PRAYER IS THE KEY
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16b NIV).
Over the years, there’ve been many questions about prayer. Among them is, “If God is omniscient (all knowing) and loving, why do we have to tell him what we need”? The truth is, even though God knows everything about us including our needs, he still wants us to tell him. This means prayer is just talking to God – our communication link with the divine. It should be noted that, Christians are not the only faith group that prays; every religion has their own way of praying to their god as well.
Throughout history, God has always communicated with man, most often through prayer. For example, King Jehoshaphat called the nation of Judah to fast and pray when he heard that some nations were coming to attack him and his people. As they were praying, the Spirit of God spoke through Jehaziel to allay the fears of the king and his people when he said; “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV).
Prayer therefore enables mankind, especially, Christians to seek help from God who is more powerful than any human being. If so, then we need to pray according to God ‘s own terms. Here are some few examples:
We need to be holy as God is. Because God is a holy God, we cannot live anyhow and go to him to bless us. James, the brother of Jesus learnt this secret hence his advice; The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16b NIV). In Psalm 66:18, the Psalmist said; If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Whenever there’s sin in our lives, it blocks and restricts the move of the Holy Spirit from flowing freely through us. The sin of Achan brought defeat to Israel (Joshua 7:1-26). The sin of King David brought humiliation to him; and therefore had to confess before God (Psalm 51).
In his writing to the Thessalonians, Paul said; Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV). Jesus told his disciples; “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV). These passages help us to realize that, prayer is more than mere talking to God. Prayer is work. We need to make it our habit to love praying, breathe praying and eat praying. We need to persevere in our prayer. Let’s remember how the Prince of Persia withstood the answer to Daniel’s prayer while he continued to pray for twenty-one days (Daniel 10). Pray until you have a breakthrough.
Timing is very important in prayer. Most often, some people would only pray when they have crisis in their lives. And this means, they’d rush God to do a miracle instantly to make their problem go away. We have to understand that, we cannot coerce God into doing what we want. He will only do what he knows is best and appropriate for us. This means, God has three ways of answering our prayers – a. Yes, b. No, and c. Wait.
A “Yes” answer refers to the prompt, positive reply we get to our prayers. The “No” answer is the prayers we don’t get answers to, no matter how long and hard we pray. The “Wait” answer is the prayers that take some time before we get positive outcome. However, a note of caution, sometimes as it happened in Daniel’s case, God might have given us a positive reply; but Satan and his demons can block the answer. Let’s take a lesson from Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane when he said; “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39 NIV).
Looking at all the problems around us today, be they political, social, financial or family, if there was ever a time that the people of God prayed, it’s now. For I strongly believe that though as we try to use our human capabilities to solve these problems, prayer should not be left out. James 5:17 says; Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. The God who heard the prayers of Elijah, will also hear us today.
Rev. Dr. & Rev. (Mrs.) Charles & Faustina Mantey
- My second book titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives has been released. You may order your copy from Amazon.com or through the Publisher @ www.shidaanikei.com.
- The first book titled: African Spirituality: Did Africans know God before the arrival of the Missionaries? Could also be purchase on Amazon and shidaanikei.com as well.
- We will be grateful if you are able to support us financially to continue with our orphanage and church planting programs in Africa. You may send your donations by mail or through our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurhch.org and click on the donation page.
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Disciples Revival Church
30 Gordon Mackay Road
Toronto, Ontario M9N 2V6. Canada
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