Prayer without Ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.
The Bible is laced with scriptural verses that make a clarion call to the believers to pray all the time. And no matter how busy we become, God’s charge for prayer does not change. If he requires the people of old to pray all the time in order to see marvellous results and transformations in their lives, he won’t compromise it because times have changed. In fact, as a result of the increasing wickedness that has peppered the world over, the need for the believer to constantly remain connected to God in prayer is ever increasing too. Prayer should be the natural air that every believer should breathe. And the devil knows that the more prayerful we are, the more difficult it is for him to invade any aspect of our lives. So the thrust of Satan’s attack is centred on ensuring that the believer is kept far away from God in prayer than anything else. He wouldn’t mind you watching television for five hours but when it comes to prayer, a type of weakness that you can never imagine sets in. Even if the believer manages to pray, the passion to stay in the place of prayer is not available. And it is Satan’s desire and the system of the world to keep you away from talking to your maker because they are aware that a believer who is prayerful is an untouchable believer.
All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
The devil knew that the source of the wisdom of Daniel, his ability to decode dreams, his unmatched saintly life is not unconnected to the amount of time Daniel spends in the presence of God. So the devil is seeking to break that direct link that Daniel has with God. He moved the hearts of fellow princes of Babylon to be angry and jealous with Daniel. They used prayer as an occasion in order to find fault in him because they knew that Daniel will always pray three times a day.
And the Babylon system is very strong on earth. Sometimes it is subtle and other times it is overt for you to see. I know this seems harsh but I want you to understand the perspective from which I am coming from. God forbid that I should discourage anyone from working hard in order to meet the needs of his life. It will be contrary to Scripture for me to tell anybody to desist from working and to remain at home and keep praying. The Bible says anyone that does not work should not eat. So working is in line with the biblical standard. Paul the apostle was also a tentmaker even though he had a busy schedule in his ministry of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.
And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
Hasn’t it ever bordered you how the system of the world wants you to work and work and no one cares whether you have spent time with your maker, God? That is the system of Babylon and it has been instituted in order to ensure that you have no time for God which by extension will destroy the very fabric of your spiritual existence. That is the reason why Daniel was forbidden to pray. The strength of every child of God is directly proportional to the amount of time he can spend with God in prayer. I have heard of several people who had to resign from their jobs because it wasn’t giving them time with God. The work was draining them spiritually while allowing no room for them to do anything with God. For such people, they felt that resigning from their job would create the space that they needed in order to spend time with God in prayers. If only they had known the secret contained in this book, resignation wouldn’t have been a necessary option as they can pray even at their jobs without interrupting with their schedules of duty.
Friends, we need to be aware of the system of this world and how it doesn’t want you to pray. That is the system of Babylon. It desires to keep you as far away from God as possible. But with the wisdom of prayer, you can overcome that.
What Prayer Does to You
Prayer does a lot of things to the life of a believer. We will closely examine some of the things that prayer does to you.
38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
One evident reason why a believer should seek to pray, it keeps the believer away from temptation. If Peter had been fervent in prayer the night Jesus was beckoning him to pray, he wouldn’t have fallen into temptation. Peter who was hollering all the time that he would go with Jesus where ever he went, denied Jesus before a little girl. Why? He fell into the sin of temptation to denied Jesus because he was prayerless. Even when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, it was the same Peter who took his sword and took off the ears of Malchus, one of the servants of the high priest. These were the things that Jesus saw write ahead of time so he was asking Peter to pray them away. In the words of Jesus, so that you do not fall into temptation. Peter never give careful attention to what Jesus told him. I personally believe that if Peter had been prayerful, he wouldn’t have denied Jesus. He would also not have been in a rash to cut off the ears of the servant of the high priest. Conversely, his fall into sin was occasioned by his lack of prayer. There are many who have found themselves deep in the pool of the murky water of sin not because they desired it, but the inconsistent and lack of prayer resulted in the fall into this sin.
A believer must consistently stay fervent in prayer in order to escape all the snares of the devil. In case you are thinking that the devil has given up on you and he doesn’t want to trouble you anymore, I want to let you know that the devil does not give up on anyone no matter how spiritually mature he may be. When he tempted Jesus and Jesus gave him three technical knockouts of defeat, the Bible says that the devil left him for a season with the intention of returning back again.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
A fervent prayer life will make you escape the snares of the enemy. It is because the devil wants to see many children of God trapped in his snares that is the reason why he fights the prayer life of a believer.
The voice of God
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
The voice of wisdom that God releases to his children in order to guide and direct them is available in the place of prayer. Believers who have become cold towards prayer will find it very difficult to hear the voice of God. Prayer is a platform for hearing the wisdom that comes out from the mouth of God. And the voice of God can do a lot of wonders and miracles.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters.
I want you to observe the believer’s around you and see those who are making a lot of impact on society. Those who have listened to the voice of God are distinguished in the endeavours of life. And the place of prayer offers you that opportunity to hear the wisdom that comes from God through his voice.
Even the silent whispers of God can be picked up in the place of prayer. Prayer is an opportunity to bring the atmosphere of the presence of God into that particular environment. Whenever you begin to pray, you are attracting heaven. And when you hear his voice, it can change your life, the life of your family and everything that concerns you forever. There is nothing that cultures a believer to pick up sensitive spiritual signals like the lifestyle of prayer. It is in the place of prayer that you learn how to comprehend the sensitive impressions that the Holy Spirit may be dropping on your heart. I have written extensively about prayer and the voice of God here. You may check it out and see for yourself.
And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
1 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
One of the greatest potentials of prayer is the development and the transformation of our spiritual character. The change that begins when the Holy Spirit comes into your life at salvation is continued in the place of prayer. Often times when we do what is improper before the eyes of the Lord, and we have forgotten about what we have done, the moment we bow our knees in the place of prayer, God will convict us of what we have done in other not to do it anymore. The Bible says as we continue to behold his face all the time, we are being transformed into his image. And there is something important you need to know about the image of God. The image of God does not suffer from poverty. The image of God does not depict want and lack. The image of God evidences financial abundance and prosperity. The image of God does not show in any way ill health and sicknesses. The image of God is a perfect reflection of what every human being on it should be.
That is what the image of God will present friends. If every believer can stay in the presence of God in prayer and become transformed into the image of his son, then every problem confronting the body of Christ will be no more. There will be no need to go and lay hands and pray for any believer among us. It will be needless to pray for any believer to be financially blessed among us if we are perfectly representing the image of God. Our concern will be the sinner and the unrepented who need our intervention. It is then that we may need to lay hands on to be healed. Since we ourselves do not need that as a result of the clear representation of the image of God.
Beloved, the process of transformation into the perfect image of God can only be effected through prayer. The more you pray, the more like God you will become. His nature and character will continue to rise in you until it completely swallows your own personality. That is the prayer Jesus offered in the book of John 17:23 that all believers should be one with him as he is one with the father. But transformation can never be achieved if we are not men and woman of prayer. Even unity with the Holy Spirit can only be available to the man of prayer. Prayer is more than uttering words and spending time with God. In it lies the great power of transformation of our character. I remember when I gave my heart to the Lord. There was a particular habit that was so stubborn, and it clung to my life for a very long time. As I kept coming to the presence of God in the place of prayer, I realised that the habit had been destroyed by the power of prayer without my notice. Suddenly, the habit was no longer a struggle. The transforming power of his presence that is available through prayer killed it.