And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
What is prayer? Prayer is a communion with God, an attitude of brokenness before the Eternal Living God. When we approach God in prayer, we are to be willing to lay all our burdens unto Him. The Prophet Isaiah put it this way;
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:6-8)
Our daily communion with God must be in “Truth and in Spirit”, by Faith, through Jesus Christ alone! John 4:24 confirms, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ” Hebrews 11:6 is our example of Faith, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We must believe HE IS, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because only through HIM are our prayers effective. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
For those who are struggling, and doubting because of unanswered prayers… effective prayers are those prayers made in God’s will, which is according to the model Jesus left us…
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:5-8)
In this prayer model is where Jesus teaches us the few primary things that makes God happy, and I can summarily call it; Pure Praise, Pure Worship and Pure Word. (See Matthew 6:9-13)
Like every effective prayer, Jesus Christ teaches us to; Acknowledge God in a personal relationship as “Our Father”, Give Him the Glory due Him through sincere worship as a Living God, to desire to be like Him, and expect to be where He is. Desire God’s will for us, by accepting it His way, and living it. Depend on His provision daily, this gives God the edge as a Living God who is active, not as a man-made idol, whereby power has been given to it by man. Release ourselves from bondage through forgiveness of those that offend us… for forgiveness is the test of pure love! And last but not least, allow the Holy Spirit through obedience (to Him) lead you into victory over sin, temptation, and the evil one.
Why ask/pray if God knows all things? Well, believe it or not, prayer was never intended to inform God of something He knows already. Asking is intended to strengthen our faith and dependence on God. Prayer changes us; our attitude towards our situations, reenforcing our confidence and reliance on God, our maker. Through prayer, we are invited to partake in God’s creation, ‘Our Calling’. Prayer enacts our authority as joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Matthew 7:7 put it this way, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”
When prayers are reduced to techniques and formula as a means to manipulate God…along comes Idolatry! Combining the name of a Holy God and other pagan gods..! You can not serve two masters! This is why today’s churches have turned into occults. This not only insults God presence, but quenches the Holy Spirit. When prayers are made out of bad intentions; greed, envy, anger…James 4:3 put it this way, “When yo ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
By Pastor Peter Okereke Jr
The Living Word Ministries
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