Jesus Ministry: Call to Pray

If I shut up heaven
that there be no rain,
or
if I command the locusts
to devour the land,
or
if I send pestilence
among my people;

if my people,
which are called
by my name,
shall humble themselves,

and pray,
and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways;

then
will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.

Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto (their) prayer
that is made (fill-in-the-blanks)
‭‭

2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:13-15‬‬

Worship: Highest form of Prayer

Credits: Unsplash.com/Rachel Coyne
Worship the King (God) in the beauty of His Holiness! 
(Psalm 28:2, 96:9, 1 Chronicles 16:29)

Worship: According to Merriam Webster Dictionary is
• 1 : to honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power
• 2 : to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion a celebrity worshipped by her fans

. . .

Praising God is different from Worshipping God; albeit, many folks think that they are one and the same. Many people confuse praising with worshipping. Worse yet is that even most churches’ “Praise and Worship” on their Sunday agenda omit the worship while elaborating praise with joyous jumping and clapping. This is far from worship. Praising God is different from Worshipping God.

“If you’re still jumping and shouting, you’re far from worshipping God.”

Dr. Myles Munroe

How do you worship God?

First and foremost, you worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). If you’re one prone to fibs (or fibbing), you cannot connect with Him in spirit. Not that God will drive you away from His Presence, but because He’s a holy God, fibbers (or the real liars) cannot stand in His Presence. You’d have to confess, repent, and ask Him to cleanse and help you.

You worship God at His footstool (Psalms 99:5b, 132:7). This means you bow (sit, or kneel) as if God is right in front of you sitting on His Throne.

There’s a cultural saying that translates “you don’t greet or salute a king by standing or merely curtsying”. If you revere a human king, how much more should the reverence to the King of Glory, Creator of the universe be?

Also, think of the military. There’s a salute to and for the commander, right? Again, how much more to the Chief Commander of the universe?!

You worship God by adoring Him. Adoring in the sense that you call Him by all the names you know Him by or by which He has revealed Himself to you; e.g., majesty, sovereign God, Elihom, el Shaddai, el Elyon, Adonai, Jehovah Shalom (the God of Peace, Jehovah Nissi (the One who raises your banner), Jehovah Jirah (God the Provider), Jehovah Rapha (the Healer), Jehovah El Roi (the One who sees), etc.

. . .

Nicky Gumbel in his Bible in One Year Day 194, says “You become like what you worship. If we worship worthless idols, our lives become worthless. If we worship God, eventually we will become like him.”

At first, I was quick to challenge Gumbel’s statement, “heck no … noone can become like God!” But I was quickly reminded of Psalm 82:6 that says “… Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” I kept my peace.

. . .

I don’t know about you, if worshiping God makes me become like Him, I will worship 24/7. Nothing beats being God-on-earth to love everyone unconditionally, to bind and loose, to decree a thing and for it to be established, to shut or open a door and for it to remain shut or open, to walk into a place and for all the demons to tremble and flee, or people are in awe because one carries His presence, or to command rain to fall and stop it, and above all, to walk and move in His Glory!!!

People, what are we waiting for? Let’s worship the King of Glory in spirit and in truth.

You don’t have to wait to get to church to worship. In fact, the COVID-19 shutdown is a good reason and time to start something new with Father God, that is, if you haven’t already. I hope you will worship Him today before church and always.

Thanks for reading.

Praise: Another form of Prayer

“… Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.” (Revelation‬ ‭19:5‬)‬‬

Praising God is another form of prayer. Please refer to my previous blog, for more.

To Praise God is to appreciate Him for who He is, for all that He has already done, for that which He’s presently doing, as well as all that He will do! You show your admiration and gratitude expressly and by your actions. The actions will involve the ways you praise Him (see below) which may or may not include rendering an offering (blog for another day).

. . .

Alleluia is said to be the highest praise. In the Bible, Alleluia is only found specifically in the Book of Revelation written by John whom Jesus loved. (Rev 19)

We note in the Book of Revelation that the twenty-four elders, and the beast, bow down after the people shouted this highest praise word. The angels also. The bowing down is paying homage to Him who sits on the Throne. This is the impression of heaven when we praise here on earth!

When Do You Praise

It is much easier for anyone to praise God when everything is going beautifully well – we turn on the faucet and there’s water, click the switches and there’s light, open the refrigerator and it contains food and other essentials, car is running, one is hale and hearty, abundant bank account, everyone loving you, spouse and children also doing great, and life is going as planned. None needs to force a praise out of your belly. This type of praise automatically comes out of your mouth. You daily wake up whistling your favorite hymns with unrehearsed joy. Life is good!

However, what do you do when life happens with the contrarians of the above instances storming your life. It is at this time (or season) of your life that praising God is much more difficult. One finds one’s tongues and mouth tight and unwilling to open to say anything; let alone pray or praise. But, my friend, this is the best time to demonstrate your love to Father God as it becomes a sacrifice offering onto Him. It is a sacrifice because you don’t feel like doing it, but you chose to.

Though He slay me (Job 13:15a), or the fig tree does not blossom (Habakkuk 3:17a), yet will I trust Him.

I believe that this is one of the highest demonstratiion of faith to Father God that you love and trust Him despite your negative circumstance(s).

We should not only pray and praise when things are okay. If this is the only time we smile, laugh, are joyful, pray, or praise, we are like children tossed to and fro and who still rely on milk for food; we are not yet mature in faith.

How would you feel if your children only loved you when you buy them presents and other times, they could care less how you’re doing or, if adult children, don’t check on you until they need something from you? Not nice, right? So, it is with out Father in Heaven.

Praising God is your action that lets Him know that you’re trusting Him for a specific outcome despite life going sideways.

Another time to praise is, when you’ve prayed fervently for something, both in your local and heavenly languages and you’ve taken corresponding action, but the answer seems delayed, rather than continuing praying, turn your prayer to praise for a sudden and speedy answer.

Why Praise

  • Praising often provokes God to move on our behalf.
  • Praising can also be used as a weapon. It confuses the enemy.
  • God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 148:14ab). His presence will be felt around you and/or the place of praise.

Ways to Praise God

There are multiple ways to praise God and I do not suppose any form is greater than the other. The following are biblical examples:

“Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.” (Psalms‬ ‭33:2, 150:3‬).

“Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.” (Psalms‬ ‭150:4‬)

“I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.” (Psalms‬ ‭109:30‬)

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.” (Psalms‬ ‭26:7, 69:30‬)

Final thoughts

Praising God regularly should take preeminence over praising God only when we need “things” from Him.

An apropos for the remainder of the year

Today is Day 190 of the calendar and we’ve just begun the second half of 2020.

With COVID-19 and its effect on everyone and the economy, the ongoing unrest, including the upcoming elections, we, as well as our nation, are nearing a seemingly turning point.

I believe in miracles and we need the hand of God to steer us all and orchestrate a divine intervention.

This prayer is therefore apropos for us all for the rest of the year.

I pray that it resonates with you. Stay blessed.

Prayer: What you may not know about it

Today, I want to talk about prayers. This issue has been togging on my heart to share. So, here it is:

[ Quoted scriptures are from the King Janes Version of the Holy Bible ]

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

What is Prayer?

Prayer (or praying) is a form of communication between people and God. It is merely a conversation which can be in the form of a request, call (or shout) for help, thanksgiving, supplication, seeking, or showing gratitude. Knowing when to engage in one form of prayer over the other is key to answered prayers. I deem prayer as a form of humility where I’m telling Father God that I cannot do “this thing” by myself, but with Him “I can do all things…” (Philippians 4:13)

Lord Jesus prayed (Matthew 26:36-44). We also can learn from his manner of prayer. Every religion prays; Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, even the dark kingdoms, etc. The difference is distinguishable in the channel/source of the prayer.

Prayers can be in the individual’s local or heavenly language. The local language as in English, Spanish, Yoruba, Chinese, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hebrew, Swahili, etc, or any other native dialect.The heavenly language is when the individual speaks in tongues.

Speaking in tongues is in the New Testament and can either be a gift or can be desired. Because it is in the New Testament, speaking in tongues is still relevant and powerful today. Please note that speaking in tongues is different from chanting. Because all truths are parallel; some might say that speaking in tongues and chanting are similar. This blog/platform is not to debate that stance.

Which is more effective?

Personally speaking, there is a time and place for each; that is, praying in one’s local language versus praying in tongues.

“Yet in the church, I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:19‬

I love praying in tongues as it not only strengthens the inner (spirit) man, (1 Corinthians 14:4) but most importantly it bypasses the individual’s mind/intellect and is a direct communication to God. (1 Corinthians 14:2)

Prayer Styles include:

  • silently or (keeping still in the presence of God)
  • fervently (James 5:16)
  • groaning before God
  • crying/weeping unto God (Hebrews‬ ‭5:7‬, Jeremiah‬ ‭11:14, 48:5‬, Psalm 141:1, Judges 6:7, etc.)

These forms of prayer are particularly famous with King David in the Bible. We also can adopt them.

. . .

Prayer Postures

Kneeling is a favorite posture of prayer by a majority of people. Other anomalistic postures include prostrating before God (2 Samuel‬ ‭12:16‬b), standing, walking around, sitting, etc.

I know that God answers prayer any which way; irrespective of posture. The posture is not as important as one’s HEART.

. 🙏 .

Prayer can be said privately, in a group of two or more, or corporately as in a church setting.

“Not all private prayer is effective, but private prayer is rewarding”

Unknown, Grace for Purpose

The private prayer, the one-to-one communication, is the type when you enter into your “closet” aka your designated place of meeting with Father God.

“…, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; …”

Matthew‬ ‭6:6‬a

I love this video from Grace for Purpose YouTube page. Please listen to it as it will bless you and your day.

Group prayer. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there will I be.” Group prayer is when you join with a spouse or friend(s) to pray; bringing an issue before God and coming into an agreement over the issue.

Corporate prayer. It has often been said that prayer is the foundation of the church. Many churches designate about an hour for special prayers where church members (often with the prayer group leading if the church has such a group. If not church elders or leaders lead the prayer/prayer points by coming together to pray for the church, its members, church’s needs, cities, nations, and/or for other specific needs.

What is the best time to pray?

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Jesus woke up early to pray (Mark 1:35). The above Grace for Purpose video also collaborates this. As such, I prefer the morning as the best time to pray.

Most people often start their days getting physically-charged by exercising and/or going to the gym. Others do yoga for the mental-/emotional-charge. I prefer starting my day with prayer to be spiritually-charged as it takes care of all three – physical, mental, and emotional. Besides, one might get a revelation for the day! One unique word direct from God (aka revelation) to your spirit man, can take care of something(s) that could have taken you years to resolve!

Having said that, if you start your day with prayer, it is only wise to end your day also with a prayer. But, prayer in between your work (business or college) days is equally beneficial.

. . .

The Holy Bible talks of other prayer times such as the morning watch (1 Samuel 11:11), middle watch (Judges 7:19, Luke 12:38), third watch, and fourth watch (Matthew 14:25, Mark 6:48). The watches in this usage are specific three-hour blocks of time in a 24-hour clock.

According to The Global Watch, “The Hebrew watch was divided into three watches, the first, middle and morning watch. As the Roman influence and supremacy was established, the number of watches increased to four and were described in numerical order

  1. 1st (6pm – 9pm);
  2. 2nd (9pm – 12am);
  3. 3rd (12am – 3am); and
  4. 4th (3am – 6am).”

I do not suppose that God cares about the time one prays because He has specific assignments for each person. While some are early risers/worms, some are night owls. Some people work regular hours, while some work night or grave shifts. The hours and duration that you designate for meeting with Father God will accordingly be uniquely you.

. . .

I will recommend prayer before a business meeting; pray for your business outcomes, and even your customers and suppliers. It is wisdom to commit every business decision to God even before starting it. I also recommend that one prays while at work, during your lunch break, while running your errands, in the gym, etc. Pray particularly for your home, spouses, children, family, your doctors, lawyers, accountants, your children’s friends, and their families, your children’s teachers; practically pray for everyone and everything that concerns you.

Did I hear your sigh that this is a lot of praying? It seems so, but all the above could be done in about 15 minutes. Once you get started, the fifteen minutes would seem insufficient that you’ll desire to increase your time with Father God as you deem fit. Incremental times of 15 minutes are great till you get to where you feel you’ve given your best time. One-liner prayers, such as Help me! or Heal me! are equally as effective. Your prayer does not always have to be lengthy or repetitive because Father God is not so interested in how long (quantity of time), but the quality of your time is more important to Him. The quality of time with Papa God should be free from distractions. Give Him your best time; be it 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

It is also best to designate a praying spot and block out the praying time. Once designated, be diligently prompt and consistent as He will always meet you there.

Please note that though some people might have a gift of praying, realize that none was born a prayer warrior. Every prayer warrior began somewhere. I remember when I always wished that I would not be called upon to pray at home-groups.

. . .

I will be amiss if I do not mention that prayer without corresponding action is futile. Once you’ve brought your issues (or concerns) before Father God, you need to get up and take the necessary step(s) for action. After you’ve prayed, believe that Father God has heard you and be expectant (Mark 11:24). Father’s answer to your prayer often falls into either a:

“Yes” – you receive exactly what you asked for;

“No” – you do not receive exactly what you prayed for, but you get something that Father God knows you either need or is better for you.

“Wait” – this has to do with the timing of your request and means that your request will be answered later.

. . .

Generally speaking, prayer ought to be soothing and should never agitate the person, the person’s spirit, nor a situation. Any prayer agitating anyone’s spirit is often not a godly prayer.

🙏🏾.🙏.🙏🏼.

I hope you learned a new thing or two. Please comment below to share. May you be richly rewarded publicly what you have spent your private time doing in the Name of Jesus.

Caveat: this blog on prayer is not exhaustive. There’s much more that can be written on the topic. But I hope this helps on your journey to praying and spending time with Father God.

Peace.