In continuation of my previous piece: What Is Praying Without Ceasing; Is It Achievable? (I), I will continue on this note:
All through bible history, we see great men whose lives are still examples to us; these lives were forged in the secret place, where prayer, mixed with incense are offered up to God. The lives of the likes of Elijah, Jesus Christ, Paul, Peter, Daniel, Nehemiah, Solomon, Cornelius and many more.
In fact, the day the church was birthed, it was signified by prayer, oh yes, they all spoke in tongues which is part and parcel of prayer. The bible makes it clear that they were gathered in the upper room and obviously praying when the sudden dramatic event happened.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts. 2:1-4.
ELIJAH was a man of like passion, yet he prayed and shut the heavens for three years and six months. James. 5: 17-18. He was a man who dwelt in the very presence of God, notice what he said to Obadiah, he said, “……….go tell thy lord, behold Elijah is here”, 1 Kings. 18: 8. When the king said, behold he that troubles of Israel, he replied, “it is you and your father’s house that have forsaken the Lord and turned to Baalim”, 1 Kings 18: 17-18. Only prayer can give such effrontery and unflinching audacity. He also said to the king before he sealed up the heavens, as surely as the Lord lives, before whom I stand, 1 Kings 17: 1. Only a man of the presence can make such bold declaration. Elijah was a man of great faith, courage and boldness, he asked that two altars be set, one for the prophets of Baal, and the other unto Yahweh although all that was asked of him to do was to go and show himself to Ahab for God was about to send rain.
JESUS was God, yet he prayed consistently and diligently.
For him to be able to fulfil the claims of divine justice, he had to suspend his omni-qualities and become man in all forms and nature, Phil. 2: 5- 8. That was why he said, i do nothing except as i see my father do, John 5: 19-20, 8: 28. He too had to depend on the father for his every move. This was also the reason why while he was on earth, he did not know the day nor the hour the end will come. Contrary to what most people think, saying that Jesus is not God, actually he is, but because of you and I, because of the greater glory of having you and I as sons, coming on board and filling the fathers heart with sheer delight and pleasure, he had to suspend his omni-qualities.
A good question is this, if Jesus while on earth maintained a life of fervency in prayer, diligence and caution, always depending on the father, this ultimately means that you and I can do absolutely nothing without prayer. There is no life outside prayer.
Several verses in scripture tell us that early morning; Jesus would leave to a solitary place and commune with his father. Before his temptation, he was led to the wilderness where he fasted and most definitely prayed. He spent time praying before choosing his disciples. He also spent his last moments on earth praying to his father in the garden, where he prayed and blood streamed down his face. He was such a man of prayer. Even his last statement on the cross was a prayer, “father, into your hand I commit my spirit”. That was a prayer God answered.
PAUL, who was a great voice in his day and time, spent his first three days after his encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus praying and fasting, before Ananias laid hands on him and got the scales off his eyes, Acts 9: 9- 18. This same Paul moved to the wilderness of Arabia, where he dwelt for few years, Gal. 1: 17-19.
PETER was also a man, whose epistle although few, yet distinctively pungent. His first heartfelt prayer was when he betrayed the master, he wept bitterly, prayed pleaded for mercy and forgiveness. He also encouraged the believers to watch and pray with sobriety, for the end is near. 1 Pet. 4: 7.
DANIEL was a man who epitomized and exemplified a life of consecration. From the onset of their captivity in Babylon, Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the king’s food, Dan. 1: 8. A time came when an order was issued that no one should pray to any deity, but Daniel, who was unyielding, uncompromising and unshaken, went to his abode, shut everywhere, opened his window towards Jerusalem, and prayed. He was apprehended, and the king reluctantly threw him into the lion’s den. He was however saved because he trusted in God, Dan. 6: 6-24.
This same Daniel maintained consecration and kept a high profile level of prayer, where he fellowshipped with God and heavenly beings, and the secrets and mysteries of God were bare before him. Daniel had so many visitations from angels received so many profound revelations on the things that were to come. Little wonder the books of Daniel and Revelation have so much correlation. This was a man who was forged in the place of prayer and consecration; he was also a man who diligently studied the word. Courtesy of this, he was significant and iconic all through the reign of five kings. What a man.
NEHEMIAH was a man of like passion who prayed, interceded and confessed the sins of the whole Israel and of their fathers. This resulted to the king who although an unbeliever, yet he granted permission and released supplies to ensure that Jerusalem was rebuilt. Nehemiah chapter 1 and 2. How can a simple cup bearer have so much influence on a king of nations? Little wonder, the bible in Proverbs 21: 1 says, the heart of king is in the Lord’s hands; and like a water course, he directs it as he pleases. This man of prayer was later confronted by Sanballat Tobiah, he came out victorious. The nature of the confrontation was to cripple the spirit of his compatriots, but in the long run, it was a null fete.
Indeed all things are possible to a man of prayer.
A man of prayer is an Invincible Vortex; nothing can stand in his way.
Confronting him is a suicide mission.
The devil is strong because believers don’t pray.
SOLOMON was also a man that prayed and he was heard by God. His prayers ascended to God, mixed with incense and sacrifice. He prayed and enacted a covenant, upon which the prayers of Elijah glided on, 1 Kings 8: 22-53.
According to bible history, only two people called down fire from heaven, one is the great prophet Elijah, and the other is Solomon. Record has it that after he prayed, fire came down from heaven, 2 Chr. 7: 1.
Both men called down fire by praying
CORNELIUS was a man who was consistent in prayer. Prayer is not just muttering words periodically, but diligently, consistently, mixed with alms, Acts 10: 1-4.
Certain profound and multifaceted dimensions, realities and power of God can only be furnished in the place of prayer. Convictions are birthed in the place of prayer. No one can amount to anything without being a person of prayer. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, but Faith is built in the place of prayer. The Holy Spirit helps us pray, and courtesy of this aiding, confidence and boldness springs forth. The bible in Acts 2 tells us that Peter had boldness to speak about the crucified Christ after the Holy Spirit came upon him. Courtesy of his sermon, three thousand persons were added to the church. In Acts 4: 24-31, a similar thing happened. This time around, they were filled once more with the Holy Spirit, the place where they were was shaken, and they were graced to be bolder.
After James was apprehended and killed by Herod, Peter was also apprehended. Scriptures has it that fervent prayers without ceasing were made for Peter. Courtesy of these prayers, Peter was miraculously set free by an angel, Acts 12: 1-11.
Prayerlessness is powerlessness, and it is unfortunate that the world we are in is governed by people of power; they serve as extensions and conduit to spirit beings, either God or Lucifer. There is no neutral ground.
Prayer was first indirectly mentioned in Gen. 4: 26. It says: “And to Seth, to him also there was bore a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.”
Prayer is the pathway by which heaven and earth collide, it is the infusion and super imposition of heaven upon and into the earth.
Prayer is not exuberance, neither is it a wishful desire or thinking, rather, it is a necessity. Prayerlessness is a luxury believers CANNOT afford.
Of all the parables Jesus used to illustrate the kingdom tenets, one important parable was on prayer, and this is what it says.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Luke 18: 1-8
From this parable, we can deduce that anytime the believer stops praying, he does not remain stagnant rather, he begins to faint, he begins to fall back. And also, prayer is not a once and for all things, just as the widow tenaciously persisted, diligently approaching the judge, believers should do same, even though our father is a loving king and a righteousness judge.
This should be our attitude in prayer; consistent, tenacious, diligent, and should be backed up with our knowledge (revelation) of Gods words
The apostle at the close of his latter to the church in Ephesus had this to say:
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saint”. Eph. 6: 18
To be continued…………………………………..