1 Chronicles 4:9-10, 1 Samuel 1:9-20, Esther 4:16 - 5:3, Daniel 2:16-18, Acts 12:4-7, 2 Kings 2:1-5
Prayer is communication between man and God in the name of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is addressed to God in the form of supplication, adoration, praise, contrition, love, thanksgiving or in order to ask for something. It is the walking stick of a Christian and a potent weapon available to every child of God. It is the primary medium through which we commune with God to obtain our needs, intercede for others and receive powers to wrestle against principalities and powers. It can be likened to a telephone call to heavens headquarters to effect changes or to receive both in the physical or spiritual realms. Prayer can be offered openly, privately, individually or collectively.
Jesus Christ knew the utmost significance and effect of prayers and its power to change situations. He taught us how to pray in Matthew 6:9, to our Father in Heaven while on earth. He dedicated Himself fully to the ministry of prayers, John 17:1. The Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing". 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Prayer can change sorrow to joy, death to life, barrenness to fruitfulness, failure to success, stagnation to promotion, lack to abundance, shame to glory, dishonour to honour, impossibility to possibility. No wonder the Psalmist says in Psalm 121:1-2, "I will 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". Jeremiah 33:3a says "Call to me and I will answer you". Call on Him now, reach Him with your prayers and surely your situation will change for better in Jesus name. Amen.
Let us consider some people in the Bible who have used prayers to effect positive changes in their situations and in the situations of people around them. People like Jabez, Hannah, Esther, Hezekiah, Elijah and Daniel to mention a few.
Change From Sorrow To Honour
1 Chronicles 4:9-10. Jabez was named a child of sorrow by his mother because she said she gave birth to him in and with sorrow. At a point, Jabez got tired of his situation and prayed earnestly and fervently to God to change his situation. Jabez called on God of Israel saying, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep from harm so that I will be free from pain". And God granted his request. Man of sorrow became a honourable man. Have you been stigmatised over any issue? Has the world given you a name God has not given you? The Lord that answered Jabez is still there.
Barrenness to Fruitfulness
1 Samuel 1:9-20. Hannah, wife of Elkanah though loved so much by her husband was barren. She was always tormented, provoked and humiliated. She was always sorrowful and dejected; she wanted this situation to change. She went to the tabernacle at Shiloh which is the religious centre of the nation to pray with a heavy heart. She prayed and wept bitterly to God. After making her petition known to God, her countenance changed and the Lord remembered her and she became a mother of seven children. Afterwards the Bible says "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning". Has anybody tormented, provoked and humiliated you? The Lord who changed Hannah's story is still there.
Ester 4: 16 - 5:3. Esther prayed and fasted for three days with her people in Shushan to obtain favour in the sight of king Ahasuerus to save the Jews from destruction. She was even ready to perish because death was the punishment for going to the king when not invited. But because she prayed and fasted, instead of death, it was favour she obtained and the king granted her request. People were saved from destruction. Is there anything threatening you, your family or community? God who favoured Esther and granted her request is still there. God who owns the heart of the kings, your boss and everybody is still there. Your prayers can effect changes positively. You can add fasting to your prayers to fast track the impacts.
Captivity to Freedom
Acts 12:4-7. The church interceded for Peter while King Herod held him imprisoned awaiting death sentence. The church members prayed without ceasing to God to change Herod's stand and God heard and sent an angel to Peter. The angel came upon him and a light shined in the prison and he smote Peter on the side, the iron gates and chains loosened and Peter was set free. Are you in any form of bondage or captivity? Financial, social, economic or spiritual? God can send an angel to you to set you free. Prayers offered can set the captives free. Start to intercede for people, for your community, the missionaries on the mission field and those held captives.
Change From Imminent Death to Life
2 Kings 2:1-5. Despite the fact that God sent Prophet Isaiah to Hezekiah to inform him to put his house in order and prepare for death (just as some doctors would sometimes pronounce imminent death for some patients), Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to God and wept bitterly. God heard his prayers and changed his stand by sending the same Isaiah to him. God even added fifteen years to Hezekiah's and delivered him and the city he dwelt in from the Assyrians. Has anybody told you that sickness is unto death? Who has said it when the Almighty God has not? As Hezekiah did, you can do better to effect positive change. God will surely deliver you from the pangs of sickness and you will live to enjoy the fruits of your labour. However, if you pray and God grants you the grace to live longer, restitute, be right with your God, guard your salvation with trembling and fear and be ready to make it to heaven at all cost. Psalm 91:16 says "With long life I will satisfy you". So pray until something happens.
Divine Knowledge And Wisdom
Daniel 2: 16-18. Daniel with his three friends prayed to God to reveal and interpret king Nebuchadnezzar's dream. God gave Daniel knowledge and wisdom to interpret the king's dream. The prayer offered was more effective than panic and it saved them and all the wise men of Babylon from death which the king had promised if nobody could interpret his dream. Won't you pray? You better start if you have not cultivated the habit of praying. Prayer can move mountains, can level mountains and can reverse the irreversible. Pray to God in the name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit until something happens.
Worry, weeping, anxiety can not change situation, they only make situation worse. Why worry when you can pray? He says call upon me and I will answer you. The righteous prays ahead of evil days and his prayer availeth much. Make prayer part and parcel of you. Be a prayer champion.
Father, give me the grace to appreciate the power of prayer. Let me be able to set myself apart for prayer in Jesus name. AMEN