Matthew 21:22 KJV
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Every Saturday at my church, The Living Word Ministries, we hold a one hour plus service of prayer and deliverance. The testimonies that derive from this special service is astonishing! This is not like our regular Sunday service. We open our hearts to the Lord. We petition our deepest wants and needs for out ministry, our families, each other and ourselves. We fall to our knees and thank our Lord, Jesus Christ for blessing us, delivering us, providing for us, protecting us, healing us, and anointing us. Now and forever, I testify, prayer works!
Many Christians find Christianity to be unfulfiling because they have not entered into this kind of relationship, where each day they experience the glorious adventure of seeing a living God at work, answering prayer, and giving to them things that they ask. It is all centered in prayer, because prayer is the most fundamental relational activity that a Christian can experience. Prayer is the expression of your dependence on a loving God, and the whole Christian life is to be characterized by a continuous attitude and spirit of prayer.
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:21-22) The word of God commands us as Christians, to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Look at the earmarks of true prayer in John; First, there is the spirit of prayer.
We have confidence before God (and the word is, literally, boldness); we have boldness before God. If you have boldness before someone, it implies that you are in a close relationship with that person, that you have a clear right to come before him or her. There is no fear of rebuke but a good understanding between you. Thus, to have confidence or boldness before God implies that you have a clear understanding of your right to come before Him.
Prayer is to grow out of such an understanding of the truth God has declared in His Word, that we have no questions about our right to come. We do not come on our own merit or position before Him, for we know that we have no such ground. We come on Christ’s merit. We come
in His name, and thus we can have boldness.
Prayer should be our first response to every fearful situation, every anxious thought, and every undesired task that God commands. He is waiting. God is a giving God; He delights to give. He wants you to run to the throne, not your phone. Your friends can not answer your prayers. He has all the resources of a superabundant universe from which to pour out to us.
A lack of prayer will cause us to depend on ourselves instead of depending on God. Continual, persistent, incessant prayer is an essential part of Christian living and flows out of humility and dependence on God. As Christians, prayer should be like breathing. Unfortunately, many believers hold their “spiritual breath” for long periods, thinking brief moments with God are sufficient to allow them to survive. But such restricting of their spiritual intake is caused by sinful desires. The fact is that every believer must be continually in the presence of God, constantly breathing in His truths, to be fully functional.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love with that special someone? Although impossible to be with that person every moment of every day, they are still on our mind, day and night. Thoughts of this person pervade our entire life, even when they are not around. We find our mind drifting even while we are at work, wondering what they are doing at any moment. We imagine what our next moments together will be like. We dream of ways to surprise them or make them happy, and we can’t wait to see them again and make them smile. We store up in our mind all the things we will tell them when we see them, and can’t wait to hear what they were up to while we were apart. When we have joy, we wish they were there to share it, and when we have difficulty, we wish they were there to help us through. It seems like they are all we can think about.
Hold this picture of just how much that person occupied your attention. It was as if we carried that person with us everywhere we went, keeping them in our thoughts with every passing moment. They were all we wanted and all we desired. Everything else that happened in our life was just a distraction, keeping us from what we really wanted.
We cannot pray every second of every day any more than we could have been with that person every moment. But we are to love Jesus Christ so much that we carry Him with us wherever we go, just as we did with our first love. In the bible, Paul does not talk about prayer as an action; He is talking about it as an attitude. It is an attitude that places Jesus above everything else in our life.
PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER is the answer! If we adopt an unceasing attitude of prayerfulness, our love for Christ and the joy we gain will eclipse anything we have ever known before. In Jesus name, Amen.
Scripture of the day: Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~ Colossians 4:2 NIV
From Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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