top of page
  • Grace B-P Contributor

The Power of Prayer

By Rev Tan Eng Boo

Juvenile White-bellied Sea Eagle

In his Turning Point Daily Devotional, American evangelical Christian author David Jeremiah told the story of Burleigh Law, a missionary pilot in Congo, who

“was once trapped in a deadly sky by a storm that seemed to come from nowhere. Burleigh lost his bearings as thunderclouds surrounded him on every side. Here and there openings appeared in the clouds, and he kept turning his plane toward those openings, following little patches of blue like a needle through fabric. Finally he saw a little landing strip beneath him, and he landed with a sigh of relief.

“Suddenly a vehicle came racing up to his plane. A nurse ran to him, saying, 'I don't know where you came from, but I know you are an answer to our prayers.'

“A missionary couple had been isolated on this remote mission station. The roads were impassible and the bridges were out. The wife had become seriously ill with a high fever. Early that morning the Christians in the village had gathered in earnest prayer for help. God responded by arranging the storm clouds in the sky to direct Burleigh Law's little plane to that very spot of earth.

“If you're in trouble, pray. God's delight is to deliver us in His own way and time through the power of our prayers.” (Virginia Law, Appointment Congo [Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1966], pp. 20-21.)

The Power of Prayer: My Experience in India

Matthew 7:7  “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” 

I went through the “school” of prayer and witnessed the power of prayer when I was with Operation Mobilisation (OM) in India. I spent a year on board the OM ship, LOGOS, in 1974-75. I spent the first six months on the ship in charge of volunteers from different countries. One of the most important ministries on the ship was the overnight prayer time, every Friday, starting from 8.00pm to 8.00am the next day. Most OMers would be present for this prayer time. Many would stay on till the wee hours of the morning. It usually begins with confession, and then a time of worship (adoration) follows, and a time for petition and personal prayers. The prayer time was long because there were so many things to pray for. There were also many thanksgiving items as God manifested His power in many instances through the prayers of His saints.

Then I spent the next six months in India. It was a land-based ministry. Here was missions in its most difficult environment. Out of the six months I spent in India, my most experiential learning was over the three months when I lived in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Our team of five persons learned to trust and rely on God for His daily protection, safety, and provision of our everyday meals. There were some days when we had no money to buy food. We prayed! I am always amazed by the manner in which the Lord provided food for the team. This is only one of the many examples of the power of prayer.

Our team also had the privilege to work with an Indian evangelist, Jordan Khan. This man was in his early 60s, and he portrayed to us the power of prayer by waking up at 4.00 am to pray till 6.00 am. He reminded me of American author Edward McKendree Bounds (more prominently known as E.M. Bounds), “who dedicated the hours of 4.00 am to 7.00 am each morning to prayer, and it’s been said that no man could have made more melting appeals for lost souls and backslidden Christians than him.” ( Our team witnessed the salvation of many souls each time Evangelist Khan preached in a gospel meeting.

This experience I had in India has always stayed with me, reminding me of what it means to look to God and trust in His grace each day, and witness the power of God through prayer.

The Power of Prayer

Prayer is serious work and must be given a regular spot in our calendar. If you don’t prioritise time in prayer, don’t expect to have the power you need to live a fruitful life and ministry. Prayer is the power source of the Christian life. When we fail to pray, we fail to invite the power of God into our life and ministry. The church needs this power, through prayer. One of the most famous quotes by E.M. Bounds is:

“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new  organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use --men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not  flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men -- men of prayer.”

Yes, indeed, we need men of prayer! Grace church exists by the grace of God because, through the years, we have members and friends who prayed earnestly for this work. I am also grateful to members and regular worshippers who prayed for me. Recently, I heard that an elderly church member has been praying for me every day. What an encouragement indeed. Apart from prayer, we can do nothing.

Beloved Gracians, have you been praying for your church, her pastor, church leaders, and the various ministries?

I want to encourage you to make time to attend the church prayer meeting on Wednesday nights at 8.00pm via Zoom. Look at the church announcements and pray for upcoming events etc. Pray for one another, too.

Recommended book for your personal reading: Power Through Prayer: Bounds, E M




131 views0 comments


bottom of page