pray for all saints, and all God’s people; and that specially every man in an exposed position should be the subject of our persistent prayer.

Pt. 1. A Revival of Prayer
Pt. 2. Binding and Loosing
Pt. 3. Lifted Hands of Moses

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Pt. 3 A REVIVAL OF PRAYER NEEDED by Jessie Penn-Lewis

Pt. 3 A REVIVAL OF PRAYER NEEDED by Jessie Penn-Lewis

 “The prayers of the saints . . fire . . cast into the earth”(Rev.8v3-5)

“Ye have not, because ye ask not . .”( James 4 v2)


But in the same chapter we have another aspect of prayer altogether. Amalek came against Israel in an attack. Moses did not “cry” to the Lord then, for he knew what to do.

Taking the rod of God he would stand on the top of the hill, and lift up his hands (v 9-I5), whilst Joshua went to the valley to fight the foe. When Moses’ hands went down, Amalek prevailed, and when he kept them up Israel prevailed. What was Moses doing? Surely lifting his hands against the unseen foe at the back of Amalek attacking the people of God.

To understand this you must remember that the Bible says clearly that God dealt with all these nations in such judgment, because He had a war with the gods they worshiped.

All through the Scriptures we are shown that idolatry is demon worship (see especially I Cor. 10 v 19-20) . At the back of the gods of the Canaanites lay the satanic forces, as to-day in every land where idols are worshipped.

When the idolatrous heathen attacked Israel, Moses did not “cry” unto the Lord, but stood on the hillside, and lifted the rod representing the power of God against the supernatural powers behind Amalek (see Eph. 6 v 10).

Here then are two aspects of prayer illustrated in these incidents – the aspect of supplication, in Moses going to God, and pleading for the people, “Lord, give them water!” and the other of standing with God against the foe, when he took the attitude of uplifted hands.

In the former God shows him what to do to get water, but there is a change of attitude altogether when conflict comes. Then he sought the hillside, and lifted his hands.

We might say: “Moses, why don’t you go and fight in the valley?” But he would reply: “I am fighting – Joshua is dealing with flesh and blood down there, but I am dealing with something else up here.

I have the rod of God in my hand. And in that position of unbroken resistance, Moses had to remain until victory was complete. It was not such easy work as his work of supplications for it meant prolonged suffering until the victory was gained.

At the end of the chapter the key to Moses’ action is given in the words, “The Lord is my banner!” In lifting his hands with the rod of God, Moses was lifting a banner against the unseen foes.

It is a striking picture of the two aspects of the work of prayer.

In Elijah you see the binding and loosing power of his prayer for a whole land, and in Moses you see the “binding” of the enemy’s power, and the loosing of water for the needs of the Lord’s people.


Pt. 2 A REVIVAL OF PRAYER NEEDED (Binding and Loosing)