WHY SHOULD I PRAY?

Sometimes we just don’t ‘feel like’ praying or sometimes we ‘don’t have the time’ to pray, yet, prayer is the most important part of anyone’s life. Prayer builds our identity, our knowledge of our creator and leads us into the purposes and plans God has for us.

So, here are five reasons why you should persevere in prayer and pray –

• Converse with God

Praying is literally talking to God, just as you would with a parent / guardian, a sibling or a friend. What do you do with them? Pour out your heart, share yourself with them, listen to them and know them more.

He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you.

If you’re wondering or are struggling to pray to the true God, begin now by going to Him and talking to Him. You can converse with him wherever you are, because he is everywhere, at all times. He is the parent, friend or sibling who will never go far from you, no matter what. He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you. And He always speaks, in alignment with His word, the Bible.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord .. Isaiah 1:18

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Psalms 25:14

• Let ‘go’ and let ‘GOD’

Oftentimes, we tend to keep our problems or circumstances right in front of our eyes, up close. Our human mind pushes us to think of all the probabilities and possibilities of something going right or wrong. But with all our limitations, there is honestly no problem/circumstance that assures us of a permanent solution. This makes us anxious, burdened and hopeless.

That is why we need our creator, who is ruler over all things, to lead us into the plan He has for us. Only He can bring joy and peace in our hearts in the midst of uncertainty, because only He knows how to lead us through.

When you pray, you begin to focus on how God can lead you. So now, the problem or circumstance you are in starts diminishing in comparison to God’s greatness and power. When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Praying constantly and consistently in the midst of uncertainty is very important, if you want to be peaceful and joyful.

When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

• Stand in the gap

Have you seen someone hurting and wondered what you can do to help? Or Seen someone’s bad behaviour and wondered how it could change? Or Seen a community, city or nation reel under threat and wondered how things would be back to normal?

When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

The truth is, God is sovereign over all things and He alone can take control of hearts, minds and even nations. God, in the Bible, says that He just needs someone to stand in the gap and intercede for others.

When you pray for a broken heart, God does the mending. When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

• Fight the real enemy

A lot of times we get caught up fighting against people. Sometimes we win the fight, sometimes we lose the fight.. but, either ways, end up distancing from the person. That is not what God has called us to. In fact, God tells us that anyone who loves God must love their sisters and brothers (1 John 4:21).

Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is.

But.. this is not easy. Our emotions and our heart are deceitful, making it hard for us to let go and not fight people. That is why we need to pray. When you pray, you war against the real enemy – the devil. Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is. When you pray, God’s angel armies fight the devil and that’s when you remain at peace with your family or friend.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6 : 12

• Unveil the supernatural

When God created man and woman, the Bible says He created us in His likeness. God wants us to be like Him in every way – His character, His glory and His power. He wants us to display His glory here on earth, as it is in heaven.

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity

That’s why Jesus taught the disciples to pray like this – “..your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity – which is beyond natural. Praying leads you to witness God’s miracles in your life and lives of people around you. You, then, begin to live a supernatural life, the Kingdom (of heaven) life – which is what Jesus asked us to pray for.

If you want to start praying again, begin by just simply conversing with God. He is there. He is lisening. Right now and always..

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GROWING INTIMACY WITH GOD

SERIES: Understanding Scriptures – Part 2

Have you ever watched a shepherd calling out and leading his sheep? It is a fascinating affair. All that the shepherd does is speak a word to call out to them, and in no time, his sheep listen to him from no matter how far they are, come to him, and flock around him.

Watch this short clip to
see how the sheep hear their
shepherd’s voice
and flock around him!

Source:
https://youtu.be/Coq_grSFlNs

It is no wonder that Jesus used the relationship between a shepherd and his sheep as a parable to explain His relationship with those who love Him and believe in Him.

In John 10 : 14, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”. Jesus does not say ‘all sheep’, ‘few sheep’, ‘many sheep’, but He says ‘my sheep’. You see, not every sheep is His sheep. There are only a set of sheep that are Jesus’ sheep. So, how is Jesus separating His sheep? How are the ones who He is calling ‘my sheep’ different from the rest?

He gives us the answer in John 10 : 27, where He says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me”. That is it. His sheep listen to His voice and follow Him. Like the sheep of any shepherd, who listen to their shepherd’s voice and follow him.

Listening to the shepherd’s voice goes beyond merely hearing his voice. It is a process of understanding, accepting and obeying what He says. It involves a sense of commitment to the shepherd. The sheep have to commit to train themselves to recognise their shepherd’s voice from all the other voices. They have to stay under the guidance of their shepherd. And, it is only by listening to their shepherd’s voice constantly, that the sheep begin to know their shepherd, and the shepherd begins to know them.

The key to go from knowing about God to knowing God is listening to His voice and following Him.

It is one thing to know about someone, but another thing to know the person. I can know about the president of my country, but do I really know the president of my country personally? In the same way, some of us know about Jesus, about God; but only some know God. Today, let us become sheep who know their shepherd unlike the sheep that wander hopelessly lost without one.

We can know our Lord Jesus intimately, but the only way is by listening to His voice – understanding His word. The key to go from knowing about God to knowing God is listening to His voice and following Him. The Bible is full of God’s words to us, his voice to us. His words are there to teach us, train us, correct us and rebuke us (as Paul puts it in 2 Timothy 3 : 16). But, the question is – Are we listening to His words? Are we understanding and obeying them?

There are 3 keys to listening to our good shepherd’s voice to grow in intimacy with Him –

  • STAY CLOSE AND CONNECTED TO HIM

Spending more time meditating on God’s word is one of the most important aspects of listening to His voice. The Bible teaches us that all scripture is God-breathed. So, that in turn means that we need God’s help, through the Holy Spirit, to understand His word. That is why just reading the Bible with no desire to understand God will become a mundane task that is religious and forceful. However, reading the bible to truly understand God with the help of the Holy Spirit will fill us with an unquenchable thirst for more of Him.

Stay in the light of His presence, and see how the Lord becomes your closest companion!

Job, at a time when he had lost everything including his wife, said in Job 23 : 11, “My feet have closely followed his steps…”. How did Job endure all that He was going through and not doubt God? It was simply because he was so close and intimate with God. The only way he could believe in God at that point was because he understood God’s word; a result of him walking closely in step with God.

The Psalmist says in Psalms 89 : 15, “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
    who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”

Stay in the light of His presence, and see how the Lord becomes your closest companion!

  • LET HIS WORD BE THE FINAL WORD

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

Beloved, closeness to God is so intricately knit to obeying His word. Jesus wants to make His home with us and be with us all the time, only if we can truly accept Him in our lives by obeying what He says. Your disobedience to Christ reflects your distrust in Him and His ways, which inevitably pulls you away from His heart.

When you and I put God’s words above our thoughts, the thoughts of this world and the lies of Satan, we immediately begin to embrace His closeness to us and our lives. Slowly, everything in our life becomes an easy affair of handing over our situations to Him and resting in His presence.

Jesus wants to make His home with us and be with us all the time, only if we can truly accept Him in our lives by obeying what He says.

Look at Shedrach Meshach Abednego in Daniel 3, simply because they let God’s word to them be their final word, God himself walked with them in the fire. Close to them in the furnace!

  • PURSUE HIS DEEPEST DESIRES

Something so unique about Moses was that he is the only man whom the Lord knew face to face in all of Israel (Deuteronomy 34 : 10). Wow! Don’t you long to be in that place? How did Moses get so close to the Lord? Well, as we read his journey with the Lord, we see how Moses often secluded himself from everything and everyone and pursued God in the tent of meeting. He feared the Lord. He longed for God.

God will confide His heart’s deepest desires to those who pursue Him in reverent fear.

And, the word of God says, in Psalms 25:14, “The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.”

God will confide His heart’s deepest desires to those who pursue Him in reverent fear. He wants to make his covenant known to us. But are we pursuing Him? Are we longing to know Him more and more?

The journey of knowing God is endless. Each time you know Him a little more, there is still more to know. That is why, this is so crucial to listening to His voice – longing to know God’s deepest desires.

Truly understanding God’s word and following it is key to drawing closer to His heart.


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