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One thing that no man or group can take away from the Church from the historical times till now is the willingness and the readiness to pray. Sometimes, the prayers are done in faith; and some outside faith, and some in faith but without good conscience. But one thing is sure, the Church prays.
Sometime ago, while I was in the eastern part of Nigeria for my National Youth Service, I found out that there are churches that even organize prayers for their members almost everyday of the week, and the members are expected to come as early as 7am. Oftentimes, the people pray from morning till afternoon. In other places where people cannot come every early, vigils are organized to cater for their needs for prayer – in short, the Church prays!
While Jesus instructed the Church to pray without ceasing, we must not forget the pattern that has been handed over to us as God’s people. A portion of the Scriptures say very emphatically, “Watch and pray…”; and in another instance, the Scripture says, “Faith without work is dead, been alone…”. While we must pray we must also work…While we must present every matter before God, we must prepare to address every matter.
In the Scriptures, Jesus told the disciples that whatever they bind on earth, will be bond in heaven; and whatever they loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. From that Scripture, I see the LORD telling us that whatever happens on earth is what we have permitted to happen or made happen. I see Him telling us that everything that take place on earth is our responsibility. I see Him telling the Church that nothing will be done on earth, if none of you make it happen. However, I see the Lord telling the Church that the first step to achieving any feat on earth, setting any standard on earth, making any exploit on earth; is requesting for the approval of heaven.
While prayer is a manner or pattern or way of communicating with God; I see prayer also as the only means of informing heaven about what is happening or what you want to see happen. When you pray, you simply open your mouth in faith and confidence in God’s availability, reliability and capacity; telling Him about those things you desire to see been enforced on earth; or those things that are enforced that you want repelled. You see the power of the Church in prayer is immense; but it does not end with prayer. After every prayer to God, there must be a corresponding action from man to the effect of the content of such prayer.
That is why a woman that is trusting God for the fruit of the womb; after praying – telling God about what she desires to see in her life and marriage (home); she must rise up from such prayer, and enter a large baby shop to buy the cloths, shoes, bed and other accessories for her expected baby. It is not craziness, it is the work of faith. After, every prayer, you must act! The only clause however is if the Lord instructs you while praying to desist from such plan. Otherwise, when you pray about a business, you must rise up from the prayer to plan and prepare for the take off of the venture.
The challenge with the Church today is that, we spend all our time praying in unbelief that we never get anything done; yet, the heaven is counting on you and I to make things happen on earth. Remember, it said that some people make things happen, some watch things happen; while some wonder what is happening. if you want to make things happen on earth; you must pray, and afterwards, work things out in the strength of the Lord!
Now Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Whatever they build, if even a fox goes up on it, he will break down their stone wall.”…….
Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion.
Nevertheless we made prayer to our God, and because of them, we set a watch against them day and night.
So, don’t just pray, work out plans for the enforcement of the will of God in your neighbourhood, city, Church and country. One thing the Church has done so well in is talking about the need for change in politics, business practices, attitude of citizens among others; but beyond that, God expect us as individuals (bodies) of Christ to act for the change. Remember this, when you pray, you talk to God about “it”, when you work “it” out, you make things happen. Your marriage could have been you major prayer point lately, but try to tell God about it in sincere words and prepare to do something about it. Prayer is not a way of escape from work, it is the only means to get divine approval and backing. Remember the words of the Lord, when you pray, do not use repetitive words….don’t dwell forever on prayers, because you will still need to rise up to work it out in God’s power and authority.
Finally, the Church needs to know that prayer is for divine approval (authority) and divine backing (power); when the two are released to us in prayer, we must rise up to build the ruins of our lives, families, cities, nations and generations.