By Funmi Komolafe
As Christians, we have all been taught how to pray. In some churches, people are taught to pray silently, others believe in violent prayers while yet others believe that prayer without fasting does not produce results.
What is common is that no true Christian can do without prayer. Prayer is the communication link between us and God; our Creator.Our Lord Jesus prayed several times most of which brought in amazing miracles.
The question is how do we pray and how should we pray? For many of us especially those who live in busy cities, we hardly have enough time to pray. We get home tired and leave home early the next day. The truth is a life without prayer, makes you a prey to the enemy.
Our Lord Jesus told us about how not to pray in Matthew 6 vs. 5 “ 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”.
For such people he said, “ Verily I say unto you, They have their reward”.
What Jesus has taught us is that we should not pray to impress anybody. Prayer is a means of communicating with our God and should be taken seriously.
Jesus told us how to pray in verses 6& 7 of Matthew chapter 6: “ 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”. He gave us a word of caution in verse 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”.
As Christians, we are taught that faith is crucial to our prayers. Hebrew 11 vs. 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”.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God cautions against partial faith. He wrote, “ Doubt is a grievous offence before the Almighty God”. In other words, it is better for you not to pray than to pray for praying sake. If you do not believe that a particular prayer point can be answered, it is advisable to remain mute.
Pastor Adeboye in his daily devotional, Open Heavens noted, “ another vital ingredient of the prayer that God will answer is forgiveness. This is a two-edged sword. Blessed is he that is forgiven, sin is a hindrance to prayer. Unless, we are forgiven, our prayers cannot be answered”.
How can you pray to God with a heart that is full of hatred for your neighbour and expect that God will answer? Even when that neighbour is the architect of your misfortune, let God fight for you. Pretend as if you do not know he has a hand in that challenge and let the Almighty God fight for you.
Remember a part of the Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6 vs. 12 “ And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”.
Our Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 6 vs. 14 “ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you”.
These two issues, faith and forgiveness must be settled before we can approach the Lord with our supplications.
So how do we pray to get our prayers answered? When we pray, it is so important what we say to ourselves. For a woman waiting on the Lord, she should not be tired of calling herself a mother.
I know a woman who was fond of making prophetic statements to herself most of the time while having her bath. She would say, “ I am a mother of twins. My body will produce my children and I will carry them in my own hands because the Lord has decreed I must be fruitful”.
Needless to say that this was in addition to her regular church activities, sowing seeds etc. Though it took some years but eventually, she had a breakthrough. Today, she is a mother of children including multiple babies.
Many times when we pray and make a vow, we tend to receive quick answers to our prayers but be warned, do not fail to redeem your vow.
Ecclesiastes 5 vs. 4&5 “ When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay”.
Many of us when overwhelmed by challenges make vows that we can hardly fulfill. We should desist from such utterances. When you make a vow, make sure it is written so that you do not forget.
We are warned about our attitude to vows in Ecclesiastes 5 vs. 6 “ Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hand?
A vow cannot be an error, think deeply before you make one.
Testimony- I’ll share with you a few testimonies. A lady made plans to travel out of the country for business. God used someone to bless her with a ticket and some Dollars but she needed to have more money. Spiritual forces had attacked her business that was doing well. The harder she worked, the more she got indebted but she continued to cry unto the Lord. For this particular trip, she cried unto God with a vow that if God surprised her with money, she too would bless a widow who badly needed a mobile phone with one. She also promised to pay her tithe out of the blessing.
This lady was hopeful that an organization that owed her would pay her about N250,000 that she needed for her trip. To her surprise, the organization paid her 500,000. Almost immediately, she paid her tithe and got the widow a phone.
It is almost certain that because she honoured her word, the Lord will also honour her.
Here is another testimony of a couple that waited for seven years to have children.
“ God blessed us with a set of triplets after 7 years of waiting. We got married in 2009. We had series of miscarriages but we cried unto God to see us through and He did it for us. We had babies in March 2017. We are here to fulfill our promises and vows”. This statement was made when they came to dedicate the triplets.
Brethren, your challenge may not be miscarriages but disappointments. That promotion you so much deserve keeps eluding you. Is your case that of relationships that never end in marriage though you desire to get married?
Cry unto God for mercy with all your heart and support your cry with a vow that will glorify the name of the Lord and see the manifestation of his power.
You can’t afford to stop praying because you are tired of that situation. God is not tired of your prayers. If you seek him diligently, your testimony will be a surprise to you.
Brethren, this is the fifth month of the year many call it the month of Grace. Seek the face of the Lord in a new dimension and see the manifestation of his power like never before.
Brethren, there is no human being whose challenge is beyond God. None.
The question is have you sought the face of Lord? If so, how did you seek his face? Do you have faith that what seems impossible to you is not impossible with God.
What is the level of your faith? 50% or 100%? Make no mistake the journey to a breakthrough is not a tea- party. It is a journey that requires patience and persistence.
Pray yourself to success and it would surprise you what the Lord will do.
Get prepared and the Lord will surprise you even before this year ends in Jesus name.