It’s unbelievable that many people don’t even know how to make the simplest prayers. When we talk of Prayer, people often see it as something that has to be done by only those who know how to do it. Some see it as a huge task, they see as a hard thing which takes or needs an expert to accomplish. The truth is that no one was born with it, we all need to learn it through the spirit of God. We can ask God to give us the gift of prayer.
Prayer is an age-long practice. It is not only Christians that pray – in fact, other religion have their mode of praying. In our world today, we still find many people who don’t pray as should. They wake up from sleep in the morning and go about their daily activities, others in this category may say just few words which sounds like a prayer and go their way.
WHAT IS PRAYER?
The almighty God our creator wants us to frequently take to him. He comes in the cool of the day in Eden to communicate with Adam Gen 3:8. He loves to hear our voice because we were created in His own image and likeness. In fact God said in Isaiah 43:26 that we should put him to remembrance. This doesn’t mean God forgets or is bored. For instance, as a child we often feel loved and accepted when those around His love towards us is manifested. A saying goes thus;
“When there is a man to pray, there is a God to answer”.
It is written in James 4:8 draw nigh unto me and I will draw nigh unto you. It is through prayer we draw nigh unto God.
WHY DO I NEED TO PRAY?
What we see today was spoken into existence. Spiritual objects were brought to existence by the Word of God. Another saying says;
“the spiritual controls the physical.”
The spiritual part of this world is greater than the physical part. Man is of the flesh and cannot see and know what activities are going on in the Spiritual except it be revealed by the spirit of God.
Since Lucifer (devil) fell from Heaven and Man in the Garden, there has been a spiritual warfare. When God created the earth and gave Man authority, it angered Lucifer because he thought God was going to give him rule over it because they were all there when God said “let us Man in our own image after our likeness”. Since God handed so much authority unto Man, he became jealous and rebelled against God. And there was lamentation in Heaven as read in Rev 12:11“. Since then, Man has been in constant spiritual warfare with Lucifer and the fallen angels. Ephesians 6:10, Matthew 26:41, Luke 21:36.
Yet, many are ignorant of this fact, it only takes someone who is spiritually conscious to understand this and hence, need to always pray. We pray to God in Jesus name and God fights the battle making use of His angels on our behalf. So what we need do is to pray then God gets all we ask done. Those that don’t pray are at a huge risk because the devil is full of wrath against Man, 1Pet. 5:8. He wants to rebel against God by turning Man whom He created away from Him. This is why God sent His Son to prevail on our behalf so that whoever believes in Him stands in a position of victory.
Colossians 2:15 “Having spoiled principalities and powers he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
THE REASONS WHY WE PRAY ARE
- To appreciate the goodness and greatness of God – Rev 4:11, Psalm 150:6, Psalm 107:21.
- To be victorious over the forces of darkness – Ephesians 6:12, 2Corinthians 10:3-4.
- When are in need – Matthew 7:7-8, John 16:24.
- When we are in trouble – Ps. 50:15.
HOW DO I PRAY?
This same question was asked by Jesus’ disciple and He gave them the summary of it in
Matthew 6:9-13; “9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11. Give us this day our daily bread. 12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
- Prayer of Thanksgiving
- Prayer for Daily Provision
- Prayer for Forgiveness
- Prayer for help against temptation
- Prayer against the forces of darkness
- Prayer of Worship and Thanksgiving
This prayer is short and could be prayed at length as we are led by the Spirit of God as promised by Christ that when the spirit of promise comes, it would teach us all things, and this includes prayer.
HOW JESUS PRAYED
A song writer said: “Jesus started with prayer and ended with prayer.”
Does the Son of God need to pray? Off-course Yes! Prayer is a means by which we take to God and it’s a demonstration of love. A healthy relationship demands frequent communication. At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He was led into the wilderness and at the end He likewise prayed. He prayed in humility despite being the Son of God. The citations below are the prayers of Jesus Matthew 15:36, 14:19, 14:23, John 6:11, Matthew 26:39-44, Luke 10:21-22.
SHOULD WE PRAY LONG OR SHORT PRAYERS?
It may seem interesting to know that however we pray, we will receive answers whether long or short! In making prayers, we have reasons which are guided by the spirit of God. What we are praying for would determine how long or how many times we need to pray on a particular subject (there is no specific time for praying, we are charged to always pray as seen in 1Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18). Most of the time, our immediate spiritual state or our need would suggest what we need to pray for.
In fact, most of the situations changing prayers in the bible are short. Short prayers are useful when we want to prove whom God is, which helps us to understand how Mighty God is.
“The shorter the prayer, the bigger we make God”.
In the days of the bible short prayers turned situations around for the better such as The Prayer of
- Elijah – 1Kings 18:36-38.
- Jabez – 1Chronicles 4:9-10.
- Hezekiah – 2Kings 20:3.
- Jesus – John 11:41-43
Long prayers are crucial when we want to pray in our secret place. We draw more closer to God and He draws more closer to us. The more the time we spend in His presence through prayer shows how much we love and honor our relationship with Him. This in return brings transformation to our life. When Moses spent more time in God’s presence, His glory rubbed-off on him. Jesus when it was time for Him to offer Himself for the world prayed the same prayer for 3 hours, likes wise the Apostles also prays all night.
HOW TO PRAY EFFECTIVELY AND GET ANSWERS
When we pray in humility believing that God has power to grant our request, He answers us.
James 4:3, 6; “3. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 6. But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Luke 18:10-14; “10. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
Matthew 6:7; “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
Ecclesiastes 5:2; “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.”
Proverbs 10:19; “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
1Peter 5:5-7; ”5. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
John 14:13-14; “13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Matthew 7:7; Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”
When we pray, we should make sure all we are asking for is in conformity to His will;
Matthew 26:39; “…nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Romans 8:27; “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
We should expect to get answers when we pray from selfish desires, or in desperation. We need to pray in faith;
Hebrews 11:6; “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.”
Romans 14:23; “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
James 1:8,7 “8. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 7. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
HOW TO KNOW THAT YOUR PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED
When we continue praying for a particular need over a period of time say 3 days or more for instance, at the point when we start to feel a kind of relief, an inner peace or calmness it indicates that the worries are over, the prayers are answered! At this point we notice that the prayer tends to shift away from the focus prayer, we begin to pray for other things. This calmness and peace is an assurance that our prayers are answered! We may not get the manifestation so soon, we now need to be patient on God to bring it to pass at His own set time for God knows the right time, notwithstanding, we need to keep God in remembrance until it is done (Isaiah 43:26). However, in most cases, answers to prayer come immediately. Depending on what we are praying for, answers might come through revelation, dream or trance, sometimes God sends His angel physically.
WHEN DO WE PRAY?
If we love someone we always want to hangout with them. In same respect, if we truly love God, we will always pray. A healthy relationship with God is characterized by frequent prayer. Prayer goes along with reading the holy book – the Bible, for it is from the word of God we get inspiration.
2Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
We are charged to always pray according to the following scriptures;
1Timothy 2:8 “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
1Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”
Luke 18:1 “…men ought always to pray, and not to faint”
Romans 12:12 “…continuing instant in prayer”
WHAT HINDERS PRAYER
We are in constant battle with the enemy (Ephesians 6:12) who has come to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). The major hindrances to prayers is not far-fetched, they are:
- DEVIL – Daniel 10:12-13, I Corinthians 16:9.
- SIN – James 1:6-8, Isaiah 59:1-2, 1:15–19, Luke 11:25-26, Jeremiah 5:25.
- SELF – As a result of unbelief – Hebrews 11:6, James 1:8,7, Matthew 17:20.
NOTE: Some prayers needs to be accompanied by fasting so we can get the expected answer through the Holyspirit.