THE ART OF PRAYER-PART 1
Praise the Lord my beloved Saints. I trust that the Spirit of God is doing great things in your lives and I trust that you are holding onto all the promises of God by faith.
1Corinthians 15:25–26 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Prayer is an art. Everyone is seemingly praying including hypocrites. The scripture says in Matthew 6:5 that hypocrites love to pray. When people share with you their problems, it’s not uncommon for you to respond saying “let’s pray that things get better”. Many times, this is not followed up by actual praying. Usually, nowadays, I don’t promise people prayers; I do it right there after we have talked. The reason we need to understand the art of praying is because not every prayer said is fruitful. What is the success rate of the prayers you say? How much fruit can be seen from your prayer life? Prayer is multi-faceted. There are many principles in prayer. No one principle works entirely alone. I will begin to break down these principles one at a time. I trust that by the end of this you shall have results in your life when you pray.
In our first facet of prayer, I want to introduce to you an important principle called sequencing your needs, requests and petitions when praying. One mistake many Christians make in prayer is that they look at their child whose school dues are far from cleared, their wife who is going to give birth, the demands of the landlord, their brother who is jobless and their grandmother who is sick and upon considering their dismal salary, when they get to their prayer room, they fall to the floor like a sack of potatoes and say “Oh my God, I have problems!” They have pondered all the things happening around them and have been overwhelmed at the thought of them. The heavens look down at a man who has been made more than a conqueror collapsing on the prayer floor and if it were possible, they would get confused. I understand that things aren’t running as smooth as you would want them to be but hold yourself up in faith and deal with one enemy at a time. Don’t get to the prayer room and begin pouring out your heart on every bad situation going on around you. Sequence your battles. Deal with one enemy at a time.
In our theme scripture we see Jesus doing the same. Jesus has many more enemies than you and I combined but he doesn’t deal with all of them at a go. That is why it is written that he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. Doesn’t that ring a revelation in your ear that not all enemies are under his feet yet? True, they are defeated but they are not all under his feet yet. It is also written that death is the last enemy to be destroyed. That implies that death was defeated but not yet destroyed. Jesus did not appear on the scene and destroy every enemy in one go. He has sequenced his battles. The first thing he destroyed was sin. That is why the book of Romans says 6:14 “Sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under the law but under grace”
I advise you to sequence your battles starting with the fiercest enemy. That’s right. Logically speaking, you should have started with the weakest enemy. No. My advice is that you start with Goliath. There are many Philistines hiding behind Goliath. They will abuse you and insult you and even ravage you all in the name of “Almighty Goliath”. Don’t worry about them. Concentrate on Goliath; I tell you again dear saint, let your battle lines be drawn with Goliath first. Let the Philistines abuse as much as they want. They will soon shut up. King Saul and the Israeli Army knew this precisely well. They provided David, a young, little-known, valiant man of God to deal with “Goliath Almighty”. When David finally sunk that smooth stone into the skull of Goliath, all the noise the other Philistines had been making came to an end. There are demons that are just going to flee immediately you defeat Goliath. Of all the issues challenging your life, first identify your Goliath.
Many Christians waste time with the Shimeis of this world. Shimei was a man from the family of Saul who cursed David and his men when they were fleeing from Absalom. He cursed them and threw stones and dust at them until they were vexed. When Abishai son of Zeruiah suggested to have Shimei killed, David forbad him. David refused to divert his focus from the key enemy at this point in time. Shimei is just present to divert your focus. David at this point knew that he had to be in a repentant mood because the sins he had committed earlier were catching up with him. Indeed at the end of the story, we see Shimei falling at the feet of David asking for forgiveness after the defeat of Absalom. Let Shimei curse! He will soon repent! There are some devils which are just watching to see what you will do to Goliath before they can decide their next course of action. Let me encourage you; you have all that it takes to put out Goliath’s candle. The covenant is on your side. The promises of God are on your side. Don’t be afraid. Face your fiercest enemy. Have no fear. Believe God. Don’t spare the enemy. The devil has no sympathy when availed a chance to deal with you. Ask Brother Job. When you identify the enemy, don’t spare him.
When Saul became King, God gave him a specific instruction to deal with the Amalekites. There were other enemies such as the Philistines but the first instruction was against Amalek. When the Children of Israel were coming from Egypt, God decided to take them by the longer route to the Promised Land. There was a shorter route but God deemed it unfit because it had a lot wild animals and these would have wearied the children of Israel. God ruled the battle with the beasts as an unnecessary one at the time and thus asked them to use the longer route. You don’t have to fight every battle that comes your way. Some are just a waste of your precious time and energy. That is why Jesus never had an exchange with those that were intent on crucifying him. He refused to answer back to their accusations. That is why David refused to exchange with Shimei. Child of God, you need to know when to expend your energy and when to reserve it. Some battles are not worth your time.
Be specific in prayer. When Elijah saw the disobedience of Israel, he prayed earnestly that there would be no rain for three years and six months. But your prayers are ambiguous. You are praying for the peace of the whole world. What about praying for one nation at a time! Don’t you think you would yield better results and don’t you think it would be easier for you to track your testimonies of each nation? You can’t get into the presence of God and the first statement is “God, I have so many issues. I don’t even know where to start from” Let me help you dear Saint. Ignore Shimei and concentrate on Goliath. Deal with Amalek first. You will deal with the Philistine later. Child of God, learn how to sequence and how to prioritize your battles. Learn when to speak and learn when to be silent. You may choose to be general and ambiguous but those that sequence their prayer items and are specific will always experience better results. May the Spirit of God give you the wisdom to tell the difference!
FOR FURTHER REFERENCE: Matthew 20:33–34, James 5:17–18, 1 Samuel 15:2–3
Holy Spirit I bless you for you have become my wisdom through Christ. Holy Spirit, teach me to tell the difference between battles that I should know how to sequence them in order of priority and divine purpose. Show me when to be silent and when to open my mouth and engage. I thank you because I know that by you, all these things are known to me. Amen.
If this has blessed you, please share it with all your friends! Sandra and I wish you a blessed week.
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ROGERS SOLOMON KISAMBIRA