Our Lord Jesus Christ said in Luke 18:1 that “… men always ought to pray…” Further, it is recorded in Matthew 21:13, “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” The Methodist songwriter, Charles C. Converse wrote in his famous song, “What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.” This is supported in the scriptures according to James 4:2 which plainly says, “…yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” According to the renowned preacher and prophet, Apostle T. O. Obadare whom God used to found the World Soul-Winning Evangelistic Ministry and the Christ Apostolic Church WOSEM in the United States, Europe and Canada, prayer is the telephone link between people and God … and the bridge to His throne.” In his booklet, seven significant ways delineated by the Holy Spirit for the edification of the church of God in the world, he discussed prayers in terms of who should pray, who and what should we pray for, and the hindrances to prayers. Details are shown below:
Who Should Pray?
- Each member of the church
- Groups / societies in the church (Youth, Children, Adults)
- Elders, Deacons, Deaconess, Evangelists, Pastors, all ministers
Prayers should be said for:
- Nations – Psalm 122:6; 1 Sam. 12:33; Joel 2:15-19
- Leaders – 1 Tim. 2:1-3; Acts 12:5-7
- Servants of God – 2 Thess. 3:1; 1 Thess. 5:25
- Destruction of problems and afflictions – James 5:13-15
- One another – James 5:16
- Reversal of situation – James 5:17-18
- Soul winning and Holy Spirit descent – Acts 13:1-3
- Avoiding temptations – Luke 22:40
- The escape of impending peril over the world – Luke 21:36
Examine yourself, other than items number 4 & 6 above, how often do you pray concerning the other items?
Hindrances to Prayers
- Doubt – James 1:5-8 (Wavering reduces the power of God to the level of man’s ability, but what should be done is to ask in faith (Matt. 21:22)
- Pride – a feeling of self-righteousness instead of humility before God (Luke 18:10-14).
- Lack of acknowledgement of one’s sins (1 John 1:8)
- Failure to forgive – Matt. 6:14-15
- Lack of concentration (wondering thoughts) and oneness among brethren – Acts 2:1
- Asking amiss – James 4:3
- Vain repetition (Matt. 6:7)
Examine yourself, have you recognized any of the above hindrances in your life? Pray today that God will assist you to remove them, so that your prayers will be answered
The Way Out
Make sure that your prayers are said in the name of Jesus (John 3:35; Philippians 2:10-11). Let your prayers be saturated with thanksgiving, ask for forgiveness of your sins, then ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit who knows what you should ask for. At this point you are connected to the throne of God – where you will obtain grace, mercy and answers to your prayers.
Instead of pity-party, gossip, bickering, etc, take time to put your concerns to God in prayer. Hezekiah took his case to God in prayer and the Lord answered him. Ask the Holy Spirit to assist you in prayer, since He knows your situation best and know the mind of God toward you. Prayer is your heritage as a Christian, enjoy it. Matthew 7:7 says we should ask and it shall be given to us.
In your daily scripture readings, see these scriptures on the issue of prayers: Jesus teaches how to pray – Mat. 6:9-13.
Always ask for forgiveness in the process of your prayers – 1 Jn 1:9; James 5:16; Watch the motives behind your prayers – James 4:3;
Pray continually – Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:17; Pray for leaders so you too may be in peace – 1 Tim. 2:1-2; Believe it that God will always hear you when you call – Ps. 145:18; Ps. 4:1