One Word, “Pray”

Hi people!

How are you all doing? (inserts musical note & a big smile). In the past week in Nigeria, we’ve been speaking up against the scourge of police brutality in our nation. For our global audience, in case you’re wondering if this is all a political showdown, no, it’s not; it is true. We all have stories and every encounter with the police causes our heartbeats to quicken, not because we are criminals but because harassment has become the norm. So, now, we say ‘no more’! No more harassment, systemic oppression, extortion, unjust stereotyping, and bad leadership. We say it loud! No more! We stand to put an end to all forms of brutality in our nation and to the violation of our fundamental human right to life!

Okay – that said we move on to today’s discussion which is centered around prayer. Prayer in the most basic definition I remember is a “two-way conversation between God and man”. Well, that’s one of my earliest memories of the meaning of prayer. While there’s nothing wrong with this definition, I’ve realized that we tend to do more of the talking and then dash out in a mad hurry to catch up with life’s demands. I wonder how God feels though, like he hasn’t even spoken, and it’s supposed to be a conversation. Super rude but He’s such a gracious father, however, that doesn’t mean that we should continue in this practice.

Before we go on, let’s answer the “why should we pray” question. Because we were not wired to do life by ourselves. We don’t have the capacity, strength, knowledge, etc. (name it) to do life on our own. I’m not questioning your stellar intellect and daring heart, but believe me when I tell you that there are situations you will go through that can cripple your best laid plans, crash your stellar intellect and weaken your soul. It may not have happened yet and may not; but if it has, I reckon you can relate to this. I’m boldly telling you that there is a more guaranteed way to live and that’s in Jesus.

In the place of prayer, you leverage wisdom and grace. Instead of hustling and straining, you can simply access the ever-winning wisdom of Jesus. You can argue that that’s laziness, I call it wisdom because I would get better results with less casualties running on His operating system and I access that in prayer. (Bursts a dance move). Plus, it is not laziness because you will still do the work, but it won’t be a gamble as you’d be working with God’s wisdom and instructions.

Looking back, prayer was usually a breezy conversation for me, often as long as an elevator pitch. It was something I did so I could answer ‘yes’ when my mum asked if I had prayed.  I used to rush through prayer most times because first, time was always an issue, but I’ve learnt that I don’t build God into my schedule but to build my schedule around Him. He comes first because no other relationship, entity or task is more important than Him. Besides, He is the source from which I draw the strength, wisdom, and strategy to run everything else. This realization has kept me centered on prioritizing time for conversations with my Father. I love Him, and He loves me so lavishly too, so spending time with Him is an exciting adventure I look forward to.

Secondly, while I remember the definition of prayer being a conversation; I didn’t understand how it would happen. I didn’t know if God would bellow in His majestic voice terrifying me every morning or if it would be His still small voice. Also, what would we speak about? While I know better now, I couldn’t just understand the concept of Him speaking back at the time. I can tell you that God can speak to you through His word, in His audible voice and through His promptings in your heart. Not only that, He wants to talk with you about everything. No holds barred, no censoring conversations, just tell Him everything; He can handle it. He will never judge, and He has the answers.

Also, because He knows and understands you, He will meet you right where you are; and as you cultivate your relationship; you would have your own code words, lingo, signals, etc. Don’t rush out please, He really wants to speak with you. His voice is sweet, reassuring and loving – absolute bliss!

If you’re still in the doubt, let me give you some more. In the place of prayer, you are transformed – your heart humbled, mysteries unveiled like Daniel, you gain access to secrets like Joseph, have destiny changing encounters like Jacob, are empowered like Gideon, gain direction like David, gain access to divine conversations like Isaiah; you are exponentially released with courage and power like the disciples at Pentecost, etc. Prayer is essential to your maturity as a child of God. Fundamentally, you get to know your Father better because there is continuous interaction between both of you. Such good stuff!

Now that you know what it is and what the inherent benefits are, let me share the how.

You see, prayer can be made anyhow [as there is no special attire for it] and anywhere [in any room, corner, etc.] It is not location sensitive because God is already present right where you are. But effective prayer, the one that yields fruits must be done intentionally. In Matthew 6:9-13; the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray and to date, we use this as a model for prayer. While we don’t need to copy their words, this prayer depicts the various areas of interaction we can have with God – ranging from giving thanks, to executing His will, to provision, forgiveness, help for emotional burdens, and deliverance. God is interested in everything; He’s with us for the long haul.

Another scripture to note is James 5:16 which tell us of the power of God made available when we pray in a heartfelt and consistent manner. That power is dynamic in its working. It is available to help you resolve a client’s problem, crack a tough assignment, deliver you from a dangerous situation, and transform a nation. His power cannot be overpowered.

So, how does it connect?

In the words of a wise woman @deboladejikurunmi – “prayer is a strategy”. Irrespective of your industry, age, gender, or situation, prayer is for you. If you’re a political economist like Joseph, it is for you. If you’re a woman in a male-dominated industry like Deborah, it is for you. If you are disenfranchised or victimised by your employer like Jacob, pray. If you feel unworthy because of your actions or past, pray. If you feel like your nation is in a rut, pray. Prayer unleashes the supernatural here on earth.

I will end with my favorite quote on the subject: “The more prayer there is in the world, the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil everywhere. Prayer, in one phase of its operation, is a disinfectant and a preventative. It purifies the air; it destroys the contagion of evil. Prayer is no fitful, short lived thing. It is no voice crying unheard and unheeded in the silence. It is a voice which goes into God’s ear, and it lives as long as God’s ear is open to holy pleas, as long as God’s heart is alive to holy things. God shapes the world by prayer”. – Edward M. Bounds

In the words of Corrie ten Boom, make prayer your steering wheel and not your spare tyre. Let it be a practice till it grows to a lifestyle.  

Never forget,

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One Response

  1. A great insight on the knowledge and Wisdom of Prayer. This will definitely build up a sincere heart that wants to grow in Prayers and fellowship with the Lord. It’s also a Clarion Call to the need of Prayer in our lives. Knowing fully well that if there’s a person to pray, there’s a God to answer. And we shouldn’t deny ourselves of this wonderful Relationships with God.
    Thank you 😊.

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