The necessity of prayer

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The wealthy cheat and rob. They ill-treat the poor and take advantage of foreigners. I looked for someone who could build a wall, who could stand in the places where the walls have crumbled and defend the land when my anger is about to destroy it, but I could find no one. So I will turn may anger loose on them, and like a fire I will destroy them for what they have done. The Sovereign Lord has spoken (Ezekiel 22:29-31) GNT.

Situations like this have always been there and even in our generation, they do exist. The only problem is that we’ve embraced them; we think they are normal and it’s the way of life. After all, everyone is doing it. It has become a lifestyle to many of us and living with such is not a big deal. How deceived we are! The enemy blinds us, making us unable to see or even comprehend what’s happening around us, worse still, unaware of our own ignorance and the consequences of the same.

Just like God wondered in the days of Isaiah when he realized that there was no intercessor, even in the days of Ezekiel, he couldn’t find any who was willing to stand in the gap and build a wall to defend the city. There was none and He was ready to unleash His anger and even destroy them.

Looking back through history, you realize that Moses constantly stood in the gap between God and the Israelites and through his prayers, these children were spared severally. Even when God’s anger was burning against His people, Moses was able to intercede for them and God held back His anger. Esther also stood in the gap and put her life on the line – risking death itself – for the sake of her people. What about Daniel? The restoration of the children of Israel from the captivity of Babylon wouldn’t have been possible if not for the prayers of Daniel. How amazing, right? We can’t forget the great societal awakenings which were made possible through the prayers of some great men.

[The great awakening of the 1700s was birthed in 24/7 prayer of the Moravians at Herrhut and in the Methodical devotion of John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield. Israel saw it under the praying kings and prophets like David, Hezekiah, and Josiah. The second great awakening was grounded in prayer as well, especially from Intercessors like Daniel Nash and Abel Clary, who were pivotal to the success of Charles Finney’s ministry. With Daniel Nash going before him into each town to pray before Finney arrived there to preach, Finney’s ministry reached its height in Rochester, New York, in 1830. The entire community transformed because of its excitement about knowing God. Businesses closed when church meetings were being held because there would be no one around to shop. Bars and theatres closed because of the lack of patronage – former patrons chose instead to attend prayer meetings or Bible studies. Crime rates plummeted and charitable work flourished. Though Rochester was home to only about ten thousand people at that time, one hundred thousand were added to churches in the city and surrounding area. Where we are lucky today to see 20 percent of the converts stay faithful to church attendance after a revival meeting, more than 80 percent of those who made decision to follow Jesus during Finney’s meetings pursued God for the rest of their lives.] (Til heaven Invades Earth/Dr. Cindy Trimm)

We must be wondering what’s delaying revivals and societal awakening in our time; its lack of prayer. All revivals have been the outcome of prayer. The fact is that God wants us to pray; but the issue is whether or not we are willing to pray. There is no greater power on earth than the power of prayer. Sometimes you feel like it’s being useless to spend your time in prayer, sometimes you wonder if you are accomplishing anything through prayer, yet the truth is that much do change, much is accomplished on your knees. Prayer changes the world around us and those we are praying for. We must never underestimate the power of prayer.

Andrew Murray observes that through the power of prayer we can become a blessing to our fellow man. It makes us fit to do any work and face any form of danger. It’s one secret of success. It defies all the power of the world. It fits men to conquer the world.

Neglecting prayer is neglecting our fellowship with God. If we act blindly and allow the enemy to talk us out of prayers by making us believe that we can accomplish more by our own efforts than by our prayers, we have failed flat face. Fellowship with our fellow men is fine, but fellowship with God is of great importance. It must be our priority. God did not create man to be independent. This means that man cannot work or even accomplish anything significant in his life alone. He needs God. He must partner with God and the way to do it is to commune with Him in prayer. How else can we approach God if not on our knees? How else can we talk to God and conceive His plans if not through prayer? God desires us to ask of Him, and to ask much, not just little for through this, He is glorified.

If at all we will open our eyes and realise that we have been deceived by the enemy to neglect prayer, then we would go back to our prayer closets and cry out to God to restore us back to our places of prayer.

[There is nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer, says the Unknown Christian. His great concern is to keep us from praying. He loves to see us “up to our eyes” in work, provided we do not pray. He does not fear that we are eager and earnest Bible students, provided we are little in prayer. Someone has wisely said, “Satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” All this is so familiar to us, but do we really pray? If not, then failure will dog our footsteps, whatever signs of apparent success there may be. Let us never forget that the greatest thing we can do for God or for man is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do. When we pray, God works. All fruitfulness in service is the outcome of the workers’ prayers or of those who are holding up holy hands on their behalf. We all know how to pray, but perhaps many of us need to cry as the disciples did of old, Lord, teach us to pray.] (The Kneeling Christian/Unknown Christian)