Eternal God of mercy and truth, we thank You for yesterday, for Your guidance all through the night. We are grateful unto You for yet another day in the land of the living. Glory be to Your Holy Name. Father, receive all our praise and worship unto Thee now and ever more.
Beloved, what a wonderful day in the presence of Our Father in heaven, another time of prayer and the last in this month. We will be considering this topic “THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER”. From evidence before us, you can agree with me that many people do not understand the subject “PRAYER” and therefore obtain no full benefit of same. By the help of the Holy Spirit we will X-ray this topic for weeks ahead of us to get maximum benefits of the same. So be expectant, engage your gear fully for maximum benefits.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
When we stop to weigh the meaning of these words, then note the connection in which they are found, the intelligent child of God is driven to say, “I must pray, pray, pray. I must put all my energy and all my heart into prayer. Whatever else I do, I must pray.”
The Revised Version is, if possible, stronger than the Authorized:
“With all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”
Note the ALLS: “with ALL prayer,” “at ALL seasons,” “in ALL perseverance,” “for ALL the saints.” Note the piling up of strong words, “prayer,” “supplication,” “perseverance.” Note once more the strong expression, “watching thereunto,” more literally, “being sleepless thereunto.” Paul realized the natural slothfulness of man, and especially his natural slothfulness in prayer. How seldom we pray things through! How often the church and the individual get right up to the verge of a great blessing in prayer and just then let go, get drowsy, quit. I wish that these words “being sleepless unto prayer” might burn into our hearts. I wish the whole verse might burn into our hearts.
Beloved, we have eleven (11) reasons why this constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is so needful?
First of all, BECAUSE THERE IS A DEVIL. He is cunning, he is mighty, he never rests, he is ever plotting the downfall of the child of God; and if the child of God relaxes in prayer, the devil will succeed in ensnaring him. Check the 12th verse, 13th verse and the 18th verse to see the devices of devil.
A second reason for this constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that PRAYER IS GOD’S APPOINTED WAY FOR OBTAINING THINGS, AND THE GREAT SECRET OF ALL LACK IN OUR EXPERIENCE, IN OUR LIFE AND IN OUR WORK IS NEGLECT OF PRAYER.
Now beloved, do see why you and I must engage fully in prayer. Let’s read the message below:
“Praying always.” Ephesians 6:18
What multitudes of prayers we have put up from the first moment when we learned to pray. Our first prayer was a prayer for ourselves; we asked that God would have mercy upon us, and blot out our sin. He heard us. But when He had blotted out our sins like a cloud, then we had more prayers for ourselves.
We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave for a fresh assurance of faith, for the comfortable application of the promise, for deliverance in the hour of temptation, for help in the time of duty, and for succour in the day of trial. We have been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything.
Bear witness, children of God, you have never been able to get anything for your souls elsewhere. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water of which it has drank has flowed from the living rock—Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never grown rich in itself; it has always been a pensioner upon the daily bounty of God; and hence your prayers have ascended to heaven for a range of spiritual mercies all but infinite. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great, and your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless. Then have you not cause to say, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard the voice of my supplication”?
For as your prayers have been many, so also have been God’s answers to them. He has heard you in the day of trouble, has strengthened you, and helped you, even when you dishonoured Him by trembling and doubting at the mercy-seat. Remember this, and let it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has thus graciously heard your poor weak prayers. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”
Let us also remind you again for the need to pray for others, though we have discussed it before now. Does it surprise you that many that pleads for mercy don not know how to extend same others in need of it. We must pray for others as for God commanded it and He bless those that obey the commandment.
“Pray one for another.” James 5:16
As an encouragement cheerfully to offer intercessory prayer, remember that such prayer is the sweetest God ever hears, for the prayer of Christ is of this character. In all the incense which our Great High Priest now puts into the golden censer, there is not a single grain for Himself. His intercession must be the most acceptable of all supplications—and the more like our prayer is to Christ’s, the sweeter it will be; thus while petitions for ourselves will be accepted, our pleadings for others, having in them more of the fruits of the Spirit, more love, more faith, more brotherly kindness, will be, through the precious merits of Jesus, the sweetest oblation that we can offer to God, the very fat of our sacrifice.
Remember, again, that intercessory prayer is exceedingly prevalent. What wonders it has wrought! The Word of God teems with its marvellous deeds. Believer, thou hast a mighty engine in thy hand, use it well, use it constantly, use it with faith, and thou shalt surely be a benefactor to thy brethren. When thou hast the King’s ear, speak to Him for the suffering members of His body. When thou art favoured to draw very near to His throne, and the King saith to thee, “Ask, and I will give thee what thou wilt,” let thy petitions be, not for thyself alone, but for the many who need His aid.
If thou hast grace at all, and art not an intercessor, that grace must be small as a grain of mustard seed. Thou hast just enough grace to float thy soul clear from the quicksand, but thou hast no deep floods of grace, or else thou wouldst carry in thy joyous bark a weighty cargo of the wants of others, and thou wouldst bring back from thy Lord, for them, rich blessings which but for thee they might not have obtained.
The reason for this constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer was explained more by James. He brings this out very forcibly in the 4th chapter and 2nd verse of his epistle: “Ye have not because ye ask not.” These words contain the secret of the poverty and powerlessness of the average Christian — neglect of prayer.
Why is it,” many a Christian is asking, “I make so little progress in my Christian life?”
“Neglect of prayer,” God answers. “You have not because you ask not.”
“Why is it,” many a minister is asking, “I see so little fruit from my labors?”
Again God answers, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”
“Why is it,” many a Sunday-School teacher is asking, “that I see so few converted in my Sunday-School class?”
Still God answers, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”
“Why is it,” both ministers and churches are asking, “that the church of Christ makes so little headway against unbelief and error and sin and worldliness?”
Once more we hear God answering, “Neglect of prayer. You have not because you ask not.”
Are you ready to ask today as to receive? Engage yourself to supplication and pray always, all manners of prayer in the Spirit.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu