You are welcome to the Month of September Edition of El Shaddal Heritage. We give God the glory for the preservation of our lives and that of our loved ones.
Our focus for the month of September is PRAYER.
Prayer is simply defined as communicating with God. Prayer is the free open-line for a one on one conversation with God.
Prayer is like having a conversation with a good friend, It is where we learn to talk to God, understand him, connect with him, and understand ourselves. Prayer brings us closer together, and the more time we spend in conversation with God, the better, we come to know him.
WHY SHOULD WE PRAY
Our Lord Jesus made communion with God the first priority in His life. His approach to prayer was intentional and disciplined. He often rose early and went to a quiet place where He could focus on His Father
“Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there.
If the Son of God prioritized His need for prayer, As God’s children we cannot afford to do anything less
Prayer affords us the opportunity to unburden our hearts, take all our concerns, anxieties and worries to the throne of grace before an ever-listening God and request for His assistance.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
I Peter 5:7
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by Prayer and Supplication, with Thanksgiving let your requests be known unto God.”
Prayer helps us focus on God’s purpose
If anyone had a busy life, it was Jesus. From morning to night, the Gospels describe Jesus as someone who constantly healed and taught those around him; Jesus woke up before sunrise after having healed many sick and demon-possessed people earlier in the chapter (Mark 1:32-34), and went about what God wanted him to do.
Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left [the house], and went out to a secluded place, and was praying there. they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come
Prayer strengthens us against temptation
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told His disciples to, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Matt 26:41). Even so, the disciples fell asleep. Yes, prayer can be hard work and it can even be a struggle, but it is a sure way to withstand temptation
HOW THEN SHOULD WE PRAY
In Mathew 6:9-13 the popular passage of Scripture that is widely known as the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave us a guide and template on how we should structure our prayer to make it effective. The passage simply provide insight into what’s truly important to God when we pray.
“In this manner, therefore pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name’” ( Mathew 6:9)
Jesus was very clear that our prayers are directed to God the Father. He said we can ask the Father for anything in His name.
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. (John 16:23)
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13–14)
Though Christ was very clear, it is amazing how many churches pray in ways that directly contradict this instruction.
Prayers are not to be directed to angels, Mary or any saints!
By beginning our prayer with “hallowed be your name” we are saying that God’s name is a holy name that should be revered, honoured, and respected.
Secondly, hallowed be your name means we are beginning our prayer by praising His name, thanking Him for His blessings and goodness which is in alignment with Psalm 100:4 which tells us to enter into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!” Psalm 100:4
We are told to ask for His coming Kingdom and for His will to be done which includes praying for His Church; We are to pray for our daily needs, for forgiveness, for deliverance from “the evil one” (Satan) and for intervention in the lives of those who need it—even our enemies
Jesus also told us to pray for those who spitefully use us and persecute us
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
In his epistle, James wrote that we should pray for one another (James 5:16).
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Paul expanded that to include praying for all people:
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”
(1 Timothy 2:1-2).
Key principles of effective prayer
Pray in Faith
But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. People like that, unable to make up their minds and undecided in all they do, must not think that they will receive anything from the Lord.
James 1:6–8 GNB
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
. I Thessalonians 5:17 admonished us to “pray without ceasing”. Apostle Paul in Colossians 4:2 begins by saying,
“Be persistent in prayer” or “Continue earnestly in prayer,” It can be translated to “adhere firmly to, or remain devoted to”. Persistence in prayer is not an option for the Christian it is an order from the Lord Himself.
Two of the most instructive parables Jesus ever told on prayer, one in Luke 18:1-6 and the other in Luke 11:5-13, both have to do with being persistent and not giving up in prayer.
• Luke 18:1 says, “Now He was telling them a parable to show them that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.”
• Luke 11:9 is where we find the promise that says, “ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.”
Each of those verbs are in the present tense, active voice and could be translated, “keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.” Jesus does not want us to give up in prayer, He instructs us to be persistent.
Our heavenly Father wants us to talk to Him – regularly, continually and persistently. He wants us to approach him with reverence and humility trusting him to always do what’s best when it conflicts with our own perspective
However, God does not hear the prayer of a sinner as his prayers shall be abomination according to Proverbs 28:9
So the wicked or sinners who want God to hear their prayer must turn from their wicked ways, accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and repent of their iniquity otherwise God will not hear their prayers
Written by Mrs. ADENIKE OMOBULEJO