The great apostle, Apostle Paul whose epistle constitute about two-third of the whole new testament wrote to the believers in different churches, territories and at different times and intervals. Even though some theologians, scholars, believers and others argue on the authenticity of His revelation, considering the fact that he never had a physical or personal/ firsthand encounter with the person of Jesus Christ while he walked this earth, he (Apostle Paul) however claimed that his revelation were not taught him by men, but rather, he received it firsthand from the Lord Jesus. Gal. 1: 12.
Well, needless to glide on the tangent of doubt as regards the authenticity of the apostle’s revelation because outside the fact the he claimed to have received it firsthand from Jesus Christ whom he claimed to see in his glorified form. Acts. 9: 4, and 1 Cor. 15: 3-8 has this to say:
“3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.”
Peter who was alive and active while Jesus was alive on earth bore witness to apostle Paul, telling us that all, not a few but all his epistle are true and sound, 2 Pet. 3: 14-16.
“15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
Therefore, let every doubt be put to rest and lets us lay aside every superfluity of haughtiness and receive with meekness the engrafted word of truth which is able to save our souls.
He wrote to and preached to different believers in Rome, Ephesus, Anthoic Pisidia and Anthoic Syria, Colossi, Corinth, Gal, Philippi, Thessalonica and others; not leaving out his personal letters to Titus, Timothy and Philemon.
It is important to note that the above listed geographic locations and territories had peculiar issues that needed addressing, which the apostle did appropriately after admonishing them.
In one of such pieces addressed to the church in Thessalonica, having said all he had in mind to say even as he was inspired by The Holy Spirit, at the close of the epistle i.e. the last chapter, he spoke on the end times and its signs, and how different it will be for sons of light.
“1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” 1 Thess. 5.
Notice that he admonished the believers and then made a striking statement, “pray without ceasing” 1 Thess. 5: 17.
Jesus while on this earth was asked by his disciples to teach them how to pray, and he did.
“1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11: 1-4.
The prayer said by Jesus in that part of scripture is often regarded as “The Lord’s Prayer”. It was titled so by theologians and scholars while translating and partitioning into chapters and verses, not by the Lord Jesus himself.
The “Bible” as it is called simply means “book of books”, which means it is a compendium. it was never written in chapters and verses and never had headings and titles. this was done for ease in referencing.
Several times in scriptures, prayer is mentioned, Instances include:
“5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11: 5- 13
Lessons to be learnt here include precision, relentlessness and consistency. It also shows us the ever willing and loving heart of the father, and how much he is out to meet our most basic need. (Readiness to give us His spirit)
“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. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 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. ” (Matt. 6: 5-6)
Notice the emphasis here, ………when you pray………, rather than …………if you pray……….., this therefore means that prayer is not meant to be a part or fragment of the believers life, rather, our lives should be premised on prayer. It is the pivot around which our lives should circumvent.
As a believer on the face of the earth, you have been sentenced to a life of prayer.
Everything about your life should be centered and focused on prayer. Pray every day, every moment, pray without ceasing.
Every great man or woman that served as vessels by which God wrought wonders on the earth was a man or woman of prayer. Nothing can be achieved without prayer. If anyone wants to be anything significant in God, be impactful in life and society as a whole; be mightily used by God and leave indelible footprints on the sands of time, be a conduit by which heaven will kiss the earth, then such a person must be a man or woman of prayer.
To be continued……………………………