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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Power of Prayer

Patrick learned it the hard way.

Patrick (4)

But after I to Ireland came, I found
myself a slave, and pastured sheep around
the hills and meadows in the west. You can
imagine my despair, my sorrow, and
my loneliness, a boy of sixteen years.
My days were filled with toil, my nights with fears.
And so I turned to prayer to find relief
in God, although I had not made belief
my firm conviction as of yet. I prayed
throughout the day, and many times I stayed
awake, beseeching God to pity me.

 - Patrick, Confession

“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

 - Matthew 21.22

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

  - 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

We must never underestimate the power of prayer to accomplish the work of God.

Patrick was not a serious Christian before his captivity and enslavement in Ireland. But in that situation, he became so desperate—he mentions his despair, sorrow, and loneliness—that something in him told him to hope in God and to begin praying. He sought relief in prayer from the fears and uncertainty of his life. He had not yet come to full faith in the Lord, but enough of faith had been deposited in him that he did the only thing he knew: he prayed.

Prayer was the beginning of his deliverance. He continued in his Confession:

I found the love and fear of God to be
advancing in my soul; my faith began
to grow, and I began to understand
that God was working in my spirit.

Patrick found prayer to be so satisfying, comforting, and hope-engendering that he said he

would pray a hundred times each day, and by
the light of moon and stars, as often, too.

Prayer strengthened him not merely to endure his hardship but to find strength and delight in doing his work:

I found through prayer a pleasant means to do
my work without complaint or fear, and would
remain out on the mountain and in the woods
through snow or frost or rain. I rose to pray
before the morning light appeared each day,
and suffered no adversity, nor was
I sluggish in my work. It was because
the Spirit of the living God was in
me stirring, freeing me from fear and sin.

God was at work in Patrick, and through the power of prayer Patrick connected with the Lord’s Presence, strength, freedom, and joy.

These days we can’t imagine anyone praying like this—rising before dawn, praying throughout the work day, filling the vacant spaces of our schedule with prayer, experiencing the Spirit of God “stirring” within our soul because of the vibrancy and power of prayer.

Yet such prayer is available to us all. Jesus promised that prayer can make our faith a reality. The problem is not so much that we don’t know how to pray or don’t pray enough. The problem is our faith is so small that we don’t see God as our only hope, our great need, our comforting companion, and the sovereign ruler over all our circumstances. If our vision of God was even as clear and compelling as it was to Patrick, we would seek His Presence in prayer with greater zeal, consistency, fervor, and effects.

No wonder Paul calls us to pray without ceasing. The more we pray, the more we will connect with God and realize the fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore that can be known in His Presence (Ps. 16.11). There is more power in prayer than you or I have ever known or ever will know. It is the power that comes from being in the Presence of God. See God in His majesty, greatness, immensity, might, and grace. Then seek Him earnestly in prayer—again and again and again. He will grant you the greatest of all gifts and benefits.


For Reflection
1. How would you describe your prayer life at this time? Is there room for improvement?

2. What is one thing you could do to begin realizing more of the power of prayer?

Psalm 55.16-19 (Bread of Life: Break Thou the Bread of Life)
LORD, I will call on You, answer and save!
Noon, morning, evening too, my voice I raise.
Grant me Your peace, O LORD; answer my foes!
All who reject God’s Word He overthrows.

Give me joy in praying, Lord—the joy of Your Presence!—so that I…

Patrick’s Legacy

You can read more about the impact of Patrick’s ministry in our book, The Legacy of Patrick. Here you’ll learn how Patrick’s work has affected generations of Christians down to our own day. Order your copy by clicking here.

Support for Crosfigell comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

And please prayerfully consider supporting The Fellowship of Ailbe with your prayers and gifts. You can contribute online, via PayPal or Anedot, or by sending a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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