In Max Lucado's book, Before Amen, he reveals some events associated with prayer which both informs us, while at the same time challenges us to dig into some scripture descriptions we may have previously overlooked. He begins with Revelation 8:4-5:
"The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake."
If you consider yourself a praying person, I'm interested in knowing if you would ever think of your prayers being handled like this by an angel? While I do pray, I hadn't considered my prayers and the prayers of all of God's people, going up before God from an angel's hand. In my absence of consideration, I hadn't thought of all the noise, rumbles, lightning, and even an earthquake associated with the prayers of God's people being delivered to the Father.
It was after reading the above verses, several times, and trying to associate them with some of my own prayers, I was confronted with the same question which Max was asking, "What does a prayer look like?" Do you think an intercessory prayer looks any different than a prayer of thanksgiving?
After reading again that chapter from the book I settled in to remembering some of the things I have recently prayed about. I confess to you that even in a personal quiet time of prayer, I often feel there is a weakness in my prayers, probably because I stumble over words, wondering if I am expressing myself correctly, or perhaps my stuttering and stammering to find the right words, leaves God not understanding my prayerful desires.
I like Max's suggestion if something like that ever happens. He encourages his readers to keep praying. When you cannot sleep and the clock shows it's 2:00AM, go ahead and talk it over with God. He welcomes our struggles, our failures, our happy times along with the sad. Prayer is your means of communication to speak with him and listen for his answers. Think of the power, the flashes of lightning, the rumblings and the thunder. That's God!
Remember, the power in prayer doesn't come from the one praying, the real power comes from the One who hears, listens, and answers our prayers.