3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:3-5
Hold fast and repent was our topic last week. Jesus admonished us to hold fast to our first works or the foundation of faith. Paul said, stand fast and hold the tradition. 2 Thess. 2:15 And Jesus said to the church, repent from where you have falling short. Because if you have believed Jesus, to repent is not to condemn you but a call to revival or restoration. And to keep watch and pray without ceasing.
Today, we are looking at what is prayer, how do we pray, who can pray, where, when, and why we pray. Prayer is a critical portion of living the Christian life and having relationship with God. This is obvious in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, the word prayer is generally associated with communication between God and man. It also addresses your worship, meditation, supplication, and intercession, in connection with the living God. In addition, biblical prayer is offered to the living God, not to man, idol, or some personalities other than the God of the Bible – (The creator of all things including you. Isaiah 45:12)
How do we pray? Do not use empty vain words the Lord said, because you are relating with the all-knowing God. He hears you even from the imagination of your heart. Pray like this Jesus said: “… Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.13 `And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV) That is how you pray, you desire the perfect will of God in all situation. We can be tempted to sin when we attempt to replace, add to, or modify the will of God to suite our self-interests. Like when Satan asked Jesus to turn stone to bread because he was materially hungry. Your prayer must give honor, glory, and power to none but God, then it will be a blessing to you and those around you. When your prayer conforms to the will of God, Jesus said, whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13 Jesus lived and died to the glory of God. The apostle said whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31 That is the secrete of prayer and answered prayers. You have heard that prayer changes things, true; if it changes you first, but I say to you, it does not change the will of God. You pray, not to change the will of God but to align your wishes to His perfect will. For example, on his way to the cross, Jesus prayed “saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42 (NKJV) This is the mindset of a man of prayer.
Who can pray to God? The Bible shows that anyone can pray but not everyone gets the ears of God. Prayers which does not get the attention of God is at best idol worship. For example, 450 prophets prayed to their choice of god called Baal like this: “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made. So, they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29 And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention. 1 Kings 18:26-29 (NKJV) What a shame that even the prophets of Baal did not know what the idol can or cannot do. On the other hand, Elijah a prophet of the living God prayed like this: “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 1 Kings 18:36-38 (NKJV) You can see the stack difference. Prophet Elijah knew he was praying to a living God whom he knows very well. He has relationship and faith in God the Father. Notice the theme of his prayer “That this people may know that You are the LORD God. (Period)” That is the kind of prayer that moves mountains because God will be glorified. Elijah knows the Lord. Do you? You can by faith in Jesus, “… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 You can pray like Elijah if you know the God to whom you pray and why. We will continue from here next week. But for now, if you do not know this God who can answer by fire, Jesus is the answer. Repent and accept Jesus as your Lord, call upon him like Elijah and He will answer you also. God bless you