And Jesus said unto them, it is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer… Mat 21:13
This truth in Scripture has been one of the most discussed and preached concept in Christianity worldwide. Great men of God like the Archbishop Duncan Williams and others like Robert Ampiah Kofi of Global Revival Ministries and others alike, places much emphasis on the potency and relevance of prayer in all facets of the Christian. History records in bible times Men and Women like Elijah, Hannah the prophetess, Daniel, Moses, and in fact all the notable major characters of the Bible were known for their ardency and commitment to prayer. None of them from Genesis to Revelation, could have attained those dimensions and pedestals in life without Prayer. History records several immense revival events which has given birth to many Churches like my own church, Assemblies of God and others like Apostolic, Pentecost, Methodist, the church of God in Christ, Foursquare Gospel Church, to mention a few, were pioneered and spearheaded by Men and Women of Prayer. One of the greatest revivals that still ignites memory and passion for God anytime recalled, is the Azusa Street Revival.
A historic Pentecostal revival that took place in Los Angeles, California. It began with meeting on April 9, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915 which literally affected almost the entire world. The world has not still recovered from the acuteness of its impact. This also was a product of prayer. A story is told of a Man by name John Knox, a Scottish Minister, the founder of Presbyterian Church in Scotland.
He lived in the 14th century and was known for Prayer. The fervency and efficacy of his prayers affected literally Scotland. History records how powerful and change effecting his prayer was, to an extent where the Queen of Scotland emphatically and confessedly said “I fear the prayers of John Knox than all the armies of England”. These were men who lived on earth like gods, because they understood the power of prayer. Jesus Christ, the great monarch of the kingdom while on earth demonstrated and revealed many times in scripture how indispensable and vital prayer was. The Bible has this to say about Jesus Christ;
“And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44)
“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared (revered)”. (Hebrews 5:7)
I can go on and on to orate great works that left indelible marks and traces on earth as individuals engaged in prayer. All the above with no iota of doubt gives us solid evidences that validate how essential prayer is. If Jesus Christ the head of the church, prayed, and if a servant is not greater than his master, then no Christian will ever live out the full potential of God’s power and the superceding life in the Spirit without Prayer.
We are living in a generation where some believers think bible study is a substitute for Prayer. This is a big deception of the devil to weaken our fortification and formidability as believers. Those who have been entangled in that web of deception may only express God in the knowledge of Scripture but may lack the power and essence of the life in the Spirit and in the word. It is therefore to be noted critically that none of the two replaces the other in any way.
What is the essence of bible study if not coupled with prayer? They are both very needed to build the Christian holistically.
It’s amazing the way most people, especially the youth, desire for the power and anointing of God and yet they are neither student of Scripture nor prayer. My fellow youth, it will only be a mirage and a day-dream if we neglect prayer and think we can access strong and authentic power and anointing. God works with principles and not just our desire for power and anointing.
What is prayer? How should I pray? How can my prayers be effective? Is prayer relevant at all times? Is the answers to my prayers in the loudness of my voice? What should my posture be in prayer? This undoubtedly are critical questions that brews our minds and hearts anytime we think and hear of prayer. To some extent these questions have not been accurately and holistically addressed by some churches and ministries. The extremity to which some Grace Gospel and New Creation Reality preachers trivialize prayer calls for immediate concern and restructuring. Some teach that the quality and effectiveness of prayer is not in duration or loudness but in revelation. Other Preachers teach also that prayer is effective in duration and loudness. So who is actually speaking the truth? This teaching has created so many confusion and dilemma in the minds of Christians.
WHAT REALLY IS PRAYER?
No matter the kind of vocabularies and spiritual terminologies we use to define prayer, it all boils down to the undeniable fact and truth that prayer is the means by which communication is established between God and Man (in this context Christians). Also the avenue by which God gains unlimited permission to intervene in the affairs of man. All others are modification of prayer based on one’s personal prayer experience, which helps to better our understanding and passion for Prayer.
There may be different kinds of prayer and depths in prayer we may attain, nonetheless, the truth still stands that prayer happens when we communicate to God.
Having said that, the prevalent question still is, what are the dynamics of making prayer effective? No matter how well prayer is taught and made, if the dynamics of making ones prayer effective is not accurately taught and adhered to, then nothing actually is done really. Because at the end of it all, prayer has an objective, which is, to effect change and produce tremendous results in the life of Christians in all facets.