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.