Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Authority of believers through prayer!

Show me any Christian, spirit filled church in the world and I can guarantee you one thing; the smallest meeting or the church’s least attended gathering is the prayer meeting. We’ve been told that for a Christian prayer is not an option, it is an integral part of a Christian walk. I remember my high school class teacher used to say, “Seven prayers-less days make one weak”. This was just an emphasis on the importance that prayer has in the life of a Christian and indeed everyone else. Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, presidents, billionaires, paupers etc do pray. I mean everyone does pray at one point or another in their life. The big question however here is, if prayer is so important, if the Bible even says “Man ought to pray always and not faint”, then why is the prayer meeting of any church the least attended meeting. Why has prayer been relegated to a few volunteers referred to as intercessors?

I am in no position (theologically or otherwise) to give a comprehensive answer to this question. So this is no purport to make any theological argument but expound on findings of those who’ve done their research and come to conclusions. Possible explanation to this convolution has been frustration and lack of understanding. Yeah, frustration! I mean let’s get a bit real here, how many times have we prayed and not seen results? How many times have you released the Abraham kind of faith in prayer only to get more frustrated coz nothing seems to be happening? I am sure you can recall those times when you prayed and felt like your prayers are hitting the ceiling (or some cloud if you were on top of the mountain like me and friends used to do). I don’t know about you but I have experienced those times. What am I saying here? Ladies and gentlemen, prayer is an integral part of a Christian walk and there is no question about that but I guess there is something missing. I guess there could be a few things we’re failing to realise as children of God and hence the frustration. I mean, I don’t know about you but I used to ask myself early in my Christian walk when I discovered how Sovereign, Omniscience, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and “Omni-everything” God is that why do we have to pray? I mean come on let’s face it, He knows everything, he knows exactly what we need before we even need it, He told Jeremiah that He knew him before he was formed in his mother’s womb. So why do we have to come back to the all knowing God and start telling Him, requesting and “begging”(some of us go to that extent)? I mean if God is so sovereign and will have mercy on whom he’ll have mercy like he said in his word, why trouble ourselves with prayer?

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking “But prayer is not all about a requests, it’s not a shopping list, you can have prayer of intimacy etc” Yeah, you’re very right but this time around I’m talking about the asking kind of prayer, whether you call it fancy terms such as “Prayer of supplication” or petition prayer or whatever. I am talking about that prayer where you’re asking God to intervene, where you have a need or want (yeah, a want!). Well, I’ve had enough of beating by the bush, so let me propose this and propose it so strongly; I believe that everything is tied up the authority which comes from the word of God. One thing I believe we should understand very clearly is that as sovereign as God is, He is only as sovereign as His word. That is to say, as much as He can do as he pleases and wants; he will not violate his word. That’s why the Psalmist declares that he has honoured His word above his name. So why do we pray then to a God who knows everything? We surely not telling him something he doesn’t know, are we? My believe is that the answer lies in the order of authority and dominion that God established on earth through his word that he cannot violate. In Genesis 1:26 God said, Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground’. So what God is simply saying here is that man (human being) is in authority on earth. Like a great man of God, John Wesley observed, “It seems as if without God, man CANNOT but without man, God WILL NOT”. So it is an issue of man’s inability to do anything without God and God’s unwillingness to do things without man coz He chose to and declared it in His word that He wants to partner with man( I Cor 3:9). Am I saying God CANNOT do things He wants to do without man? Certainly not, but God WILL NOT do things without man because he is subject to his own word which says He gave the earthly authority to man. Therefore brethren, next time you come before God in supplication prayer, have an understanding of how much authority that carries since it is essentially agreeing with God or like someone said, “giving God permission” to do what He already wants to do! Continue in prayer because it carries the authority that can change things, an authority that will move God to action as long as it is in accordance with the word of God because “He guards and watches it jealously to ensure that it is fulfilled”(Jer 1:12)

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