Prayer + Purity = Power

In II Corinthians 4:7, the Apostle Paul speaks of “the surpassing greatness of the power” that is in the life of a Christian, even though in and of themselves they are merely an “earthen vessel.”  In other words, God manifests His power through our weaknesses so that only He will receive the glory.  (For more on this, see yesterday’s devotion here.)   But, one might counter, we do not see this in every Christian life. Perhaps you would even admit that people do not see it in YOU!  Why is this?

We need to understand that this manifestation of God’s power in our lives does not just “happen.”  It is the result of a couple of commitments in our lives:

The first commitment that will manifest God’s power in our lives is to prayer.  Jesus told His disiples in Acts 1:8 that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them — and consequently they retreated to a room where Acts 1:14 says they “were continually devoting themselves to prayer.”  The power in the Holy Spirit which they subequently experienced was a direct result of their commitment to concentrated prayer.  We see this repeatedly in Acts: when the disciples prayed, they were filled with the Spirit and with power.  If we would desire that same extraordinary kind of power, we must be committed to an extraordinary level of prayer.

Second, we must be committed to purity in our personal lives.  II Timothy 2:21 says “Therefore, if a man CLEANSES himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.” Paul even uses the same word “vessel” here as he does in II Corinthians 4:7. How can that “vessel” have a power beyond itself? It must be a holy vessel, cleansed from “these things” — the kinds of sin that Paul addressed in II Timothy 2.  Undoubtedly, the lack of power that characterizes many Christian lives today is directly related to the lack of holiness in their personal lives.

The bottom line is that if we want to be kind of “vessels” that God manifests His great power through, we must be committed both to prayer, and to personal holiness.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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