Apostle Paul said; “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor. 14:15).
Every blessed day is full of evil, but with prayer, one can adequately sail through, break through and break forth. Prayer is not a means of receiving things but a means of staying on top and being in command, and a channel of empowerment. It should be noted that righteous living is vital to a victorious prayer.
However spiritually sound or knowledgeable one could be, it demands that one should be righteous. ‘Confess your trespasses one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much’ (James 5:16).
Forgiveness of sin from God to man and man to our fellow human beings is paramount and crucial to the answering of our prayers. This, Jesus, displayed when some people came to Him, rather than saying, ‘You are healed’, He said, ‘Your sins are forgiven’.
I would like to draw your attention to two important things in prayer amongst the three that are being used by people today.
Spirit: Apostle Paul said, “But God has revealed them unto us by his spirit…which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor.2:10-16).
Whoever is devoid of the spirit of God prays amicably, for he cannot know how to pray effectively. When prayers are said today, believers go off the biblical context of prayers to pray, and all appears like drama on the long-run, without bearing it in mind that the essence of prayer is that it should be answered.
Paul said: “Likewise the spirit also helps in our weakness. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning’s which cannot be uttered…He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom.8:26-28).
Understanding: When prayer becomes methodical, procedural and stereotyped, it loses its true meaning. Jesus outlined the manner of prayer to His disciples at their request. So he said to them, “When you pray, say: Our father in heaven, Hallowed be your name…” (Matt.6:9, Lk.11:1). Apostle Paul said: “What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Cor.14-15).
When prayers are said without understanding it is done amiss. They are not meaningful when they are too superficial and without content. As much as we Christians pray as Christ’s followers, so also do people of other pedigree and religious affiliations. Before the time of Jesus, no Judge, Prophet or King orchestrated a perfect prayer pattern like Jesus.
In prayer, some tools are potent and will always spark up to ignite the journey of a prayer to God. Such tools can only be discussed in an atmosphere of people with a deep sense of understanding so as to be able to comprehend the discussion because knowledge is shown by action and not by mere words.
There are many situations where we lend credence to fasting and vigils only, taking them as the most important tools for a victorious prayer, but I submit that they are not. Some ‘sacrifices’ could trigger the effect of prayers and the result would be mind-blowing and mind-boggling. The following tools are necessary for those believers that are wise (Matt.25:1-12).
‘When praises ascend miracles abound’. This could come through praise and offering of thanks to God (thanks-offering). Rather than praise-sing mere mortals which are a conundrum in the church today even during thanks-offering, it should be to God alone (Ps. 95:1-2). Such practices will only invoke God’s wrath upon those who indulge in it and you are therefore responsible for your own misfortune. God should be the centre-point in our praise. (Ps. 50:14-23, Ps. 145)
Without any equivocation whoever does not tithe is cursed. ‘You are cursed with a curse for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this’ (Mal.3:9-10).
This, Abraham did to Melchisedec the Prince of peace. He instituted tithing and thus became a principle of blessing until this day (Gen.14:18-20). Whoever goes against tithing goes against blessing.
Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbor as thyself’. Love entails forbearing and forgiving. He who does not forgive should not expect from God. One of the promises God made at the dedication of the temple built by Solomon is that he will forgive us (2 Chr.7:14). Jesus also mentioned forgiveness of sin when He taught his disciples how to pray (Matt.6:12). He also demands that we forgive 70 x 7 times a day, meaning we should not hold grudges for whatever reason. The Bible says, ‘Love covers a multitude of sins’. Your prayers will only be answered when you conform with the song.
‘Gbogbo yin e po ninu ife,
pelu isesi t’ododo,
e ma gbadura nigbagbogbo,
emi o si wa pelu yin dopin’
(CCC Hymn 539)
This perspective is so crucial in prayer. Many pray but do not wait. Hope is never in the now (present), it is about the future. When you hope, you learn to wait. ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak, and not lie, though it tarries, wait for it: because it will surely come, it will not tarry’ (Habakkuk 2:3).
Abraham the father of faith believed by waiting and it was imputed unto him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. (See James 2:23, Rom.8:24-25, Heb.11:8-10, 17-19, Hymn 406:2). Simeon, another fulfilled man in Jerusalem whose background was not detailed in biblical writings, blessed God after the promises of God such as touching him had come to pass (Luke 2:25-35).
Since the life of a man is like a weaver’s shuttle (Job 7:6), if he has nothing to hope in, he strays away. It is hope in Him that keeps us in animated affinity till His promises and covenant come to fruition. Hope is crucial to prayer. Paul speaks, ‘Hope does not disappoint’ (Rom.5:5-NKJV.
It is the hand of the LORD that works in our situations and not our might. May the saving strength of His right hand deliver us in all challenging situations (AMEN).
No believer of this present precarious dispensation can attain any height or boast of any achievement save through prayer. I do not underestimate several thousand /millions of people out there who cut corners, but the truth of the aphorism is that no believer can soar like the Eagle without being fervent in prayer. Prayer is not as important as doing it with understanding and a few highlights were made in the previous class.
The concluding part of the points on ‘Understanding’, which will be one of the things needed in prayer will be addressed here.
It must be noted here that the day the word of God is lost in you, you are lost in the world. It was Solomon that said, ‘Hope differeth maketh the heart sick’ (Prov.13:12). It is on this that so many people dwell today, but Apostle Paul being more insightful and spirit-driven had a better grasp of it.
Faith: The spiritual buoyancy of faith is dependent on what you cannot see. It is faith that gives substance to Hope. Hope is the wife which delivers ‘in time’. Everything about God as regards promises is in time.
Sarah was promised a child according to ‘the time of life’. The subject of faith does not agree with the secular slogan, ‘seeing is believing’. In the context of faith, it is the opposite. You believe, then you see. Abraham had believed before his hope, and through faith gave birth. Paul said, ‘For the earnest expectation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God’ (Rom.8:19).
‘Baba mi olorun mi,
mo f’irele sunmo o…
Mo fi igbagbo beere,
ogo nla l’atorun wa,
Igbagbo ti ko mikan,
ti ko je siyemeji.’
‘The just shall live by faith’ (Hab.2:4).
Violent Sacrifice for God
- To break ahead
- To breakthrough
Here are a few steps that he took.
- David and his mighty men, he had control over his strength. (2 Sam. 23:13-18)
- David and Saul. (Prov.24:10, 1 Sam.24:1-22)
Liturgical Observances, Rites, and Ceremonies
When the issue of prayer is being addressed from general to specific, it is relevant to say that this aspect is unlike all, considering some factors. They could best be described as mysterious, in that they may not agree with the observances in other religious and denominational aspects.
The secret thing belongs unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the works of this law’ (Deut.29:29).
Author: Olukorede Ogunmola
Blogger and Contributor for Celestialweekly.com
Celestial Church of Christ
Apata-Iye Circuit Hqtrs., NNPC Pipeline Rd.,
Apata, Ibadan. Oyo State.