Praying to the Lord


1Samuel 1:26: And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.

Hannah decided to change from worrying to praying and the result for her was immediate. She had the child she had been looking for years, having been described as barren.

She did not allow the fact that Eli, the High Priest misunderstood her to make her to lose her focus on God. She set her gaze on God, while Eli mistook her for a drunkard, though she was merely pouring out the agony of her heart to God) (1Sameul 1:1-20).

Jesus said that if we ask, will get, if we seek we would find and if we knock the door will be opened to us. The father is only waiting for us to ask (Matthew 7:7-8). To ask shows that we are dependent on God, that we fully realise that the resources that we need are in/from Him.

We are told to let our request be made known to God (Philippians 4:6-7), so that God’s peace can reign in our hearts as we cast our burden on him, rather than cover ourselves with the blanket of worry.

Change always answers to prayer. In another place Jesus told the disciples that men ought always to ray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). To faint is to give up; it is to move away from the place of trust and embrace the lies that everything is hopeless.

Even Jesus, we were told, offered to God prayer and supplication with strong weeping to the one who is able to deliver him from dead (Hebrews 5:7). And He is our example.

On a day when the disciples saw Jesus Christ praying, they asked him: teach us to pray as John taught his disciples (Luke 11:1). They wanted His kind of connection with God; they saw something in him what they believed can only be traced to His praying.

When the disciples were struggling with casting out a devil, Jesus declared the reason for their being unable to cast it out to lack of prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). If prayer is not in place, then things will really be out of place, potentials fall short of their possibilities.

Praying reflects the reality of our ongoing connection with God. It activates the blessing of God in our lives. It is the key that changes things; it leads to possibilities beyond the natural realm.

But we need to realise that the basis of our coming to God in prayer is the righteousness of Jesus. We don’t qualify to come to him on our own terms; the sacrifice of Jesus made us acceptable, his blood made us clean. We are able to come to the father through Him (Ephesians 2:13, 18) at any time of our choosing. His sacrifice on the cross, takes us from being under the disfavour of God to being in his favour, to being in His good book, when we believe.

John wrote that as many as believe in Jesus now have the power to become children of God (John 1:12). Being children, we can approach our father freely. That guarantees our inexhaustible freedom to approach him. He is your father; he is responsible for your welfare. With that in mind, you have nothing to fear, he is not interested in harming you but blessing you.

We draw near to him in prayer, not just because we want to get things from God, but mainly because we love him as our father and want to be with Him.

When the disciples ask Jesus: teach us to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples, what they needed was more than being instructed in the mechanics of prayer, they wanted to have the same inward attitude that Jesus has, the same tenacity in prayer he has. They had seen from his life how he prioritised prayer and they wanted to be like him.

In furtherance of their training in the need for and attitude in prayer, Jesus told them two parables.

Importuned friend (Luke 11:5-13)

A man had an urgent need. He has some visitors in the middle of the night and did not have what to give them. Then he went to his friend to help him out. Jesus said that though it was not convenient for the friend to come out at that time to meet his friend’s need, but he will because they have a relationship.

He wanted them to be sure of the attention of God when they call when they have a relationship with him as a father.

That parable is also a lesson in intercession because the needy friend was seeking for what to meet the need of another person. There are many things that you get for others in the place of prayer and God will be more than willing to give, from the perspective of this parable. God does not suffer from any kind of constraint that that sleeping friend has, so he is more that willingly not make his resources available to you for the object of your intercession.

This is also a lesson in the importance of faith in the act of prayer. The needy friend did not have any shadow of doubt (James 1:5-8) that the friend will come through for him. We need to approach prayer with the same thought: God will come through from me.

An importuned widow (Luke 18:1-8)

But in the other parable, the widow has a personal need and she needed the judge to make a decision to favour her which will make her victorious against her adversary, who stands to make life difficult for her. The insensitive judge was not interested in doing anything help anybody.

God was compared with that judge, because he is the ultimate judge of the heaven and the earth but he is different because He is willing to make decisions that will favour us. We however show our faith in God, as we are in the process of seeking him to help us, when we have our leg permanently on the throttle of prayer, knowing that we have no other option but to pray, just as that widow had no other option but to approach the judge for a favourable decision.

In another place Jesus said that when we pray the God who sees in secret will reward us openly. If you want God’s open reward, you have to pray (Matthew 6:6).

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