By Funmi Komolafe
Gradually, we are moving closer to the end of the 40 days Lent season that reminds us of what our Lord Jesus went through that you and I might be saved. The end of this season takes us into Easter when we remember the crucifixion, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As true believers, we are expected to conduct our physical and spiritual life the way Jesus lived his.
A common feature in the life of our Lord Jesus was that he always prayed. Though he knew that he was God in human flesh, he didn’t take it for granted. Many a times, he prayed and miracles happened.
But first what is prayer? Prayer is a way of communicating with God. It is the period we set aside to present our case to God. While praying, we are expected to thank him for what he has done, what he is doing and what we expect him to do.
Essentially, many of us pray because we know that God can only handle some issues . As human beings it could be for an issue that we have used all our connections, ‘our long legs’ and obtained no results.
Therefore, even the one who is an irregular church worshipper would have no option but to call on God and this is done through prayers. Prayers is said silently or aloud.
We also pray to protect ourselves from enemy’s attack. We pray so that we do not become preys to other people.
Let’s consider some aspects of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. After the last Supper, Jesus said to Simon, Luke 22 vs. 31 “ And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.”. By the revelation of the Holy Spirit, our Lord knew the plan of the devil for Simon; one of his trusted disciples.
Verse 32 Jesus said “ But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”. Had Jesus not prayed, Simon and all other disciples might have become preys of Satan.
That singular prayer of Jesus saved Peter.
The desires of the flesh can also make us to become preys to our enemy. To avoid this, the Lord Jesus taught us to pray. Luke 22 vs. 40. See what Jesus told his disciples “ And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation”.
With this we know that prayer is an invisible shield of the Lord for us.
Let me share this testimony read in a popular Pentecostal church in Nigeria. On the day the terrorists struck in America, the day popularly called 9/11. A Nigerian, a Christian lady was to resume work in one of the twin towers. As usual, she woke up, prayed and got prepared to get set to resume for the new job. After she dressed up, she went to pick up her international passport where she kept it. Behold it wasn’t there. Like any other person, she was worried. She began to turn the room upside down in search of the passport. She began to say to herself that she is unfortunate. To her, household enemies who didn’t wish her well had stopped her from taking up the appointment.
She was still in this state of confusion when the terrorists struck and the twin towers were blown off. Someone called her to inform her.
Suddenly, she looked ahead and right beneath her pillow was her international passport. It was then she realized it was her prayer that was at work and not her enemies who wanted to make her a prey.
We also pray when we are faced with very difficult situations. This could be indebtedness, childlessness, unemployment, illness, all kinds of failure, etc.
Our Lord Jesus too was confronted with a difficult situation and he prayed.
When it became obvious that the hour of betrayal, trial and crucifixion drew near, the human side of our Lord manifested .
Luke 22 verses 41- 46. “ And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed. Saying, Father, if thou be willing , remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground . And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to the disciples, he found them sleeping from sorrow.
And he said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation”.
From the five verses, we learn a lot of lessons. First is that when we are overwhelmed by challenges of life, we must withdraw from worldly activities and move closer to God in prayer.
Late nights, taking to alcohol, visiting herbalists or false prophets cannot make you overcome a challenge. Only God can. Therefore, you need to set yourself aside for serious communication with God by praying earnestly. Pray with all your heart. Can you imagine how Jesus as the son of God prayed? He prayed so much that his sweat were like drops of blood.
Brethren, the time to pray is different from the time to play. Prayer must be done with all seriousness.
A prayer with full concentration produces amazing testimonies. Many of us know about the prayer of Hannah. She prayed with so much intensity that Pastor Eli thought she was drunk. Note also that she was withdrawn from others when she prayed.
Her result, God did not only give her Samuel, he gave her other children.
Ist Samuel 2 vs. 21 “ And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD”.
This season as you intensify your prayers, the Lord will give you more than you have asked in the name of Jesus.
I’ll share the story of a prominent family in Nigeria . The husband was a wealthy man who suddenly decided to marry another woman. Naturally, his wife was unhappy. Then one day, the man told her that he would rather go and live with this other woman because according to him, her children were young and needed to know him.
The wife who had tolerated him, couldn’t bear it any longer. She took to alcohol. After a few years, she died. The rich man then placed an obituary praising her to high heavens as to how they built together. Had the woman known Christ, she probably would not have died. Today, the other woman has brought so much shame to the family of the man that her name is synonymous with fraud.It became clear that all she was interested in was the man’s wealth.
Another woman found herself in a similar situation but rather than take to alcohol, she resorted to prayers and fasting. Her Pastor joined her in praying.
Suddenly, her husband and this strange woman had a quarrel and the man returned to his wife begging for forgiveness.
As we speak today, the couple is still together and prayer has kicked the strange woman out of their home.
Whatever is the situation, you are going through today, the Lord Jesus will set you free.
All tears, pain will soon be replaced with joy in Jesus name.
Brethren, while praying this week, let’s remember all children held captive by terrorists or kidnappers in our daily prayer and pray that God Almighty, the one with whom nothing is impossible will set them free in Jesus name.
May God grant you a peaceful week in Jesus name.