Today I am tackling a simple but very complex subject, PRAYER. My scriptural reference is in the book of 1 Samual 1:10-16 (She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly—“No my lord , I am a woman oppressed in the spirit—I have poured out my soul before the Lord.”) This story is about effective prayer of a woman deprived off joy, a woman who had a great burden about her situation of childlessness. She had suffered mockery and taunt from her co-wife and others. Hannah was a social misfit. Childlessness can be a real issue even today in many cultures of the world. God heard her and granted her request, she got a son whom God used mightily in Israel.
Warm greetings in Jesus name!
Prayer is a big challenge, not only in our days, but the day of the Lord Jesus Christ as well. His disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). We know from scripture that only correct prayers receive positive response from God: God only answers prayers within His will. 1 John 5:14. It is quite possible to labor to pray but all in vain. James 4:3
The correct way to go about praying is to have a God instituted burden, not selfishly driven carnal desire; the burden propels the prayer to fervency levels, (James 5:16), unlike casual and emotionless prayer. Hannah had a burden and she prayed fervently. If anyone is truly disciples of Lord Jesus their will is orientated to the Lord’s will, (Phil 2:13), from which come the burdensome need that propels to prayer. The Holy Spirit helps in prayer. (Romans 8:26).
The Bible also tells us about persistence in prayer. But the question is when to stop asking God for an item. The Story of Hannah above gives us the answer to this puzzle. She got the assurance that God had answered her prayer even before the manifestation of pregnancy. (1Samue1:1). The Holy Spirit within us gives the assurance that the prayer has been answered by lifting the burden off our heart. At this point we do not need to ask God again in prayer but wait patiently while thanking Him for the answer though we do not yet see it.That is what the Bible calls faith in Hebrews 11:1.
But if we are not careful, the devil will sow a seed of doubt. Then we withdraw the burden back from God, and the weight returns signifying that we have withdrawn our burden from God, and are trying to manage it ourselves. In this case we waste time giving and withdrawing the burden from God. It happened to me in 1990. I had thoroughly prayed for my marriage’s financial needs and gotten the witness that it was all over; God assured me that He had answered it. Every step related to my marriage proceeded successfully; I experienced one miracle after the other. However, just one week prior to the wedding day, there was no tangible provision. I had only UGX 5,000(USD1,4) out of the total budget of UGX 500,000.The entire wedding committee resigned just 6 days before the D day, because I had only 1% of the overall budget. No one in my marriage committee was willing to share shame with me, so they quit.
I was left alone in a sinking boat; it was a very big mountain: No cakes, no bridal cars, no food, nothing! When I considered the waves, the way Apostle Peter did after attempting to walk on water, the burden returned, driving me back to fast and pray.
Monday, the second day of the wedding week, I was at it again fasting. God literally chased me from the closet where I had locked myself: There came unmistakably audible voice from the Lord in heart saying, “Get up, and go. I have already answered you.” Really? On a Monday and the wedding is on the following Saturday, when you only have 1% of the total budget! But that makes God to be God. Yes, God is a God of the last minute, and thoroughly testing faith. We had an overlap of provision in less than 6 days. We had 2 bridals cars and three service vehicles, enough food,10 cakes etc. All happened within 5 days and without any struggles or debts. 90% came from non-believers and from totally unexpected sources. The means and channels through which answer come is God’s exclusive right.
Another aspect of prayer which has been grossly abused is fasting. Many people think that fasting solicits God’s sympathy and therefore a means to arm-twist God to follow in any direction. This manipulative approach is not biblical. The essence of fasting is humbling before God, consider ones ways and repenting where needs be. It is a critical evaluation of ones conduct towards fellow man. (Isaiah 58:5-6). This is purification which is a prelude to divine authority, In the position of divine authority, the opposing forces such as demons, the flesh etc., are subdued and release of faith is realized. In other words fasting is demonstrating humility in repentance, which at the end releases divine authority and faith.
Lastly, there is also this misconception of altars and other specifically designated prayer places, such as a prayer mountain, prayer gardens etc. There is nothing sinful about having a specific and convenient place and time to pray. The Lord Jesus often met His father in prayer on the mountains at a specific time. The disciples had hours of prayer. But it wrong to believe that outside specific places and time God cannot listen or accept prayer. This is deception and religious bondage from the devil which is taking advantage of amatures in theology. Any believer in Jesus Christ who worships God in the Spirit can be praying anywhere and at anytime. (John 4:24, Roman14:5 and Collosians2;16-18) Amen!
Have a good week end.
Rev. Isaac Peter Oyako
Teaching Blog: https://revival-time-ministry.info/messages/
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