What is Prayer? What is the Power of Prayer?

"What is prayer? What is the Power of Prayer" is © 2010 George Hartwell, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada  George Hartwell M.Sc. is a Christian counselor with a masters degree from the University of Calgary, 40 years experience integrating prayer therapy into his professional counseling practice.   To learn all About George or his professional practice see: George's Professional web site, Christian marriage counselling, Christian phone therapy, and Christian Marriage Retreats.  To e-mail George click on:

Listening-prayer home  unbiblical spiritual warfare  How to break a curse   Protection prayers - How to pray for protection    How to pray for forgiveness of Sin  

What is Prayer? 

Prayer is making use of spiritual principles to accomplish earthly good.

What is Listening Prayer? 

Listening prayer tries to tune in to God's word and wisdom before speaking so that the person praying can be speaking the oracles of God.  This means that listening prayer is, under certain conditions, prophetic prayer.  Our mouth is speaking God's Word.  The person who practices listening as a part of prayer is loving God.  We submit to God when we listen before we pray.  We use our inner or spiritual ears to listen before we speak.

Listening prayer gives God the chance to speak first.

What is effective prayer?

What is effective prayer?  I am interested in effective prayer - prayer that accomplishes things in people's lives, for example Protection Prayers, Prayers for Healing.   Understanding and applying the power of prayer sometimes means the difference between prosperity and poverty, health and sickness.

Who needs to understand how to pray?

Do you want to be in God's army?  Then you need to listen to the General for your orders.

Do you want to protect your health, finances?  Then you want God to be your Provider and Protector.

Do you need protection from "workers of evil?"  Then you want to know how to block and break curses.  

What motivates Prayer? 

Love motivates godly prayer.  Hate, jealousy and envy often motivate curses.  A curse intends harm; a Christian prayer intends blessing.  Those working for the Kingdom of God need to be filled and motivated by love.  (Blessing means to have them increase in prosperity, happiness, peace, health, loving relationships and a full and abundant life; what the Chinese mean by 'good luck' and Jews mean by 'Shalom.')  See: How to Break a CurseWhat is a curse? 

Essentials of Prayer Power

The power of prayer involves heart and mind, word and vision, faith and wisdom.


FAITH:  The power of prayer requires faith which is more than words.  Faith becomes the power of prayer only when the words of one's mouth  match with thoughts and imaginations of one's heart.  To understand more about the Power of Prayer see: faith of the heart prayers and check out: head vs heart faith in prayer.

UNITY is another key to the power of prayer.  There is a unity of Right hemisphere and Left hemisphere, of nonverbal processing and verbal processing.  Engage the Right hemisphere by using picture, drama, music or dance when you pray.  Also, choose concrete over abstract words.  Paint a picture to build faith.  An example of this is in the language God uses to speak to Noah as he blesses him in Genesis Chapter 9 and Abram in Genesis Chapter 12:1-4, Genesis 13:14-17.  Note how God says to Abraham "I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if man can count the dust of the earth, then shall your descendants also will be blessed."

AGREEMENT with another gives power to prayer.  God is the most important one to be in unity with, to agree with.  There are two ways this can work.  First Option, no matter what you ask for God will agree with you.  Second Option, you agree with God by discerning, first, what is God's will.  This requires listening prayer.

Blocks to Christian Prayer - things to avoid

WITCHCRAFT PRAYER uses prayer to control God.  Rebellion is as witchcraft.  One rebels against God by not listening and not responding.  It is rebellion to prayer and expect God to agree with you without consulting God.  If my thinking on this is correct much of what we call prayer is witchcraft prayer.  Without using the gifts of the Spirit, without listening, without seeking God for the appropriate Biblical promise we pray. 

[It is important that we learn about faith from the 'Faith Movement.'  However,  the Faith Movement got into serious rebellion when they started believing that they could actually "write their ticket with God."  That is pride and control.  We need the humility to do listening prayerListening prayer knows that God is God.  God initiates; we listen.  Then we pray God's word.  Faith cooperates with God; does not control God.]  Do not use prayer to control God.

In the second option God is in control.  This website - www.listening-prayer.com - is committed deeply and radically to the second option. God is in control.  We listen for His voice.  (See: How to do listening prayer)  We pray - like prophets - in agreement with His voice.  Because hearing God's voice - His living word - brings faith, listening prayer involves faith of the heart.  Jesus always looked for faith.  It is Jesus who said: 'as you have believed, so let it be done for you.' Matthew 7:13.

Prayer in My Name.  ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive.’ John 16:23.  To act in the name of anyone is often to act by his authority, and in the exercise of his power.  An ambassador has great authority to act in the name of the one who sent him.  Ambassadors acting in the name of their country must know and fully represent the will of the government in whose name he acts.  Through Listening Prayer we, the ambassador's of God's kingdom, refresh our understanding of God's will.  We tune in so that we may speak for God, in agreement with God, and, therefore, with the authority of God.

Effective Listening Prayer (vs Witchcraft Prayer) involves Love, Forgiveness and Compassion.  The power of the Kingdom of God is the spirit attitude of love, forgiveness and compassion.  In Matthew Jesus teaches the Lord's Prayer 'Our father who art in heaven, etc.' and then immediately (6:14,15) teaches on forgiveness from heaven being contingent on "if you forgive men their trespasses."  After teaching on faith in Mark 10 Jesus immediately teaches on forgiveness (10:25,26).

Why love? Why does faith work through love?  Perhaps it goes back to the Garden of Eden where love was represented by the Tree of Life and another attitude represented by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Living by good and evil we are able to judge and thus be 'like God.'  There is a (false) feeling of self-worth and power from judging others.  In forgiveness we let go of our right to judge and punish. Judging and punishing are too close to hate and bitterness and too far from the God of love.  God wants us to know that our prayers can only represent Him and be empowered by Him if we let go of all self-righteousness, evaluating and judging others.

As we look at the question "What is prayer?" we realize that Christian Prayer is driven by the same love and compassion that drove Jesus.  "When he saw the multitudes, he was moved by compassion for them." Matthew 9:36.  We will not feel that compassion until we give up judging and evaluating everyone, including ourselves, and start loving and blessing all we meet.  Then, and only then, will begin to feel God's heart of compassion and be moved by compassion, as Jesus was, and really practice Christian Prayer.