Text: Joel 2:15-27; II Chronicles 7:13-14
PRAYER: A FORUM OF MAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
It seems unbelievable but at the same time it is true. Whether this fact is known or not, every man on earth has been given the grace to have a direct access to the Heavenly Father. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and life, no one cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) Some has explored this special grace but majority of people has never initiated a contact at all with our Heavenly Father. The Bible says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1) Many think that God is too far above to be reached and therefore He is thought to be unapproachable. The thought of the backsliders who have tasted the goodness of God and have deserted Him is always centers around that, “God is holy and sinners like them cannot find Him.” Although this is true, the Scripture confirms it too and says, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:2) Nevertheless, there is no other avenue that man can amend his ways and once again be reconnected to his Creator in relationship than through the sincere remorsefulness in prayer. Even, in our sinfulness, His mercy endures forever. God never completely shut his door against the sinners. Although the door of His blessing may be closed because of our sins but the door of his mercy remains opened in order that sinners may repent and the spiritual ignorant people may realize their follies and amend their ways.
Prayer is the forum where the beloved of the Lord can experience the bliss of beautiful relationship with the Father. Prayer is the spiritual melting pot of divinity and humanity. God speaks to us through His words from the scripture, but in prayer man speaks to God and God responds to man in his mercy, in revealing His ways unto man, in directing his steps and in meeting his needs. God responded to the prayer of Daniel, a notable habitual prayerful man, and revealed the dream of Nebuchadnezzar along with its interpretation. God responded to the prayer of Shadrak, Messach and Abednego, the famous three Hebrew children, and He delivered them from the burning furnace. Whenever man access the inter-heavenly telephone number, which is J-E-S-U-S, God is always at the other end of line and His number is never busy. Far from our narrow thought, God is unimaginably closer to man. “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” (Psalm 34:15)
PRAYER: A MISSING LINK
If there is anything Satan wants man to do is to completely forget and disregard God. He is daily perfecting this course with gadgets of deceits and worldliness. A day without a relationship with God in the life of a Christian is a day that was indirectly devoted to the directive of Satan. The day is recorded against the persons account in the book of life and only repentance can erase the evil record. Let it be known, there is no middle ground between God and Satan. For any reason, if man refuses to establish a relationship with God through prayer, the individual is indirectly establishing a relationship with Satan through disregards and stubbornness. The strategy of enemy is to impede progress and breakthrough in man’s life. As long as there is no relationship between man and God, there will be no revelation to man and as a result, the chances of breakthrough and progress are very remote. The major achievement of the temptation of Satan against Adam and Eve was the severance of man’s relationship with God. After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man was roaming about on the surface of the earth. Man did not know how to approach God. Lack of relationship with the Creator has been the reason why man lasted so long in his spiritual wilderness because man was devoid of the idea of how to seek the face God in prayer until God Himself found man and led him to salvation. Prayer has been the missing link that man needed in order to locate his lost glory.
From the word ‘commune,’ we have communication, we have community, we have communal, and we have committee. These words have one thing common to each other – they are various activities between two or more peoples. God created man in His own image, God taught man the act of fellowship because at the cool of the day, He came into the Garden of Eden to fellowship with Adam and Eve. But man discarded the fellowship of God and established affinity with stranger. That was the wrong step in wrong direction. None of us like to be isolated. Do you know that God Almighty feels the pain of isolation because of our failure to fellowship with Heavenly Father? (Isaiah 1:2-7) Angels are praising before His Throne day and night, but He inclines His ears to pick the faint echo of our fellowship and praises.
If there is anything our Father in Heaven enjoys in our prayers to Him, it is our relationship with Him. Our relationship with God in prayer transcends the notion of demand and supply that characterized the core of some prayers. God is a responsible Father, and He had made abundant of provision available for us before our needs arose. It is not necessarily our incessant request for those needs that bring the supplies. Paul admonish the brethren in Philippi that, “In every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.” (Philippians 4:6) The word supplication means ‘a humble and earnest petition.’ Therefore prayer should be seen as forum of relationship with the Father that provides the children of God a room to receiving from the Lord.
DOES GOD NEED MAN?
Yes and no may be the appropriate answer. Yes, God needs righteous men so that the fullness of His righteous intentions for humanity may manifest. Conversely, the wicked men do not fit in to the plans of for humanity. God may choose to do away with them, but because His mercy that endures for ever, He gives the wicked a long rope so that they may come to repentance and reconcile with Him. God created Abraham and gave him a covenant of bless; the same Creator created Pharaoh that disregarded God and His commandment and chose destruction instead of life. The patience of God with the wicked does not connote weakness in His judgment; God is looking beyond the despicable life of a wicked man to what their generation may bring forth.
It is always a personal sense of pride to think that God depends on man in His ruling in the affairs of man on earth. For instance, nobody can hold God into ransom but if God raise his hands of judgment against humanity in His wrath, He can hold the entire world to ransom if He chooses to. He is the potter and we are the clay. Practically, there is nothing that man is doing for God that He cannot do for Himself. There is nothing that necessitates the Almighty God to look for man. It is because His love endures for ever that is why God sought man to bless him. Because of His love, He looked at man as a partner. He wanted man to taste importance of a co-builder by incorporating man in the process of beautifying this world. This statement should not be misconstrued. Earth is the abode of mankind; man is responsible for shaping and the customization of the earth to our own taste. This is how mankind is participating with the Creator to improve upon the earth. Man is daily improving the earth through their close fellowship with God or destroying the earth through their hostility to the commandment of God from the primitive age till the present time.
Up till now, regardless of the sinfulness of the whole world, man is still living on whatever God make available to the whole world. God is in charge of the whole universe ruling in the affairs of man. No king will come to the throne without His knowledge and approval. It is the man that needs God for help and deliverance from the wiles of Satan. It is the man that needs God for divine wisdom in order to progress in his calling. It is the man that needs God for divine protection.
There is no doubt that God used some notable men in the Scripture but the fact is that He used them as instrument to rule among mankind to guide them in righteousness, to intervene where necessary in the affairs of man and to bless mankind. All the men mentioned in the Bible depended totally on God in order to excel in their calling. The prophets of God, before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, took every step in their ministry according to the direct guidance of God. They set aside quality time to commune with God. They had a blissful relationship with God that transported them to the presence of God for divine guidance. It was during the time that the revelation of the next line of action became open to them. They trusted in His divine directions. He led and they all followed and they excelled in their ministries. Jesus Christ emphatically stated that the message He was given to man was from the Father Who sent Him. He also always set aside time to commune with God for divine dialogue and briefing.
Whatever we may be claiming as our services unto God, is in actual fact our services to humanity – ourselves. We need to seek the face of God in prayer more than ever before because God is the source of our existence. “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” (Psalm 65:2) Also because of the mercy of God, in the uncountable limitations of mankind, Holy Spirit helps our infirmities and intercedes for us. “Like wise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) Holy Spirit searches the heart of man. In our sorrow and pain we may not be able to seek the face of God according to His will. Our feelings and tears may be wrongly misconstrued and wrongly interpreted by man, but only God who created us in His own image can interpret the language of our tears and correctly intervene in our situations.
THE POSITION OF THE PRAYER OF THE ELECT BEFORE GOD
If there is anything that bothers the Creator at all, it is the unfruitful life that man is living which is completely against the intended will and expectation of God concerning our lives. It is the lifestyle of self-centeredness that had characterized the core of our being. It is the catalogues of wickedness and unrighteous living that man had been filled with. In this deceptive and callous live-style of the world, the elect of God are like endangered species that exist among the wolves. The eyes of God are like a spot-light upon these beloved of the Lord and the outstretched hand of the living God is ready to deliver them. Therefore the prayer of the saints is offered as a sweet savor upon the golden altar which was before the throne of God. “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.” (Revelation 8:3-4) The prayers of the saints before God Almighty keep the elects in constant remembrance in the presence of God about the development of the people He had made them an overseers. This is how the elects of God are transported to the presence of God through their prayers. If you are one of the millions that are calling upon the names of the Lord and seek His face in totality of heart in intercessory prayer, it is wonderful to note that your voice is bearing a faithful record of your righteous activities on earth before the Mighty Throne of the Living God.
ASK, SEEK AND KNOCK
Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he for fish offer him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:9-13; Matthew 7:7-11
The acronym ASK are the first letters of the key words ‘ask,’ ‘seek’ and ‘knock’ in the Bible passage above. The ‘A’ in ‘ask’ represents Acknowledge your needs, ‘S’ in ‘seek’ represents Seek for a solution and lastly, ‘K’ in knock represents Knock on the door of your solution. The first letter of each keyword comes together to form the first key word – ‘ask’. This is not a coincidence. These words are interrelated in the prayer life of the children of God. They are powerful procedural aspects of our prayer that ascertain that our Father in Heaven will honor our prayers. The passage above reveals to us the father-son/daughter scope of relationship within which the prayer procedures can be applied. In other words, if your spiritual relationship with God does not fall within this scope you should not expect positive results even if you follow the prayer procedures correctly.
When Jesus Christ was making these statements, He was revealing the mind of God. He was revealing the disappointment of God concerning the ignorance we often exhibit in the time of our needs. He was putting the Holy Name of His Father on the line, backing it up every powerful key word in the passage with divine assurance. If God would not answer you in the time of your need, Jesus Christ, Son of God would not bid you to ask. If there is nothing in the store house of God, and if your frantic search will end up in vain, His Son would not tell you to seek. If the door of His divine blessing would not be opened unto you, the King of Kings, who was with God at the beginning, would not tell you to knock.
A–ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF NEEDS
In most of our prayers to God, we stop at the first phase. That is, we only acknowledge our needs according to the limitation of our understanding and according to the scope of our reasoning. At times, we are not detailed enough in the acknowledgement of our needs partly because of our narrow and selfish though. Do not be surprised if many people do not know exactly what they need. This leads us to a story of two friends. The first was about to get married. His fiancé was very caring and loving. She showed a great respect for the family of her fiancé. The second friend admired the beautiful characters of the fiancé of his friend so much that any time he was praying for his own life-partner, he prayed thus: “God I want you to give me a woman exactly like my friend’s fiancé.” Soon after the marriage of the first friend, his wife became a changed person. She got angry one day and she hurled insults at both her husband and his family in the presence of the second friend. Everybody in their house characterized her as a bad woman. The experience was a horrible one for the second friend; he went to the Lord in prayer and said: “God I have change my mind; I don’t want a woman exactly like my friend’s wife any more. Please give me a woman that you have created to be my wife.” For the first time, he acknowledged his need correctly. This is a true story. So are our myriads of experiences concerning the things we put across before our Father in Heaven as our needs. Were we to write our needs on paper and compare notes, we would marvel at the ignorance we exhibit before God concerning our needs. As a result, before you go to God with your needs, ask yourself a pertinent question: Do I really, really know what I need? Do I really, really need what I request for in my prayer now and why? Take time to state the reason why those needs are so important in your life. Critically consider your reasons in line with the word of God. If your reason is worldly oriented or ostentatious, I perceive there is a problem in your request. Go back and reorganize your needs before God. Please note that you can succeed in deceiving man but you cannot deceive God. If the theme of your need is according to the will of God, will bring glory to God, and will be of benefit to others, you are on the right path. Proceed to the next stage of ASKing.
S–SEEKING FOR SOLUTION
“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2) King David knew who he was as a servant of the Living God and he was able to identify himself with the Lord as a child of God. He never looked up to man for the solution of his problems. If in your spiritual understanding you are able to identify yourself as a child of God, then the solution to your problems and the answer to your needs is not in the hand of the herbalists, psychist and occultists. If your problem is health related and you are sure that doctors can help you, you still need God. Although doctors may prescribe medicine for relief, only God does the healing. “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases.” (Psalm 103:2-3) “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” (Matthew 4:23) Even if your needs can be met by man you still need God to establish a divine connection to the instrument that God will use to accomplish the need. If your needs are beyond the power of man, do not waste time by going to man for a solution. Go to the Almighty God who created you. The good news is this: God is aware of your situations before your needs become apparent to you and He is abundantly able. God asked Sarah, the wife of Abraham at the age of 90 years: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14. Some may be pondering, “How can I know that my problem is beyond the power of man?” This question leads to a testimony.
One of my beloved children was diagnosed as having a speech delay. My wife and I enrolled him into special education program where he could get help. When he was about four years old, we got a note from his speech therapist for a meeting. She said in the meeting that they have done all they could but the child is not speaking. She said the next line of action now is to start teaching him sign language. I responded, “As the Lord liveth, my son will talk! How he would I do not know.” I knew immediately that this is beyond man and I knew that I have work to do. The children of God joined hand with us and we started praying for him. A few months later, we had a breakthrough. We were at home one day, and the boy said “Mommy,” for the first time in his life. Some weeks after that, he said, “Mommy, I love you.” You can imagine our joy. Since then, he has been speaking. He is presently in the 4th now he and he is reading Bible effectively. One thing to note here: The very end of the power of man is when it seems the hope is lost. This is the beginning of the power of God if you invite Him to intervene in your situation.
Seeking the face of God does not require an elevated platform but it surely requires a launching pad that will bring you to His presence. The church may point you to God and the pastor may counsel and intercede on your behalf but it does not end there. The process of seeking God begins with you. When you deal with yourself, you gain the stamina to deal with other forces that are militating against you. There are people who do not see anything good in themselves. If they do not wholeheartedly accept themselves as a priceless creative work of Almighty God, how can they appreciate the Creator who created them? There are other aspects of self that must be brought to subjection before God. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. You must discard the hidden habits and hidden parts of your life style that do not give glory to God. You have to look inward through God’s eyes; look at yourself in the God’s mirror. Let the search light of God, which is His word, reveal the dross in your hearts so that the process of repentance may commence.
Review the status of your relationship with the Heavenly Father. If you do not have a relationship with him before, establish one. If you have been receiving blessing from God before without having a relationship with Him, I must let you know brethren, you have been settling for the crumbs that falls from the Master’s table. Imagine what your life will be if you are connected to the everlasting source. If you have been coming to God before when you only need His help, make Him your permanent friend. He is the true vine and we are the branches. “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:5-7)
In your relationship with man, God demands that you live your life in such a way that you become a source of light unto other people. Ensure that you make peace with those who have offended you and reconcile with those you have offended. When the word of God directed that peace should be between you and others, it does not follow that you are weak. It only means that the word is shaping you to fit into the divine plan of God. In the ultimate level of peace expected of God’s children under the revolution of peace of Jesus Christ, He said: “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” (Matthew 5:39-41)
Please note. All the processes listed above are not only solutions but also the repentance of the besetting sins to sanitize your spiritual life, create room and an environment conducive for the blessing of God to dwell when Heaven would come down in your life. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that is cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2) There must be a reversal of all that has been spiritually wrong in your life until your will is completely in subjection to God’s will. These are the steps that stand between you and God. When you up walk these steps, God will be able to meet you at the point of your needs. When we operate under the perfect will of God, all the good intentions of God towards humanity will manifest in our lives for the His glory.
Another important thing of which you must not lose sight of is that your line of communication with God may be clear and free of busy signals. Unknown evil forces will often try to short-circuit your connection with God. “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.” (Ephesians 6:12) It happened to the prophet Daniel. He was seeking the face of God with prayer and fasting for twenty-one days. God heard his prayer on the first day and sent His ministering angel to meet the need but the territorial hindering spirit called the prince of Persia, withheld the angel for twenty-one days before the chief prince, Angel Michael, came to his rescue. (Daniel 10:10-14) That is why you must win your conflict against the powers and principalities. The evil spirit must be bound and cast to the bottomless pit, the ministering angels should be set loose to minister to you.
You must also break the chain and power of generational curses in your life. Read Curse and the Cure one of the Reflect on This! series. The power of binding and loosing is in the name of Jesus Christ. The authority to use the name of the Lord against the wiles of enemies has been given to you. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name with is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11) There are times when you bind and cast out the evil forces in your prayer and it seems that there is no response cry for divine help from above. Pray for divine intervention of the Holy Spirit. “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”
GET REAL AND GET READY
Be real in your seeking and get ready to receive. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13) Totality of heart and consistency are required in seeking the face of God. There can be no consistency in Christian living if you do not have commitment with God. Be consistent in your searching and behold, God will be consistent in giving to you. “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) Seek the face of the Father in godly wisdom, in the understanding of His word, as we know that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Bees always go from one flower to the other when seeking for the nectar – the sweet liquid in the flower. The process of searching and seeking never destroys the petals and the stigmas; instead, it adds life to the continuous existence of the flower by distributing male pollen to female flowers with its teeny-weeny hairy legs for the process of fertilization. When you are seeking the face of God, always have the story of the bee in your heart. Seek the Father with the consideration of other people in your mind. “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not he heard. (Proverbs 21:13) When you receive the blessing from above, do not let the way you live your life destroy other people’s lives.
UPRIGHTNESS OF HEART AND OBEDIENCE
If you desire the blessing of God, you must trust on Him wholeheartedly for your needs. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) There should not be a plan ‘B’ on the side or putting your trust in other idol because you cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24) Honor and follow the direction of God. Do not be indifferent to His commandment and warnings. (Proverbs 1:24-29) God did not just take Enoch from earth to Heaven. God took him because he walked in obedience with the Almighty God and with righteousness of heart. Do not be deceived. Every sin committed is another step away from God until the sinner repents of the sin. Conversely, every act of righteousness is another step towards the Creator. Consider this: the chariot of Fire would not have come down from Heaven only to pick up one soul if Elijah had not deserved the heavenly honor. Can it be said of you that you deserve a heavenly honor?
“ . . . whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7) If you sow unto the spirit, you shall reap godliness. David sowed unto faithfulness: he killed Goliath in the valley of Elah. (I Samuel 17:45-51)
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. I Samuel 17:45-51
Jesus look up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” He said in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:41-43) The four-day stinking dead body of Lazarus was quickened and came out of the grave. Beloved of the Lord, have you forgotten the solitary moments when Jesus Christ sow in the Father with prayer? He is our example. We should learn from the Master.
There are a lot to learn from the fight of rams. This scene is seldom seen in the urban cities but it is a common occurrence in certain rural areas. When a ram acknowledges the position of its enemy, it locks on its eyes on the target and retreat backward about a distance of four yards. The ram does three things simultaneously. It focuses, it retreats backward to gather a forceful momentum, and lastly it makes sure it hit its target so hard. It will then run forward at an incredible speed of about 45 miles per hour, positioning his horn against its target. From the description of the scene, we learn importance of focusing, preparation and the determination to succeed. The parable of the ten virgins reveals the same. The first five were described as wise virgins because they focused on the goal, prepared for the bridegroom and were determined to attend the marriage ceremony. You know the rest of the parable and it can be found in Matthew 25:1-12. Among all the important processes of seeking, you must focus on victory. You must be prepared and be determined not to fail; otherwise do not start a war against powers and principalities.
K–KNOCK ON THE DOOR FOR YOUR SOLUTION
And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Luke 15:11-24
In a closer reading of the repentance of the Prodigal son, you will notice that before realizing his wicked ways, he acknowledges his deplorable situation. You will also notice his efforts to device a solution to his problem. Lastly, you will notice the execution of the plan when he knocked at the door of the beloved father he had hurt because of his wantonness and greediness. Luke 15:11-24 A prodigal son knew that he had hope in the presence of his father. He knew that whatever the case might be, his father would give him an audience. He also knew that there is a portion of mercy reserved for him in the heart of his father. The father received him with an open hand, not because he merited anything, but because his son had traced his way back to his original source.
Having known your portion before the Lord as a beloved of the Father, the apple of His eyes, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9), you must come before your Father in Heaven, with conviction in your heart that you will receive. You must knock with an assurance that you will not be denied. I was alone one day with my four-year-old son. I sat on a couch and I dozed off. This boy beat me with his little hands saying, “Wake up, Daddy! Don’t sleep.” I asked him, “Why?” With an astonished innocent countenance and concerned expression on his face, he asked me, “Who will take care of me?” The child was right. The boy knew who he is to me and knew that I am the only one that can take care of him when the rest of my family is not at home. He demanded for attention. After all, a sleeping father cannot take care of a needy child. Do not come to the Father in Heaven like a beggar. Come to Him with a humble spirit but in boldness of heart. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrew 4:16)
Enter the gate of the Living God with thanksgiving in your heart and enter his court with joy. Not only to offer Him praises of thanksgiving for what He has done up until now but also for what He is going to do in your life. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5) Come to the Father with the food of the Spirit to remind Him of His promises. “And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3) Also, come with the sword of the spirit against the hindering spirits to bind and cast them into the bottomless pit. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:4-5) The word of God is a wall of defense and a sword of offense. Knock His door of mercy with the virtue of faith because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrew 11:6) Come to the Father in your prayer with the only recognized seal of Heaven, which is the name of Jesus Christ. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
There is no time limit in the period you should ask Father in your prayer. The Bible enjoined us to “pray without ceasing.” (I Thessalonians 5:17) Pray in the day and during the night. Wake up and pray to seek His face while the whole world is asleep. Your Father who does not sleep nor slumber will be less busy at this time with fewer files on His table. This is one of the beautiful ways of sowing into the spirit. When you put aside your cozy bed to reach out to God in prayer, it is certain that you will not reap corruption. “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4) Pray anytime the Holy Spirit gives you a prayer point.
Lastly, do not ignore the power of agreement in prayer. If you do not have a prayer partner, look for one. A Christian couple should realize that they are partners forever and they should endeavor to commit their needs into the Lord’s hand in prayers of agreement. “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19-20) When you engage in a prayer of agreement with your prayer partner, it is no longer one person’s need before God. It means you enter into a covenanted-spiritual relationship with another concerning the need of your generation before God. Above all, God witnesses that very moment of your agreement. I want you to know that God is not a passive witness to your heart’s desire. His presence is there to echo “Amen” to your prayer and to meet your needs. Remember that one can chase a thousand but two can put ten thousand to flight especially when the Lord has shut the enemy up. (Deuteronomy 32:30)