The other day, I ran across the phrase Pray for Power. I’ve seen and heard the phrase several times before, but I this time, I decided to evaluate the phrase in light of Scripture — this entry is the result.
I could not recall reading in the Scripture where believers are instructed to pray for power. So, I did some research, and, sure enough, there is no place where Christians are told to pray for power… and upon reflection, there’s an excellent reason why it is so:
Christians have the Holy Spirit of God indwelling them (Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. – Rom 8:9). Furthermore, the Bible teaches, and orthodox Christianity has always believed, that God is a trinity, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit is fully God, just as Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh. We have God indwelling us! Among God’s many attributes is that of omnipotence (meaning that He is all-powerful). I think many of this think of this as an attribute of God “way up there” in heaven – but the Holy Spirit, indwelling us, is God, and is omnipotent, and we have that omnipotent power indwelling us. One cannot get more power than omnipotence, so it makes no sense at all to pray for power.
Yet, with all of that power, the Holy Spirit of God does not force us to do right; He allows us to choose to yield to Him and behave Godly, or we can choose to go our own way. It is all a matter of us yielding to the power within, rather than praying for (more) power. We have all we need; the question is: Does He have all of us?
The verse I commonly see cited regarding praying for power is Acts 1:8; however this verse says nothing about prayer; it says:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Nothing about praying for power – Jesus said that his disciples would receive power, and we know that they did, at Pentecost. But there is no hint that they prayed for power. Even if they did, we know that now the Holy Spirit indwells one at the point of salvation (see the discussion Paul had with the disciples of John in Acts 19).
Some verses about power:
- Power belongs to God (Matt 6:13)
- Jesus was given power (Matt 28:18; Matt 9:6)
- Jesus gave power to His disciples (Mark 3:15; Mark 6:7)
- God has given us the spirit of power (2 Tim 1:7)
So, let us not pray for power, but rather that we may yield to that Power that works in us (Eph 3:20)