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Sunday, 5 July 2020

How To Develop A Powerful Prayer Life

It is possible for a believer to develop a powerful prayer life. In this article, find out how to develop a powerful prayer life & end prayerlessness

We ought to know we must pray and take conscious decisions to ensure our prayers come with the needed power for effectiveness.

What is the point praying when the prayers carry no power and causes no effect?

Prayer was never designed to be a weak, dry and unfruitful enterprise. It is expected to be the womb of possibilities.

The Bible in James 5:16 says that "...the earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results." (Living Bible).

This means at every point in time, our prayers ought to carry a dose of power. Hence power is an integral component which should be found in our prayers.

While it is important to see prayers as the believer's lifestyle and culture and develop a consistent prayer life, we should have this in mind – prayer ought to carry power.

Why Is This Important?


The language of the world today is power and everyone that will get a chance at surviving must speak it.

The church must speak power else the gates of hell will prevail and trample her underfoot.

The world systems are governed by powers stationed at high quarters and if the church of God will triumph, she will need to understand and speak power.

And one of the ways the church can begin to respond with power is when we begin to engage the Monarch of Zion in powerful prayers.

Prayers backed by much power is our foremost tool for survival and we need to excel in it.

This makes the question of how to develop a powerful prayer life an important one.

I trust that with this article, we would all see the need to develop a powerful prayer life and how to develop one.

After reading this, I urge you to practice them, so that we can begin to make much power available by the instrumentality of prayers.

Without further ado, let me show you seven (7) ways I believe would help anyone develop a powerful prayer life.

It is quite a long reading about 12 minutes approximately. So get a cup of your favourite drink and sip as you read.

1. Understanding What Prayer Is.


In this kingdom, knowledge alone is not power – understanding and knowledge births power.

An understanding of what prayer is which I am about to share will spur you into making much power available by prayer.

There quite a lot of definitions around on what prayer is and I do not intend to heap another on you but I may need to.

As touching developing a powerful prayer life, prayer is the awareness, the realization of our helplessness and inability and the volition to make an appeal to the One seated in the heavens for help.

For instance, I want to purchase a laptop which costs about $131 and all I have is $13. I would not be able to purchase it right?

Yes.

But then I have a friend who can give me and is willing to give me the $131. I then go to him, knowing he'd give it to me and most definitely he does.

This is what prayer is in this context. As humans we are unable to do accomplish anything by our power. So, we look to God for help.

On our own, we lack the sufficiency to withstand the turbulence of life and its challenges. But we go to God, in whom we can find peace, comfort and stamina.

In Luke 11:9 Jesus reveals a profound truth to us. He says: 

"... Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.

There is a rule even God can not break. That rule is "We must ask and God must answer."

This consciousness and understanding is important when we pray. You know you are praying to someone who is under obligation to answer you.

Furthermore, in John 14:16, Jesus still assures us saying:

"If ye ask anything in my name, I will do it.

Anything my friend is anything. Oh how lucky we are? The All-Mighty God is ever ready to answer only if men will take up the volition to ask.

2. Understand Who God Is.


The second point on how to develop a powerful prayer life is to understand who God is.

I touched a bit of this in point number 1 but I still feel like adding more emphasis.

Aside God being obligated and willing to answer us, we need to know that He is able to answer.

There are three things here to digest.
  • The first is God is OBLIGATED to answer.
  • The second is God is WILLING to answer.
  • The third is God is ABLE to answer.

No matter the nature of the request, we rest and bank in the assurance that our God is able to answer us when we pray.

In Ephesians 3:20, Apostle Paul said:

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"

The implication of this verse is that God is not just able to do what we ask. He can do more than what we ask – there's no limitation with our God.

It does not end there folks. He is able to do what we think. He is capable of doing more than what we can imagine.

Our minds are too small to articulate the scope of the things God is able to do.

He told the prophet Jeremiah, 

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me? – Jeremiah 32:27

Our God is not only willing to answer but capable of answering. There are no limitations with Him. He is called Omnipotent that is All-Powerful.

With this in mind, you do not pray like a disadvantaged fellow. You pray like someone who has a Father that is very much able to answer.

3. Pray In Accordance To The Will of God


This is one often neglected principle for praying effectively which is also essential for developing a powerful prayer life – praying the will of God.

how to develop a powerful prayer life


As much as God is able to answer and willing to, He will not always answer. This is why.

Prayer in itself is not powerful except the will of God is captured in it.

For emphasis I would say that again: prayer is powerful only when the will of God is fully articulated in it.

One of the reasons why we pray and do not receive answers is because we pray what I like to call selfish prayers.

Selfish prayers are prayers that capture only our wants, needs and desires without any provision for God's.

Note this: God has needs and prayer is a tool given to us to meet and satisfy God's needs and purposes on the earth.

In Jesus' model of prayer recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew chapter 6, Jesus taught that after hallowing the name of God, the next thing we do is to give expression to the will of God.

He says "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done." (Matthew 6:10). It is God's desire to see His kingdom established on Earth and that His will and counsel are entrenched.

Prayer is our way of actualizing that. True and powerful prayer is about entrenching God's will and kingdom on the earth. So that as it is in heaven so it will be on Earth.

Until we begin to capture the needs of God in our prayers, we would not make any power available.

Power is derivative of praying the will of God. We command power to the degree of our usage of prayer to achieve God's purposes and intent.

James sheds more light on this discourse. He says:

"You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts." – James 4:3

If all you pray about is satisfaction for your needs and wants you will never be able to develop a powerful prayer life.

God will not be able to entrust any thing meaningful into your hands. He won't give you His power when all you care about is your selfish desires.

Apostle John further perfects this in 1 John 5:14

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us:"

Our ticket to answers from God is asking in accordance to His will. 

It is quite unfortunate that many believers care about what they can get from God only.

They are completely oblivious that prayer is supposed to be a tool for enforcing the kingdom of God.

It is this orientation that has made the Body of Christ today weak and beggarly brought under the subjugation and suppression of darkness.

We must redefine and adjust our opinions on prayer. It is high time we retracted back to the scriptures and carefully examine what prayer was originally intended for.

A powerful prayer life is only feasible when prayers capturing the will of God are offered to God.

4. Live A Holy Life 


In my article on How To Develop A Consistent Prayer Life, I mentioned that Holiness is a vital posture for prayers.

Aside being a requirement for entering heaven, Holiness is quintessential for developing a powerful prayer life.

How-to-develop-a-powerful-prayer-life


Prayer and sin are like water and oil – impossible for them to mix. A sinner can not pray let alone develop a powerful prayer life.

Every believer who intends to have power over Satan and walk in the victory Christ has procured must resolve to live holy and pure.

God considers the prayers of sinners an abomination to Him. Prayer offered from the a life soaked in sin brings bad, offensive incense to God.

It is utterly impossible to have any dealings with God without Holiness. And power as a gift from God can only be apprehended in holines and purity. 

Only by prayers from a pure heart can we lift up incense to God and be able to trap His power to rule the earth.

5. Consistency is Key To Develop A Powerful Prayer Life


Consistency is unarguably the principle to harnessing the power of any given phenomenon. It doesn't matter what drives and operates it.

Develop A powerful prayer life


To become good at anything, you must do that thing on a consistent basis. Prayer like every other art can be mastered and it is possible only be consistent, persistent practice.

A believer who does part-time prayers will never come into the plains of power in prayer.

God will not be careless to entrust a prayerless Christian with something as precious as power. 

Remember my definition of prayer earlier on? Where I said, prayer is the realization of our helplessness and inability and the volition to appeal to someone for help.

Now let me show you how consistent prayers works in developing a powerful prayer life.

The prophet Elijah had just ended a contest with 450 prophets of Baal. Before hand, he had locked the heavens and for 3½ years there was no rain in Israel.

The contest being over, prophet Elijah slayed every single one of the prophets of Baal. He instructed King Ahab to get up and eat assuring him of a torrential downpour.

Elijah climbed up Mount Carmel and casting himself down, he put his head between his knees – he prayed.

After a while, he asked his servant to go check the skies for a sign. The servant returned bearing a negative response.

Elijah was not deterred as he continued seven times sending his servant who kept coming back with negative responses.

Typical of many of us, we would give up, stop praying and quote the usual "What will be, will be." Unfortunately, what will be, will not be, except you make it happen.

End that deceit of allowing life or the universe play out on its own. Command and enforce what you want to see by prayers.

At the seventh time, Elijah's servant returned with some cheering and comforting news saying "Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand." (1 Kings 18:43)

By consistency, Elijah was able to invoke a dimension of power in prayers. Dear reader, God is not deaf, He will answer, you may need to trouble Him some more.

When James tried to explain the power we make available by prayer in James 5:16, 17, there was no better example than Elijah.

God may delay in responding like Elijah's experience teaches us. But eventually, by consistent prayers, we can get Him to respond.

I explained this point in The Right Attitude To Prayer".


6. Pray With The Word 


Prayer and the word of God are two inseparable sides of a coin. You can not separate prayers from God's word and the word from prayers.

I love to use this analogy when I try to explain the relationship between prayer and the word.

A gun without bullet can not inflict much damage. A bullet also is just a piece of metal capable of almost nothing.

But when a bullet is loaded on to a gun, the collective impact can be ravaging. That is prayer and the word.

Prayer is the gun. The word is the bullet you load onto the gun. In self-isolation they can not yield maximum impact. But in their combined state, they are powerful tools.

Trying to choose one over the other or substituting one for the other is like saying I would only breathe in and not breathe out.

Whether you want it or not, you survive by breathing in and out. No one stays alive by breathing in without breathing out.

Prayer and the word is like breathing in and out. You can use one and be powerful. They must be combined.

The Apostles were men of great understanding in this matters. When they had to choose either to undertake the noble cause of serving tables and ministerial work.

They choose the more noble venture. They said "But we will give ourselves continually to prayers and the ministry of the word." – Acts 6:4

Stop trying to neglect Bible study because you feel prayer makes you more spiritual. They are important together.

You will find prayer boring unless you have God's word locked up in your inside. Don't you think the reason why you labour so much to pray is because you don't study?

Desist from substituting the word of God for prayers. To develop a powerful prayer life, dearly beloved, you must pray with the word.

7. Submit and Partner With The Holy Spirit

Developing a powerful prayer life


Last but not the least on how to develop a powerful prayer life is to submit and partner with God's Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit is our helper and an important aid for praying effectively. You may need to read "Who Do We Pray To: God the Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Angels or Mary?"

Powerful prayers are sponsored by the Holy Spirit and anyone who wants to have a powerful prayer life must partner with the Spirit.

Power is actually resident in God's spirit and to have access to it, you must yield in total submission to the Spirit of God and His government.

It is very important to note that prayer is a spiritual function and its power and effectiveness comes from partnership with the Holy Spirit.

It will be foolish for anyone to think they can pray by themselves. Jesus said in John 6:63 "...the flesh profits nothing..." (Paraphrased).

Praying by the energy of the flesh is never profitable. This is why David prayed in Psalms 80:18 

"So will not we depart from thee, quicken us and we would call on your name."

No matter the level of zeal and enthusiasm you have for prayer, to pray effectively, we must be quickened by God's Spirit.

You may be strong and feel your energy can make you pray therefore you do not need quickening. You may need to rethink after reading what Romans 8:26 says: 

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Even though you think you have the strength to pray, you do not know how to pray. This weakness is why the Spirit supplies strength to help you pray.

To develop a powerful prayer life, you need to partner with the Holy Spirit to help you pray. Without Him, the energy source of prayer is gone.

Why not cry out today for the baptism of the Holy Spirit if you have not been filled before?

He says He will pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28 Paraphrased). Ask for the baptism of God's Spirit even today.

And if you have been baptized, why not allow Him help you pray by saying "Spirit of God, help me pray. I am insufficient in my self."

God is able to make all grace abound towards us. I see His church becoming stronger and being more empowered to withstand darkness.

We all can have powerful prayer lives. We can all make tremendous power available when we pray.

Developing a powerful prayer life is not a fairy tale. But a reality, a possibility in God. We must keep pressing and travailing in prayers till we touch His essence.

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How To Develop An Effective Prayer Life

What must I do to develop an effective prayer life?
How can I become an effective prayer warrior capable of orchestrating divine possibilities through prayers?

Find out in this article.

how to develop an effective prayer life

Thomas had just given his life to Christ and joined himself to a Bible-believing church hoping to grow in his newly found faith. He was visibly enthusiastic about being a believer and like every newly saved person he was zealous to know, walk with and work for God.

One Sunday morning, Thomas' pastor preached about prayers. His teaching centered on the benefits of prayers, why believers must pray and how to pray effectively. He concluded his sermon that morning by saying that all believers must give quality time to God in prayers.

Thomas had not as much as understood what prayers was about and his pastor was teaching on the need to pray and to do so for long hours.
After the sermon, Thomas decided he was going to implement what he just learnt – pray for long hours.

Thomas had not prayed for fifteen (15) minutes before the frailties of his humanity rose and he had to stop praying. 
Thomas didn't relent.
Again he tried to pray and he was only able to pray for ten (10) minutes before he got tired again.

This continued for a long time. Soon Brother Thomas became weary of prayers and considered prayers only for very spiritual people and men of God.

What do you think was Brother Thomas' problem?

Whilst you ponder, the story of Brother Thomas is the same story with many believers today. We have read books on prayers, listened to various sermons on prayers, studied the Bible about prayers yet like Brother Thomas we do not find prayers convenient to practice.

It is expedient to note that knowledge is not enough. Knowing how to pray and why you must pray is not enough for you to pray.

Have you not read different books by different men of God on the subject of prayers?
Have you not attended several prayer conferences?
Have you not listened to your pastor and other men of God teach on prayers?
Have you not read your Bible on the subject of prayers?
Why then are you unable to pray?

The problem is not in the sufficiency of knowledge. It is in the deficiency of the understanding of what prayer is actually about. Yes! Understanding!

We are not able to pray because we lack the foundational understanding of what prayer is actually about. The lack of understanding on the issue of prayer is grossly associated with the reason why many of us do not pray at all let alone pray effectively.

Today, I would be sharing with you what I believe to be the foundational understanding needed for the mastery of the art of prayer. I trust that after going through the words of this piece you would understand the basic principle of prayer and your prayer life would change for the better in Jesus name, Amen!

The basic or foundational understanding of prayer I would be sharing is in two spheres.
The first is that prayer is a communication between God and man.
Prayer is not a monologue i.e communication by only one person. Prayer is a dialogue i.e communication carried out by two people.

Many of us think that prayer is simply us tabling requests before one exalted personality. This idealogy of what prayer is not is the pivot behind our ineffectiveness in prayers.
Prayer is not a tool for channeling our requests to God. It is a technology of communication designed by God with which humanity can commune with divinity.

As you seek desperately to talk to God, He also wants to talk back to you. If all you do is pray without any feedback from God then you're short-circuiting the effects of prayers.
Begin to see prayers and as a communication between you and your father (God) and you'd begin to cultivate an effective prayer life.

The second sphere of the foundational understanding of prayer is that God is ever-ready to respond to you when you pray.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. –  Matthew 7:7-8

If you would develop an effective prayer life then you must arm yourself with the understanding that you're praying to a God who is ever willing and ready to respond to you when you pray.

Jesus was trying to give voice to this fact in Matthew 7:7-8. He was showing us that your duty is to ask, seek and knock. Then He assures that anyone who asks shall receive, he who seeks will find and the one that knocks would have the door opened for him.
Do the asking, seeking and knocking because God is ready to answer, to give, and to open the door.

God is not a tryrant. He is not wicked. He waits for us to call on Him as He is always on standby ready to answer.

He says;

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. – Jeremiah 33:3

Habakkuk understood that God would always answer when he prays that was why he said;

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. – Habakkuk 2:1

David also understood this principle that was why he said;

O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. – Psalms 65:2

God hears your prayers and He is willing to respond to it. See how The Message Bible puts Hebrews 11:6
It's impossible to please God apart from faith because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that He exists and that He CARES ENOUGH TO RESPOND TO THOSE WHO SEEK HIM.

Glory to God! He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him.
He says you should ask him in prayer and He assures you that He will answer you.
When you pray carry this understanding, 
i. Prayer is a dialogue i.e as you talk to God, He also wants to talk to you.

ii. God is ever ready to answer you when you pray to Him.

Quit from seeing prayers as a monologue; a request tabling session. Begin to see prayers as a medium for communication between humanity and divinity, between your heavenly father and yourself. Only then can you cultivate and develop an effective prayer life.

God is your Father and He cares enough to respond to you when you call on Him. This is the primary step on how to develop an effective prayer life.
Now pray with this understanding...



"The story of Brother Thomas is a product of my imagination and does not represent the life of anyone I know. Any resemblance to anybody is clearly a coincidence!"
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Saturday, 20 June 2020

How To Develop A Consistent Prayer Life

how to develop a consistent prayer life



One of the questions that plague the average believer is how to develop a consistent prayer life. Many believers who are concerned about their prayer lives always wonder why they are unable to pray consistently.

The task of developing a consistent prayer life is important for everyone of us. This is because prayer is a vital part of our lives as believers.

Prayer is the lifestyle of believers but we are often unable to engage prayers as we want to. When you study God's word, you will discover one emphasis, prayer! It is very evident that prayer must be part of our lives but how can we pray consistently?

Before we talk about how to develop a consistent prayer life, I need to show you something about our frailty as humans.

Humans Can Not Be Consistent

Humans can not be consistent. Performing an action consistently is not in the character of humans. Especially when that activity is a spiritual one. Prayer is a spiritual activity and no one operating in the flesh can prosecute prayer consistently.

In our prayer enterprise, you must reckon with the fact that you can not pray with consistency on your own. Your flesh will always want to choose something contrary to the demands of the Spirit.

In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made it clear to His disciples that the Spirit will want pray but the flesh will want do something contrary.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. - Matthew 26:41

Even when the Spirit wants to pray, the flesh because it is frail will not want to pray. It is this frailty that makes it almost impossible for a man to develop a consistent prayer life.

Apostle Paul further explains this concept of the flesh being contrary to the Spirit in Galatians 5:17

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The Spirit and the flesh can never work together because they are contrary to each other. This explains the reason why in the flesh we can not develop a consistent prayer life.

Having highlighted the frailty of man and its effect on the inconsistency we suffer when we try to pray in the flesh what do we do to pray consistently? You will get the answer in a bit.

Develop A Consistent Prayer Life By Partnering With The Holy Spirit

This is the foremost means to develop a consistent prayer - partnership with the Holy Spirit. Developing a consistent prayer life is only possible when we partner with the Spirit of God.

Trying to perform a spiritual activity is impossible in the flesh. The flesh is not strong enough to carry out spiritual activity.

Spirits control the action and activities of men. And it is true regardless of the action whether in the occult world or in Christendom.

Every second we are constantly interacting with spirits. The contention is not necessarily about the action but the spirit that engineers the action.

A man may be preaching or moving in the "anointing" but he is acting on the strength of an evil spirit. Many persons parading as ministers of the gospel are under the influences of demons.

The extinction of sound doctrine and men of order in the Body of Christ has made these anomalies to go on unhindered.

Nevertheless, prayer can only be carried out by the engineering and support of the Holy Spirit. Outside the help and support from the Spirit of God, men will be unable to pray as they ought to.

Jesus made the emphasis on prayer in Luke 18 highlighting that men ought always to pray and not to faint. Sadly, we faint rather than pray and it is because our nature as humans is fainting.

This is why David prayed in Psalms 80:18 saying:

So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

It is part of our nature to not want to stay in the place of prayer. The flesh will always look for better options rather than prayer. It will always rebel against staying in prayer

The Spirit of God Quickens

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. - John 6:63

Clearly, we see that it is the Spirit of God that quickens us to carry out the activities which we must as believers. The life of a Christian should be powered by the Holy Spirit and none of the flesh.

Christianity would be witchcraft in the absence of the Spirit of God. Our lives as believers is spiritual and only by partnership with the Spirit of God that we can live properly.

To develop a consistent prayer life, we must be quickened by the Spirit of God. Job said "there is a Spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding" - Job 32:8

God's Spirit in partnership with our spirit makes us to pray effectively. We need quickening in order to pray and we can only be quickened by the Spirit of God. Prayer will be religion except the Spirit of God is involved in our prayer enterprise.

If you want to pray better, develop a consistent prayer life and pray effectively, we must receive the quickening that comes only from the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God Helps Us To Develop A Consistent Prayer Life

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. - Romans 8:26 (NLT)

I can not overemphasize this truth - prayer can only be done consistently and with great effectiveness when we pray in partnership with the Holy Spirit.

This is because as humans we do not know what we should pray for and we can not pray as we want to pray. It is the Spirit of God that provides the needed support and powering for consistent, effective praying.

What must be on our priority check list when we pray?

Help from the Spirit of God. Only the Spirit of God can help us develop a consistent prayer life and we must engage him like David did in Psalms 80:18 for quickening in order to pray.

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Friday, 19 June 2020

How To Overcome Weakness In Prayer

One of the major issues that plagues the believer is weakness in the place of prayer. The question of how to overcome prayerlessness is always in the heart of every true and committed believer.

How can we overcome prayerlessness? How can we go past our weaknesses in prayer and become more prayerful?The answers will be revealed in this article.

Prayer has been emphasized over and over again as an integral part of the believer's life and walk with God. For a believer to come to the place of intimacy with God, trap spiritual realities, exercise Dominion over the earth, usurp the advance of darkness and attain his maximum potential in Christ, prayer must be absolute.

But with the intense emphasis on prayer and the widespread teachings and preachings on prayer, many default in carrying out the enterprise of prayer. Excuses pertinent to busy schedules, weakness in prayer and a number of other are brought up by believers as to why they don't pray.

There are so many peculiar reasons as to why believers fail to pray. For some they have got other options seemingly better than prayer. Others are depraved of the need for prayers. Others have their faith weakened due to a long list of unanswered prayers. While for many, prayers don't just make it to the priority list.

The truth is no excuse is good enough to sideline and relegate prayers. Any sign of prayerlessness and weakness must be dealt with at all cost. It is interest you to note that prayerlessness is a sin.

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: – 1 Samuel 12:23

In the scripture above, we see Samuel revealing that if he fails to pray for Israel it is equivalent to sinning against God. There is no excuse that can validate your negligence to prayers.

Another critical point to bear is that prayerlessness produces a gullible, weak and feeble spiritual life. Our life is more spiritual than it is physical and it is worthy of note that we interact with Spirit entities every now and then. Apostle Paul said;

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

This powers and principalities that we wrestle against will overpower, conquer and subdue us except we turn our faces to God and engage the protocol of prayers. A prayerless Christian can not have power over devils and principalities.

God's commission to mankind of dominion and subduing the earth will never be articulated and expressed by a believer who does not pray. It is by prayer that we attract the requisite power needed for dominion over the earth.

If we will have dominion – trampling the devil and the earth underfoot – we must retract back to the place of prayer and begin to deal diligently in prayers to God.

For some believers, their immediate needs have been taken care of and because of that they do not see the need to pray. This is gross pride.

It is the view that prayers is solely meant for petitioning – asking for needs – that gives rise to this form of negligence to prayer. If prayer is about asking God for needs, when the needs are met why pray?

The inability to pray for long hours of time, for others, is the reason why they do not pray. Many want to be reckoned to be prayerful and they opt to pray for long hours of time hoping to get approvals and appraisals.

Due to the frailty of our humanity, they may be unable to reach their quota and being discouraged overtime they may lose interest in prayers unknowingly.

Busy schedules, academics, career, work, family upkeep and other activities are the reasons why some Christians don't pray. These set of Christians live extremely busy schedules and they have no time to engage prayers.

Excuse or no excuse, prayer is our lifestyle as believers and we all must be yielded to prayers. As oxygen is needed for the survival of humans, prayer is needed for our survival as spiritual beings.

Prayer is not meant to gratify your desires alone. The orientation that praying is all about asking God for your needs is wrong. The same way you have needs is the same way God has needs and He designed prayer as the medium for fulfilling those needs.

One of God's need is intimacy with us. God desires to be intimate with Him – To have us know Him more. Prayer is the channel with which God can achieve intimacy with us.

Prayer in the words of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening. In other words, it should be what we begin our day with and how we end our day.

You can suspend every other thing in your life but not prayer. When prayer stops, everything in your life is bound to stop working. You must not allow any excuse swing you into weakness in prayer.

The writer of Hebrews advised in Hebrews 12:12 "Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees". It was actually a call to prayers.

How can a believer overcome weakness in prayer and become more prayerful. Here are some of the steps I recommend to assist every believer

1. Pray More To Overcome Weakness in Prayer

overcome weakness in prayer


This sounds weird but it is the first step on how to overcome weakness in prayer. To become prayerful is to pray more. Nobody starts out praying as an expert. Everyone was a beginner at praying but overtime due to practice and yieldedness, mastery was achieved.

Like every known art, Prayer must be learnt and mastery only comes by constant practice. To become good at soccer or at playing the keyboard, you must give yourself to football trainings and keyboard practice. It is no different with prayer.

Personally, there was a point in my life when I could not pray in tongues for 15 minutes straight but as I continued in prayer I began to master the art and today by His grace I can pray for hours in tongues.

It is not a sin to be unable to pray for hours. Do not let any one deceive you or demean you on such grounds. First of all, prayer is not time-based but Spirit-based that is you do not pray into time, you pray into the Spirit.

Although, praying for long hours is good because it exercises your Spirit, do no be dismayed when you are unable to. Prayer is not for proving points but for touching God.

Note that, a baby does not learn how to walk and talk in a day. Growth is by all standards a process. You must keep engaging in prayers until you gained mastery.

Praying without ceasing, continually and consistently will help you gain mastery of the art of prayer and before you know it you would have metamorphosed into a praying machine.

2. Be Deliberate About Prayer To Overcome Weakness in Prayer

The second point on how to overcome weakness in prayer is to be deliberate about prayer. Prayer is a spiritual activity which must be engineered by the Spirit but you must not always wait to be pushed to pay before you pray.

You would need to take conscious, deliberate decisions to pray whether in your convenience or not. Apostle Paul said "..I will pray.." (1 Corinthians 14:15). This means he (Paul) will take the conscious decision to pray.

One point that is worthy of note is this: your flesh will never want prayer. When it is prayer time, your flesh will bring up other options to take. This is why you need to put your will to work and choose to pray. Prayer is not always palatable for the flesh hence you must force it to pray.

The flesh will always rebel as Paul tells us in Galatians 5:17. It is your duty to force it to submit. If as you pray, you sleep off, wake up and continue praying. Do not be deterred by the frailty of your humanity. Never go easy on the flesh, train it to always choose prayer.

3. Partner With The Holy Spirit

To overcome weakness in prayer, you must partner with God's spirit. Jon Bloom of desiringGod said Prayer is not fundamentally a discipline thing. And that is very much true. Prayer is a spiritual function so if you must pray you must pray in partnership with the Holy Spirit.

Disciplining yourself is very important but prayer can only be performed accurately and according to God's standards when we pray by the quickening of His Spirit.

It is vain to try and pray without the person of the Holy Spirit believing in your energy and strength. David understood how the important role of the Spirit of God in prayer that is why he prayed in Psalms 80:18 thus

So will not we depart from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon your name

It is unnatural to want to stay in the place of prayer but when we are quickened we will want to continue to prayer. To overcome prayerlessness and become more prayerful, we must partner with God's Spirit to help us pray.

Partnering with God's Spirit for praying effectively is in three dimensions. We partner with the Holy Spirit so that:

  1. He will quicken us to pray
  2. We can pray in accordance to God's will
  3. He can help us to pray

It is the Spirit of God that quickens and helps us to pray as prayer is communication with God who is a Spirit and no flesh can interact with God except by the Spirit.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you - Romans 8:11

When our humanity seems to overpower us, we must trust God's Spirit to supply strength to help us pray. The Holy Spirit has a support facility providing strength to the believer when needed.

Also, in Romans 8:26, Apostle Paul points out the reason why no matter how much we think we can pray, we still need to depend on the Spirit of God.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

You see that the Spirit helps in our weaknesses because we do not know what we should pray for and how we ought to pray. The Spirit of God helps us overcome theses weaknesses by making intercessions on our behalf. He does not only quicken us to pray, He teaches us how to pray and what to pray for.

I believe one of the reasons for prayerlessness is the lack of the Spirit of God. We have tried to pray on our own by ourselves and it has proven to be a venture in futility. Why not partner with God's Spirit to help you pray?

Say; "Spirit of God, come help me pray, come pray with me, come quicken me to call on the name of the Lord". I trust God's Spirit to help you conquer prayerlessness and become prayerful.

4. Living a Holy Life

Another point on how to overcome weakness in prayer is by living a holy life.

Sin is a major hindrance to prayers and praying. It prevents you from praying and equally stops God from answering your prayers. God's servant, Dr Paul Enenche said "Sin keeps you from praying as much as prayer keeps you from sin".

A sinner will always find prayer burdensome and a total waste of time. The nature of sin is one that prevents the sinner from any inclination to prayer. To overcome prayerlessness, the believer has got to live a holy life.

Holiness is not just a criterion for making heaven, it is an important requirement for praying effectively. It gives us both the boldness to come into His presence and the assurance of answered prayers.

This is what Apostle Peter explained in 1 Peter 3: 12

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

To overcome weakness in prayer and become more prayerful, the believer must deal with secret sin. Those weights that easily beset us, hidden faults and little foxes. Holiness must be your watchword if you will ever master the art of prayer.

Conclusion

We grow into being prayerful. You can not master a skill in one day. Prayer is not rocket science but a process -- it takes times. So do not be discouraged if you are unable to pray as you want.

Remember that, it is by consistent and continual practice we gain mastery of prayers. Before you know it, you would be surprised how much you have grown.

Most Importantly, prayer is communing with God and not trying to prove a point by praying long hours of time. No one should make you feel less of a Christian over the issue of praying long hours. There is need to pray for long hours but the primary focus is to commune with God.

Jesus told a parable with this emphasis "Men ought always to pray and not to faint". He was given us insight into the unrivaled position prayer should occupy in our lives. Prayer is mandatory and not optional for everyone.

Prayer must be your top most priority first before your job, career, academics and any other activity you engage in. You must create time no matter how busy you are to commune with your Father else you would become a prey in the devil's hands.

Finally, prayer is not theoretical but practical. It is an organic reality. After reading this article, PRAY. Do not wait for later, PRAY NOW.

I trust that with these steps on how to overcome weakness in prayer, your prayer life will see a massive turnaround. PRAY NOW.

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Saturday, 13 June 2020

When Is The Best Time To Pray?

Is prayer supposed to be time-based?


Are believers expected to pray only at certain times of the day or in certain seasons of their lives?

when should I pray?


These questions and many more bothers the average believer and they border around the ultimate question — when is the best time to pray?


Prayer is quintessentially the believer's lifestyle and culture and for anyone who intends to do much with God and to make the best out of the practice of the Christian faith, prayer is ultimate and focal.


The necessity of breathing in and breathing out for survival as living beings is the similitude prayer takes up in the life of believer. Spiritual breathing is made possible when we engage the art of prayer.


Much emphasis is placed on the need for maintaining prayers but amidst the rave of emphasis, there is still a deficiency in the prayer life of believers.


In times like this when the world seem to be drowning in chaos, we must all enter into the secret place and engage God in much prayers because in Him, lies the fortification needed for the survival of the believer.


To provide an answer to the question in focus, the word of God is and remains the fountain from which we can draw accuracy and balance. Accuracy and balance in the dispensation of sound doctrine has seemingly escaped through the backdoor of the church giving rise to unbalance and inaccurate doctrines peddled by certain obscure men.


As no preacher's opinion is stronger than the perspective sustained by the word of God, to get accurate and balanced doctrine, every believer must retract back to the study of scriptures: rightly dividing the truths encapsulated in its letters.


The word of God is by all means the anchor of the believer, the manual whose content is timely in delivering the thoughts and intents of God for every dispensation of time. It is to this word we would draw perspectives as to what time is best for prayer.


Come with me....


Jesus in Matthew 6 delivered one of the most profound teachings of the Christian faith. He gave thought to the technology of prayer and dispensed timeless truths on the art of prayer. 


One very notable point we need to be aware of is found in the phrase He used when He wanted to begin the section of prayer in Matthew 6:5. He said "And when thou prayest..."

The point in the verse above is what I like to refer to as the "When Phenomenon".

WHEN PHENOMENON

English language made us to understand that the word 'when' is an adverb of time. It tells of the possibility of an event in time which must take place.


Let's do a little analysis. Look at the statement below: 

"When I go to church on Sunday..." 

The statement above suggests that come Sunday I will go to church. The reiterates the fact that my coming to church is a surety.


For Jesus to say "When thou prayest...", He was showing us that prayer is not optional but mandatory. The believer is not given the leverage of deciding to or not to pray. 


Whether it is convenient for you or not, prayer is a when phenomenon, by implication it must be performed. You are not given too many options. This is why many believers don't pray, within them is the luxury of "options" other than prayer. This is contrary to the words of our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Had Jesus said "If you pray..", we would be sure that other options abound outside prayer because "If" is conditional. "If I come to church" denotes that there is a tendency i might not come to church but "When I come to church" assures of the possibility of coming to church.


From this, we understand that prayer is not optional but mandatory. Not for ministers of the Gospel or those who intend to do ministry but for all and sundry. 


A believer who understands the frailty of his or her humanity will engage prayer with all their might because it is only by engaging prayer, following the when phenomenon, that the believer can gain sufficient stature of stand in the days that are upon us.


PRAYER; A LIFESTYLE NOT JUST A TOOL

The idealogy that sees prayer as a tool for curbing emergencies and as an escape strategy when the believer is faced with overwhelming circumstance is unscriptural. The emergence of very weak and gullible believers is due to the acceptance of prayer as a tool.


The life of a believer is expected to be sustained by prayer. As a human, breathing in and out is essential for survival, prayer takes the same form for believers. Engaging in prayer only when the needs arises will make the church less of what God expects her to be. 


Not only is prayer supposed to be a communication channel between man and God, it is supposed to be a channel through which downloads from heaven can be captured by the praying man, downloads which would serve as a means of extending God's Dominion as expressed in heaven on the earth.


If all the believer does as prayer is plague  God with requests then more and more we will lose the ability to withstand the evil at work in the world today. Prayer is expected to be the way a believer lives, the system in which he gets respiration.


Jesus tried to present this truth when Luke records in chapter 18:1 that He spoke a parable to the end "that men ought always to pray and not to faint". This is the lot of all men – Prayer. 


For the believer to attain to his maximum potential in Christ Jesus, our importunity to prayer must drive us to constantly go before God in prayer whether in convenience or inconvenience.

PRAYING ALWAYS 

Having explained the need to pray not just for needs or when the need arises but as a lifestyle, let us see when really in respect to time is best for praying.


To answer this question, let's look at the scriptures on prayer below – carefully observing the emphasis as touching timings.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; – Luke 18:1
But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word – Acts 6:4

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; – Romans 12:12
Praying always with prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints – Ephesians 6:18

Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

From the scriptures above, the right attitude to prayer which the believer must sustain is summed up in two words – Continual & Always. For the sake of simplicity, let's make do with "Always".


There is no restraint on the timing for prayer. With much liberty is the engagement of prayer such that no matter the hour of the day, the wellness of our being, the comfort, the pain or tribulation, prayer must be maintained always. The best time to pray is actually all the time.


Emphatically, there is no prescribe time for prayer as a general rule but men have by an act of their will, their importunity for prayers and by divine instruction have set apart a specific time of the day for prayer.


Setting a particular time to engage prayer is not bad at all, infact it is needful a practice as men who have learnt to court and fellowship with God understands that routines and frequency are important in engaging God in prayers but then the best time to pray is always.


While on the road, in your bedroom, at your place of work, wherever and whenever, importunity should drive us to pray. The best time to pray dearly beloved is always. Timings are important but then praying always is scripturally prescribed!



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Friday, 12 June 2020

Immersion vs Sprinkling: How Should Water Baptism Be Performed

Water baptism has become an accepted event by all Christian sects and groups. It is considered an ordinance of church and one of the steps to salvation.


But it is also worthy of note that there is a prescribed methodology for performing water baptism as vividly seen in the Bible. Sadly, there is a form of disunity existing in Christendom over the right way to do water baptism.


This disunity has split the Body of Christ into two groups. The first believe that water baptism can be administered by sprinkling water over a person. The other group hold that water baptism is only valid when the person being baptized is completely immersed in water.


Fortunately for us all, the word of God does not leave us in the dark as to what baptism in water is about and how it ought to be performed. So in order to get accurate perspectives about water baptism and its administration, we would search the scriptures.

immersion is the right way to perform water baptism



It will interest you to know that there is no where water baptism was specified in the Bible to be done by sprinkling. All of the places where water baptism is recorded in the Bible indicates an immersion and not sprinkling of water.


One important pointer to note is the Greek word translated "baptize". It actually means to immerse or to dip under water and as your rightly know, the New testament was written in Greek.


This point is important because when we want to get the exact meaning of a word translated from another language, we check out its meaning from the root language. 


From the actual meaning of the word baptism in the original Greek rendition, we see that sprinkling is not captured as a method of administering water baptism but immersion.


Furthermore, if we look at the ministry of John the Baptist, we would see some very interesting stuff. First of all, the word "baptist" in the original Greek rendition means "immerser" "dipper" or "plunger". From the name given to him you already see that John was not a water sprinkler but a water dipper, immerser, or plunger.


John carried out his ministry of baptizing people "in the Jordan river" as revealed in Matthew 3:6 


And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.


He did not sprinkle water on the people else there would be no need to take them into the river Jordan. We see this vividly expressed when John baptized Jesus in verse 16 


And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:


Notice that it is clearly spelt out that Jesus went "out of the water" indicative of the fact that He actually went "into the water". If John sprinkled water on Jesus then scriptures will not record that Jesus went in and out of the water as there would be no need to go into the water.


John clearly baptized Jesus in the Jordan river by immersing Him in the water and when Jesus came out of the water the heavens were opened. 


For further analysis on this matter, let's look at the account of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. The Bible records in verse 36 that on getting to a body of water, the eunuch asked Philip "See, here is water; what hinders me from being baptized?" (Paraphrased).


Philip told him only if he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and after declaring his believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the eunuch and Philip "went down both into the water" (Acts 8:38).


Philip conducted the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch in the water not by sprinkling it on him. They would not go down into the water if sprinkling was all they would do. By standing by the bank of the water they could carry out sprinkling but since it was going to be an immersion which it was, they went into the water.


Water baptism according to the Bible is practically the immersion of people in water and not sprinkling. Sprinkling water over a person does not get him or her baptized. It is this activity that brought up the issue of Rebaptism.


For water baptism to be according to the pattern followed by Jesus, used by John the Baptist, and observed by the early church, it must be administered by complete immersion into a body of water.


It is unscriptural to claim that water baptism can be done by sprinkling water over a person – except we find scriptures which clearly shows that sprinkling is the methodology for baptism.


Another salient point which validates that immersion is the right means of administering water baptism is in one of the significances of water baptism.


Water baptism is significant of partaking in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The process of immersion in water identifies us with the death of Christ. Whe we come out of the water, it is a typology of the resurrection of Christ.
 

This is what Apostle Paul related to both the Romans and Colossians 

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:4 

Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. – Colossians 2:12


We are buried in Him and we rise in Him through the ordinance of water baptism. It is our means of partaking in the death and resurrection of Jesus and sprinkling water does not touch this very important significance.


Conclusion

The significances of water baptism can only be actualized by immersion not sprinkling. As we have seen in scriptures: the ministry of John the Baptist, the pattern followed in the baptismal service of Jesus our pattern man, and the adminstration of water baptism in the early church, water baptism is carried out by immersion in water.


Until it can be scripturally-proven, sprinkling is not a way to carry out baptism and if you have been baptized by the sprinkling of water then you would need to undergo Rebaptism to be baptized according to Biblical standards.


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Monday, 8 June 2020

Does Water Baptism Save You?

Can someone be saved when he or she is baptized in water?


Does being baptized in water make someone saved?

Does water baptism save you

The answer to these questions generally borders around the concept of salvation. An understanding of what salvation is and how it is gotten would help us identify if water baptism can save a man.


There are various school of thoughts on the concept of water baptism by different Christian groups and sects. 


The Liberals believe that repentance is the means for salvation. Evangelicals say believing and having faith in Jesus makes you saved. Sacramentals preach baptism as the key to salvation. The Pentecostals say you must be baptized in the Holy Ghost before you can be saved.


All of the views sustained by these sects are correct in the several fronts the conclusions were drawn. The truth about salvation is that it comes from all of the above means believed which makes holding on to one means as an imbalance in doctrine.


What I mean is that, the concept of salvation encapsulates the beliefs of the Liberals, Evangelicals, Sacramentals and the Pentecostals alike. Setting balance in the body of Christ is a necessary ministry today when sound doctrine seemed to have escaped through the backdoor.


The need for truth, sound and complete doctrine can never be overemphasized. All of the thoughts from the various units of the Christian faith on the subject of salvation are correct from the perspective they were drawn from but they lack completeness and due to the half-baked nature of their assertions, discourses like this have brought division to the body of Christ.


This ought not to be so. It is for this purpose Gospelcaster was established – to give every believer regardless of his or her denomination, the whole truth, articulating sound doctrine drawn from the balanced perspective of the Word of God.


For us to fully grasp the concept of salvation, we will need to look upon the words of Jesus and the practices of the early church. First, let's see what salvation is about.


What is Salvation? 


I would define Salvation as the sum total of what God did for us by sending Jesus His son to die for us. It is God's gift to mankind as Romans 6:23 puts it thus; 


For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord


By virtue of the fall of man recorded in Genesis 3, man became condemned to death. A verdict of destruction and condemnation was placed on all of mankind. But God was not completely comfortable with it hence His plan of redemption.


Redemption is God reaching out to mankind – you and I and bringing us back to Himself through the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus. Sin made us separate from God. It built a tall fence between us and God – we had no access to God whatsoever.


The goal of Jesus' death was to save mankind from the verdict of death and destruction and to redeem us back to God.


While on Earth, Jesus taught on God's love for mankind and how He intended to bring man back to Himself since we were now being condemned to destruction as a result of sin "For the wages of sin is death..." – Roman 3:23


Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, condemned every single one of us to eternal death and destruction as Apostle Paul puts it in Romans 5:19 but Jesus came to correct the mistake of Adam by being obedient even unto death thereby restoring our original stand with God – giving us access to God and saving us from condemnation.


So salvation is everything Jesus came to earth to do which encompasses terminating our appointment with eternal death, giving us eternal life and restoring our lost access to God.


HOW SALVATION ACTUALLY WORKS

The concept of salvation is perfected in four thresholds. These thresholds are the four opinions the Liberals, Sacramentals, Pentecostals and Evangelicals hold on to. 

Salvation is gotten through 

  1. Repentance 
  2. Believing on the Lord Jesus 
  3.  Baptism in water 
  4.  Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Notice that each one of the thresholds of salvation is what a sect holds as the basis for salvation. Even though, it is correct you would agree with me that it is imbalanced right?, Yes!

The process towards salvation begins from repentance. Repentance is turning away from your former ways and accepting a new course.

Jesus as Mark records in his gospel began preaching in Mark 1:14 and 15 and Jesus' message was "the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."

This is the first step towards salvation – repentance. The process of salvation begins when a man realizes he has been on the wrong path and has decided to switch sides and follow God.

Even John the Baptist told the people who came to him for baptism in Matthew 3:8 that they should bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. There is no salvation until repentance is observed. 

In Simon Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost recording in Acts 2, he told the people who asked what they should do (Acts 3:37) to first of all repent (Acts 3:38). Any salvation message that excludes the place of repentance is not complete.

Jesus preached repentance. John the Baptist preached repentance. The Apostles preached repentance. Salvation begins when repentance has been observed.

After repentance, what follows is believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. One must believe by faith that Jesus Christ died and resurrected on the third day to save mankind from condemnation and death. 

Only Jesus can save. In His words, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" – John 14:6 

Repenting without believing that Jesus is the son of God who died to bring you back to God will not amount to getting saved. Believing on the Lord Jesus is an important requirement for salvation.

Jesus explained the overwhelming love of God in John 3:16 when He said 

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

It is when we believe on the Lord Jesus that salvation is actually promised. Jesus further said;

"For God did not send His son into this world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him (Jesus) might be saved" – John 3:17

Also, a man asked Paul and Silas what he must do to be saved. Paul and Silas answered thus; 

...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. – Acts 16:31

See what Apostle Paul told the Romans

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved  –  Roman 10:9

It is until a person repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ which is proven by the confessing of Jesus as Lord and Savior, forsaking sin and resolving to live holy, that he or she is fit for water baptism.

Water baptism is the third process of salvation after repentance and believing on Jesus. Water baptism is the act of complete immersion in water.

Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19 saying;

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

He also told Nicodemus in John 3:5 that except one is born of water he can not enter into the kingdom of God. Baptism in water is an event that must take place to consolidate the process of salvation. 

In Mark 16:16, Jesus said; 

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Believing followed by water baptism consolidates salvation. Water baptism must not be trivialized. It must be observed as it is an important threshold for being saved.


Read: The Essence, Requirement and Significance of Water Baptism


After water baptism then the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' discourse with Nicodemus, He told the Pharisee that anyone who wants to enter into the kingdom of God must be born of water and also of the Spirit.

The baptism of the Spirit is very important for a believer. Water baptism cleanses you from your sins while the Holy Spirit baptism helps you live the new life of Christ.

It is as this stage – baptism in the spirit – that your salvation becomes complete. But there is something that would interest you, the order which I have listed may be broken.

Repentance and believing on Jesus Christ are constants – they must take place but some persons get baptized in the Spirit before they become baptized in water. I am an example.

I got baptized in the Holy Spirit long before I got baptized in water. I actually got baptized in water when the window was opened in my local Assembly.

This does not invalidate my salvation neither does it make me less a believer to the person who duly followed the processes outlined.

This is seen in the Bible when Peter went to preach in the house of Cornelius in Acts 10. In verse 44, the Bible records that while Peter was still speaking the Holy ghost fell on them. In verse 47, Peter asked "can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?

So it is very possible that someone having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, gets baptized in the Spirit before being baptized in water.

It will also interest you to know that the thief who hung on the cross with Jesus was saved by only believing on Jesus. There was no chance to be baptized in water or in the Spirit. 

These examples I am citing are not to negate the place of the process but to tell you that it must not be a holistic approach. The order must not be followed but must be maintained.


Conclusion 

On the question whether water baptism can save a man? 

The truth is no one begins the process of salvation by being baptized in water.

Water baptism is never the first requirement for getting saved.

One is entitled to be baptized in water only when he or she has repented and believed on Jesus. Baptizing someone who is a sinner – has not repenting and does not believe in Jesus – will not get that person saved.

In Acts 8:36, after Peter finished preaching to the Ethiopian eunuch, the man told Philip "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?"

And Philip told him, only if you believe with all your heart – (Acts 8:37) and the man having believed confessed Jesus as the son of God.

It was then Philip baptized the eunuch in water. This must be the pattern before baptism in water. There must first be repentance and believing on Jesus before water baptism.

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Thursday, 28 May 2020

Who Do We Pray To: God The Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, Angels or Mary?

who-do-we-pray-to.jpg


As believers who do we pray to?
What personality should we offer our prayers to?
Do we pray to God the Father or to Jesus Christ or to the Holy Spirit or to angels or to Mary the mother of Jesus?


We must understand the right quarters to direct prayers to because when prayers are not directed to the right quarters it can not amount to any form of effectiveness. Prayer only becomes effective when it is channeled to the right quarters.

There is a dire need for an accurate understanding of how to get God to answer our prayers and how we can prosecute the enterprise of prayers effectively. This understanding stems from the correction of the perspectives we have sustained on who we pray to.

You need to know that answers to prayers is made possible when we pray to the right person. All the time you spend in the secret place is only productive when your activities and prayers are directed to the right personality.

Supposing there is a vacancy in  a secondary school for instance and applications are supposed to be submitted to the Vice-principal of the school. If you submit your application to the security man do you think you stand a chance of getting the job? Absolutely not! Why because applications were supposed to be submitted to the vice-principal and not to the security man.

In the same vein, if you direct your prayers to the wrong personality you do not stand the chance of getting your prayers answered. There is a personality we must pray to and there is also a protocol we must submit to in order to pray effectively.

It will amaze you to know that a large percentage of believers do not know who we ought to pray to and we make many mistakes in prayer and wonder why we do not see results.

Before I reveal who we should pray to, let me quickly identify a few misconceptions we have entertained about who we pray to and I do so with love for the Body.

WE DO NOT PRAY TO OR THROUGH MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS


We neither pray to Mary nor through her and she does not pray for us. According to David Pawson, four persons engage in every prayer prosecution.

These four persons are you, God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is no mention of Mary the mother of Jesus as part of any prayer engagement.

Mary is only the vessel through whom Jesus was born into the world and she is not referenced through out scriptures to be a mediator between God and man. She is neither praying for us nor carrying our prayers to God on our behalf.

Mary's function in the kingdom is clearly stated in the Bible and that is giving birth to Jesus. Any other thing we believe about Mary outside this is not captured in scriptures.

It is believed by a group of Christians that Mary acts as a mediator between us and God helping us to pray but Scriptures clearly show us that we have only one mediator between God and man and that there is only one personality for provides help for the believer when we pray. Our mediator is the man Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us to pray.

The following scriptures proves the validity of my claims:
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. - 1 Timothy 2:5-6

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of the sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. - Hebrews 12:24

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. - Romans 8:26
The first two scriptures that is 1 Timothy 2:5-6 and Hebrews 12:24 shows us that Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. He is the only one declared as an intermediary between God the Father and every man.

 The third scripture proves that it is the Spirit of God that helps us pray. Later on, I would discuss extensively on the role the Holy Spirit and Jesus play as regards prayers.

Never in scriptures was Mary the mother of Jesus recorded to perform any role in the prayer of believers. We do not pray to Mary or through her neither does she pray for us. Praying to Mary or expecting her to pray for you is not scriptural and it is not consistent with the character of God.

WE DO NOT PRAY TO ANGELS


Another misconception about who we pray to is praying to angels. Angels are spiritual beings created by God for the sole purpose of serving Him. They function as messengers of God, carrying out His errands.

Angels are also called ministering spirits. As ministering spirits, their duty is to look after us, I mean you and I. This is why scripture records in Hebrews 1:14 saying:
Are they not ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

This is the job description of angels. Never were angels portrayed as recipients of prayers nor as carriers of prayer requests. Angels do not answer prayers nor help us pray. Their job function is service to God which includes declaring His glory, guarding His jealousy and as His messengers delivering His eternal counsel to men.

Any doctrine that teaches you that we can pray to angels is false and not scriptural. Angels can only bring answers to prayers as we see in Daniel chapter 10.

 The angel Gabriel was only a messenger more like a delivery man delivering the answer of Daniel's prayer. He was not the one the prayers were directed to neither was he the one answering them. He was only a delivery man, bringing the answers to Daniel.

The main reason I am bringing all these scriptures to you is for you to understand that the perspective I am bringing is not mine but from the word of God. I do not own any opinion I share.

 All of the opinions I am sharing and the perspective I am bringing are from scriptures. If you think these perspectives are wrong, bring up scriptures to prove your points so we compare scripture by scripture.

WHO THEN DO WE PRAY TO?


I have explained that we do not pray to Mary, neither do we pray to angels, who then do we pray to? Do we pray to God the Father or to Jesus or to the Holy Spirit?

Remember what I highlighted about David Pawson earlier on, where I spoke about the persons involved in prayer. God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are part of every journey of prayer we engage in.

Each of them have roles they play whenever we pray. Let's quickly run through the roles of these personality so we can understand who we ought to pray to.

THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN PRAYER


The role of the Holy Spirit in prayer is to help us to pray. The Bible speaking in Romans 8:26 tells us that the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, one of such infirmities is that we do not know how to pray as we should. The best of humans do not know what they should pray for and how they should pray. We all must rely on the Spirit of God for us to pray effectively.

Prayer is a spiritual activity and it can only be performed effectively when it is carried out in the premise and in partnership with the Holy Spirit.

No matter how skilled you are or how eloquent your tongues sound when you pray, prayer can not be effectively prosecuted by the energy of the flesh. As a spiritual activity, it must be done in partnership with a spirit.

The Holy Spirit helps to pray by making intercessions for us. Therefore, the Holy Spirit is our helpmeet in prayer. We partner with Him and He helps us to pray. This is made possible when we pray "In Him". We do not pray to the Holy Spirit, we pray in the Spirit. The best place to pray is not in your bedroom nor in the church nor in your car nor on a mountain but in the Spirit.

This was Paul's counsel to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 6:18

Praying always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Jude also admonishes us in Jude 1:20

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.

THE ROLE OF JESUS CHRIST IN PRAYER


Having highlighted the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer stating that we pray in Him, what then is the role of Jesus Christ in prayer?

When we pray, we pray through Jesus. Let me explain why and how. The fall of man in the garden of Eden broke the relationship between God and men. Man was unable to have access to God. Jesus' purpose for coming to the earth to die was to bring God back to man. He came to restore the access man lost to God.

Anything we do as Christians in our relationship with God is based on the finished works of Jesus Christ. We are saved from death because of Jesus. We are free from sin because of Jesus Christ. We are able to pray to God because of Jesus.

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them - Hebrews 7:25
Jesus Christ is our high priest who continually makes intercessions for us daily. He plays the role of a mediator, an intermediary between God and man as we see in 1 Timothy 2:25. He understands what it is to be human and He knows how to present your request better to God the Father.

For prayer to get to the right quarters we must pray through Jesus. Sadly, we can not pray through Jesus without being in Jesus. Being in Jesus refers to living a life of holiness, a life that is apart from sin. Sin is a major hindrance to prayers and if you must pray effectively then you must flee from sin.

Jesus said "He is the way, the truth and the life" (John 14:6). No one can approach the Father who is the right personality to pray to without Jesus. There is no means of boycotting the process. If it is not through Jesus you are not getting to God.

Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:6 that when we pray we should go into our closet and pray to no one but the Father. When He prayed, Jesus prayed to the Father as we see in Luke 6:12 where the Bible records

And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God

When Peter tried to defend Jesus by cutting off the ear of Malchus in Matthew 26:53

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

We see that Jesus modeled a pattern of prayer both in His teachings and lifestyle showing us the right quarters to channel our prayers. We pray in the Spirit through Jesus Christ.

WE PRAY TO GOD, OUR FATHER


And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
- John 16:23

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
- John 15:16

The only personality prayers should be directed to is God who Jesus makes us understand to be our Father (Matthew 6:6). Jesus called God "Father" using several prepositions such as my, yours, and our. His goal was to show us that God was Father and our prayers should be directed to Him.

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus made a shocking comparison. He said if our fathers that is our earthly fathers even though they are evil know how to give good gifts, how much more our Father who is in heaven? By implication, when we compare our earthly fathers to our Father in heaven, our earthly fathers are evil but they still know how to give good gifts to us when we ask. Then Jesus asks "How much more your Father in heaven?".

This is what makes us different from other religions. God is our Father and we can refer to Him as such without fear nor favor and we can direct our prayers to Him and be sure of getting answers from Him. Hence we pray in the Spirit, through Jesus Christ because of the access He grants us to God the Father.

We do not pray to angels or to Mary. Our prayers must be directed to God, through Jesus in the Holy Spirit.

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