Bible Terms

Bible Term: Omnipotent

Omni, means “all,” while potent means “possessing strength, powerful, and having great control or authority.” Therefore, omnipotent means to have an unlimited, universal power and authority. God is omnipotent.

A synonym for omnipotent is almighty; the noun form of omnipotent is omnipotence.

In addition to being omnipotent, God is also omnipresent and omniscient.


God Answers Prayer

In my post, The Implications of Omnipotence, I noted that there is nothing that an all-powerful God can’t do, yet, not every prayer is answered — at least not the way we think it should be.

However, before we criticize God, consider:

  • Maybe our request is contrary to God’s nature, such as, asking him to harm another person.
  • Perhaps what we ask would require someone’s freewill to be superseded, such as, to make someone do something they don’t what to do.
  • What if God said “yes” to everything? (Consider the movie “Bruce Almighty” for a demonstration of how bad that would be.)
  • If God answered every prayer every time, immediately solving all our problems, getting us out of jams, and shielding us from the consequences of our actions, God would become our grant-a-wish-genie, literally spoiling us rotten.

When Jesus was teaching about prayer, he noted that even flawed parents know how to give good things to their children, so even more so, our heavenly father will give good things to his children.

  • Just as parents may wisely withhold some things for the long-term good of a child, God will do so, too.
  • Children need chance to learn, grow, and mature, sometimes through failure or disappointment, so too do we.
  • Doting and indulgent parents keep a child from maturing and becoming stable adult. God loves us too much to let that happen.

Sometimes, “No” is the best and most loving response.

However, when it’s in our best interest, there’s nothing God can’t and won’t do for us when we ask. That is his nature; he is omnipotent.

[Luke 11:13]


The Implications of Omnipotence

In my post “Omni God,” I mentioned that, among other things, God is “omnipotent.” This means that God possesses unlimited strength and has universal power and authority.

The word omnipotent occurs in Amplified Bible, but most translations use “almighty” instead, often in the form of a proper name, as in the Almighty, God Almighty, Lord God Almighty. Almighty means having absolute power or being all-powerful.

God is omnipotent, with unlimited power and authority, so there’s nothing that he can’t do — including no prayer that he can’t answer.

A related word is sovereign, which means to exercise supreme, permanent authority. God’s sovereignty is not so that he can be malevolent towards us, but to be benevolent. He does not want to withhold things from us, but to give things to us.

God is omnipotent and sovereign, able to answer prayer, so we can confidently ask with the expectation that he will answer (more on that in my next post).

David said, “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me.”
Jesus said, “Everyone who asks receives.”
John said, “We know that we have what we asked of him.”

God’s omnipotence and sovereignty reveals that he has the ability and desire to answer our prayers.

[Psalm 17:6, Luke 11:9-10, 1 John 5:14-15; also see “The Implications of Omniscience” and “The Implications of Omnipresence“]In my prior post, I made a couple of tweaks to the prayer of Jabez.  The original text reads:

Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”  And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”  So God granted him what he requested.

Consider my paraphrase:

Jabez was a man of honor and integrity, but his mother had nicknamed him “hemorrhoid’ and always called him a “pain in the butt,” because his birth was so painful.  And Jabez pleaded with God: “Bless me abundantly — so that I may bless others — and grant me much influence; keep me on the right track, so that I may do good things, and no longer be viewed as a pain in the butt!”  And God said “yes!” to his petition.

That’s what the prayer of Jabez means to me.

[1 Chronicles 4:9-10]


Omni God

There are three words that are commonly used to describe God; they all begin with “omni.”

Omnipresent: Present everywhere simultaneously

Omnipotent: Unlimited power or authority

Omniscient: Total knowledge; knowing everything

The prefix “omni” means all, so the three “omni” words that reveal God’s character and nature, succinctly tell us that

God is all present,
all powerful, and
all knowing.

God’s “omni” nature surely provides something us something to ponder.

(In some translations of the Bible, the word omnipotent is found in Revelation 19:6, but most versions use the word “almighty” instead.  Almighty, in referring to God’s character, occurs hundreds of times in the Bible.  The other two “omni” words are not directly found in the Bible, but are implied.  Omnipresent is described in Jeremiah 23:23-24 and Proverbs 15:3, among others, while  Omniscient is described in Matthew 6:32, Romans 8:27, 1 John 3:20 and others.)

[Also see “The Implications of Omnipresence,” “The Implications of Omniscience,” and “The Implications of Omnipotence” for more thoughts on this.]