What kind of man is this?

Pray to Godby Stan Mitchell

I am always slightly bemused when someone says, “I believe in the power of prayer.” At first blush that seems like a spiritually insightful thing to say. But when you think about it, this statement is inadequate.

The “power of prayer”? Prayer to whom? In Daniel’s day a decree was signed that commanded all the citizens of the Persian Empire to pray to the king (Daniel 6:7). Famously, Daniel continued to pray to the one true God three times a day and was thrown into the lions’ den.

Yet what a useless exercise praying to king Darius would have been anyway! Darius was no more a god than I am an Olympic figure skating champion! To pray to anyone or anything other than the God of the heavens and earth would be as useful as looking for snow in the Sahara, or an Ohio State fan in Tuscaloosa!

“To climb up, we need a ladder,” author Charles Hodge rightly declares, “but that is not enough. The ladder must lean upon the right wall (All Christians are Leaders, page 2). When Jesus calmed the winds and the waves with a word, those with him marveled: “What sort of man is this?” (Matthew 8:27, ESV).

What kind of man indeed!

Jesus is not the best of many options; he is the only option. We need to have faith in Jesus. We need to believe in the power of prayer … to Jesus, and to no one else.

Prop that ladder up against the rock of ages.

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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