University of prayer – Part 2
The Time Chosen To Pray Is Most Crucial I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; Yea, durable riches and righteousness…I…cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. (Proverbs 8:17, 18 & 21).
• God deserves the first place in our lives. The first four words in the Bible are, “In the beginning God.” The morning hours are the choicest hours of the day. We must give them to God. Nothing should take up that precious time. When our priorities are right, all other things shall fall into place perfectly well.
• Jesus realised that He needed to see the face of God before He saw the faces of men. Can we do otherwise?
• Jesus further realised He needed to hear from His Father first in order to receive Divine guidance and instructions. Instructions must be received before any enterprise is initiated. Ahimaaz did not hear or see well to know the totality of the message that was to be delivered to King David. (2 Sam. 18:19-33). Yet, he forced himself to run. On reaching his destination, he declared, “…I saw a great tumult but I knew not what it was.” (29). He ran with great strength and vigour. He put much energy into his running. But he ran a vain race because he never heard well before setting off. The second runner was not as fast, did not put in so much strength, but he accomplished the purpose. If you fail to hear well from God before you set off, all your running can be in vain.
• He realised He needed to receive power from the Father to enable Him accomplish the challenges that lay before Him. This power had to be obtained before going into the day. Can you imagine what would have happened if they brought the sick to Him for prayer and after prayer they did not get healed? Or after praying for the demon possessed they remained possessed or after praying for the dead nothing happened. Do you not think His ministry would have closed down before time? He knew His very purpose on earth depended on the rather hearing and answering Him. His early morning encounters were therefore a matter of life and death. If He had failed here, He would have been totally ruined. You cannot fulfill the purpose of God for your life without prayer, without the power of God, you cannot do the work of God. Why do you not arrest the situation by embarking on these early morning dynamic encounters with your Heavenly Father?
• He realised He needed power so as to live above sin. Each day had its own store of temptations lined up and waiting for Him. Victory over sin, purity and holiness of life is not achieved by adopting a laissez faire attitude. Jesus Himself told His disciples “Pray that ye fall not into temptation.” (Luke 22:40). He knew this truth too well, and He prayed. He prayed so effectively that He not only overcame every sin and temptation thrown at Him daily but He prayed Himself into perfection. The grace for holy living must be sought before setting off into the day. And it must be sought for tenaciously. If you overlook this, sin will conquer you. The power for you to resist sin does not lie in you. It comes from God. Therefore, seek Him early. Isaiah says Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6).
This infers there is a time you will come to God over an issue and it will be too late. The door to receive that grace would have shut. You do not go out to pick manna whenever you like. When the sun rises, it would go bad. You pick manna in the early hours of the morning. Be wise my friend and start readjusting your life to imbibe this all-important principle.
The Master Chose A Remote Place
This was a man constantly on demand by other people. He needed to get away from people. He needed to be free from distractions and disturbances. Boxing champions are not made in the ring but in the gym.A careful study of the life of Christ reveals that His secret prayer resort was the garden in Gethsemane within the Mount of Olives. (John 18:12, Luke 22:39-41 and Luke 21:37). We too must find a place where we are free to communicate, concentrate and focus on the One Who means everything to us.
The Mode of Prayer
…He…offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death… (Heb. 5:7). He prayed with desperation. He knew full well that if he did not pray, God would not act. He, therefore, put in His entire being. Note very well that He did not whisper His prayers or pray in His heart. No, He prayed with passion. He prayed aloud. He cried out. So absorbing and demanding were His prayers that tears gushed from His eyes. Our mode and posture of prayer are all a part of the art of prayer itself God requires this from us.
Let us go back to King David: Evening, and morning, and at noon, will 1 pray, AND CRY ALOUD: and he shall hear my voice. (Psa.55:17).I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of the mercy in the morning. (Psa.59:16).True prayer is a most tasking exercise. The presence or absence of our desperation is often the difference between the presence and absence of results. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16b).
God said to Hezekiah, “I have heard your prayer. I HAVE SEEN YOUR TEARS: behold, 1 will heal thee.” (2 Kings 20:5). Not only did God heal Hezekiah but he added an additional 15 years to his life. Also, the Lord delivered the city from the king of Assyria. I perceive that Hezekiah received additional results because of an extra prayer effort.
Those who ask receive. Those who seek find and those who knock have doors opened for them. Those who do not ask do not receive. There are certain blessings that can only be obtained by force. We must go into prayers with the same attitude. Everybody is as spiritual as he makes himself to be. If you want to be more spiritual, begin paying an additional price.
Rev. Theodore Effiong
Assemblies of God Church, Calabar
Or Prayer To All Nations (PTAN),
Prayer City, Calabar. CRS
Phone – +234 903 0012 007, +234 703 1921 770