Why Is This Important?
1. Understanding What Prayer Is.
2. Understand Who God Is.
- The first is God is OBLIGATED to answer.
- The second is God is WILLING to answer.
- The third is God is ABLE to answer.
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
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. – Jeremiah 33:3
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
O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. – Psalms 65:2
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.
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. 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 6:4Rejoicing 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
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 8:26The 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.
Are they not ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Praying always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
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 7:25Jesus 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.
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
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
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