Daily Living and Prayer
Prayer is a privilege God has
given to His children. Unless one belongs to Him, he cannot understand the
value of prayer, nor obtain blessings therefrom. Hence, prayer is to those who
belong to the Lord an absolute necessity but an unattainable blessing to those
who do not.
Importance of Prayer
Prayer is communion between man
and God. Through prayers, we receive strength, help, comfort, and
understanding. Unfortunately, many believers are unable to obtain these in
their prayers. They have stumbled along the way and deviated to wrong paths.
Some, lacking vigilance, fearful and weak, have been devoured by the Devil.
They have all experienced spiritual rebirth hut failed to reach the blessed
end. The reasons for their fall may be many but all of which may be linked to
prayer or the lack of it. Lacking in prayer summarizes all the reasons for
failure. Having lost the strength of prayer, spirituality plunges and this
spiritual journey will inevitably end in failure.
Our Lord who was the Word
manifested in flesh set the perfect example by totally relying on prayer.
Before His ministry, He went into the wilderness and fasted and prayed for
forty days and nights to obtain strength to do the will of Cod. The Bible
records that Jesus regarded prayer as something indispensable in life. He was
praying at all times, for all things (Mk 1:35, Mt 14:23, Mk 6:46, Lk 11:1). He
often prayed for many hours or all through the night (Lk 6:12, 22:39-46). Thus,
he was able to overcome the Devil, perform great miracles, proclaim the gospel
of the kingdom of
Heaven, and finally
sacrifice Himself. The saints of old also accomplished great tasks through
prayers (Ac 13:3, 14:23). Many of the commandments and teachings of the Lord
indirectly tell us to be vigilant in prayers in order to triumph in all ways (1
Pet 4:7, 5:7-8, Mt 26:41).
The Effects of Prayer
Prayer is not ceremonial and
believers must not allow prayer to become a ritual. Prayer gives motivation and
comfort. One obtains joy and strength by it. It prayer brings neither
encouragement nor strength. it is only a ritual. God delights in those who
worship Him with a truthful heart (Jn 4 23). Regard less of the number of
services a believer attends or the good deeds done, if they were done ritually,
they were done not with a truthful heart. The Bible even tells us that there
will he some ‘workers’ whom the Lord does not know (Mt 7:22). Their hearts are
not linked to prayer, not knowing how to pray in the spirit, having not
communion at all with the Spirit and, hence, not belonging to the Lord (Rom
8:9). There are also some believers who, although they were reborn and had
communion with the Spirit of God, were unable to have living water flowing
continuously from them. Their spiritual hit’ ended due to suffocation. Prayer
is the breath of spiritual life; the source that keeps living water flowing. A
lack of prayer means an absence of communion with God. The result is weakness
and failure. Therefore, prayer is the key to a lively spirituality and strength
in daily living.
Criteria of the ‘Prayer’
The prayers of those who are
pleasing in the sight of the Lord are effective. The Bible records, “The
effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (Jas 5:16) because
‘the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their
prayers; but the face of the lord is against those who do evil” (1 Pet 3:12).
The utterings of evil-doers are unworthy of the lord’s ears (Is 59:1-2).
Prayers springing from lusts, for wrongful purposes, exhibiting self-righteousness
and hypocrisy shall be despised by the Lord (Jn 9:31, Jas 1:16, 17, 4:13, Mt
6:16). One who does not seek God whole-heartedly and pursue holiness (Heb
12:14) and is proud and unrepentant also will not find his prayers effective.
Praying with truth and faithfulness brings much fruit and edification, and by
it one finds favour with the Lord. On the other hand, one who does not place
high regard for prayers and does not want to seek to pray effectively, will
meet with failures and will not find the acceptance of God. Each and every
believer, hence, should strive to eliminate the barricades between himself and God, that his prayers may have results and be heard by the
Methods of Prayer
Since prayer is the pouring out of
our hearts before God, we ought to “be anxious for nothing, hut with
thanksgiving, let our requests he made known to God” (Phil 4:6). But it has to
be in accordance with the will of God. As long as God is glorified and we can
he edified, we can make requests to Him. We can pray in tongues or intelligible
words. Praying in tongues is uttering mysteries and although no one
understands, the one praying is able to obtain edification, strength, and
revelation (1 Cor 14:2. 4). Praying in intelligible words is praising (God,
giving thanks or making requests to God. It is good to pray in intelligible
words if the praying is not in vain repetitions or in lofty words which do not
spring from the heart. But it is even better to pray in tongues as the Spirit
gives utterance for we do not know how we ought to pray but the spirit makes
intercession for us.
While praying in tongues, one must
pray with understanding. One must pray for the church and other people as well.
We ought to strive for longer prayers. Do not merely kneel down as a ceremony
or get up before your heart is even at peace or even before any feelings are
evoked. How do such ceremonial prayers, void of truthfulness and zeal, bring
one to edification?
May the Lord move us to search our
hearts as we pray before the Lord. May each of us pull
down the barricade between man and God, clear the
obstacles blocking the progress of the Church. For the sake of the whole
Church, for the sake of our spiritual life, may the Lord help us to see our
imperfections in prayers, granting us zealous hearts to build ourselves up with