The power of a single prayer is often underestimated, Pastor Mark Batterson of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., said during LiderVision, a Christian leadership conference for Hispanic pastors.
"God can do more in one day than we can accomplish in a thousand lifetimes. One day, God is going to show up and He's going to show off His power in our lives," said Batterson during his session on Friday.
Batterson also focused on NCC's testimony of how the congregation grew to a seven-campus, multi-site church soon after he began to witness the power of God through a consistent, single prayer.
He recounted how he and his wife began the church with 20 people during the 1996 snow blizzard that paralyzed the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area for days. For the next five years, he preached every weekend and prayed for growth. One day, God sent a Washington Post reporter their way, says Batterson.
"She interviewed me and said the article would appear in the religion section of the Washington Post, I was pretty excited about that," he said. "I picked up the paper one morning and looked for the Religion section and we weren't in there. I was so disappointed so I folded it and put it back on the newsstand and there we were on the front page of the Washington Post … When that article came out, our church doubled and the rest is history."
In his personal experience, Batterson says he has witnessed how "irregular things" happen on a constant basis when he prays regularly.
"The more I pray, the more coincidences happen and I don't believe they're coincidences, they're providences because there's a God that orders my footsteps and when I pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on me, look out!," Batterson said.
He also spoke on taking steps of faith in order to prompt God to "show up."
He gave the example of how his church did not have a drummer for years even though they prayed fervently for one. In an act of faith, Batterson purchased a drum set only to have a skilled drummer visit their church the following weekend.
"The kid walked into our service, military and clean cut. He played for the United States Marine Corps band. Now, we have a rule in our church; if you play an instrument for the President of the U.S., you can be in our worship band. God didn't send us a drummer, he sent us a rock star," Batterson said.
In the same manner, Batterson urged conference participants to embrace faith and step out of thier comfort zone in order for prayers to become reality.
"If you want God to do something, you've got to do something different; you've got to take that step of faith. Here's the challenge, we want God to reveal the second step before we take the first step because that doesn't require any faith. In fact, we wish the Lord 's Prayer said, 'Give us this year, our yearly bread' but He gives the one day and one step revelation."