Last Friday I was in a time crunch. Essentially, I had 30 minutes to accomplish an hour’s worth of preparation. I had slept in, and because of that I had the time between class and work to get everything I needed to done. And that wasn’t a lot of time at all. I needed to shower, get ready, drive to Wesley, and walk the seven minutes or so it is from Wesley to Tate.

When I got home, I was dead set on doing all of these things; however, several things were working against my very limited supply of time—namely, the water pressure at my house. See, I live with 11 other guys—and if anyone somewhere else in the house is using any sort of water, my shower won’t work. Thankfully, I was able to finesse my way into the shower before anyone else, but when I went to actually shower there was water already being used somewhere.

In other words, I couldn’t shower, and I really needed to. So I did what any other respectable Wesley intern would do in such a time like this: I got on my knees and prayed for the water pressure to start working.

And God answered my prayer.

Honestly, out of all the prayers I could have had answered, this is one of the most bizarre prayers that could’ve been answered. But it doesn’t change the fact that God did answer the prayer. I use this example to show that our prayers have power. It’s kind of a mundane example—I don’t think anybody’s salvation would be at stake if I had shown up to the fundraising dinner with messy hair or smelly armpits. But I can also point to numerous examples of the prayers not being mundane and God still working in power.

God answers our prayers when we pray in alignment with His heart. As a child of God, we have access to His power, so long as our hearts are following His. He doesn’t just answer spoken prayers; He answers our wordless groans—the Holy Spirit hears these prayers and works through them. Through Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living inside us. Let me put it another way: we have that same world-changing power of God living inside us.

When we pray into things that God’s heart is for—healing, provision, identity, or whatever else you can think of—God honors those prayers. Jesus isn’t a genie in a bottle, but His heart is to provide for His children. John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me [Jesus], and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” When we pray, God listens; and when our prayers align with God’s heart, He moves. Sometimes those movements are spiritual, sometimes they’re physical, and sometimes they’re emotional. Sometimes those movements might just nudge a situation—but nudges can shift an unstoppable force from a path towards destruction to a path towards life abundant.

Prayers can move mountains (Mark 11:23-24). They can heal (Acts 3). They can inform you of things which you’d have never known otherwise (Acts 2). And they can save (Joel 2:32). “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:13-16). Jesus demonstrates His desire for us to pray so many times (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Matthew 7:7-11, Luke 6:27-28). When we are empowered by the Holy Spirit, move in alignment with God’s heart, and pray with faith, there is nothing keeping us from the abundance of life God has promised us. So pray. Pray with confidence, not in yourself—but in the God who makes all things possible and listens.

Lord, I pray that You would convict us all of the power of prayer. Convict us of the gift you have given us through the active, continual presence of Holy Spirit in our lives. Resurrect our dry bones and make us more whole in the power of Your name—and God…show us the ways You listen to our pleas. Show us your caring kindness towards us and all our earthly woes.

And thank you.

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Author | Alex Hinton