Lu 18: 1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
We will consider various truths about prayer. Firstly why pray?
If God is omniscient, He knows everything why pray?
If God is omnipotent, he can do whatever He wants, I do not need to tell Him what to do!
Good is in control of everything, what is the need of me praying?
God has determined everything, He will go only according to His pre determined force, according to His thoughts, plans and will and is going to do what He wants anyway!
In light of the above why pray?
GodHasDelegated It ToMan
“It seems God is limited by our prayer life – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.” – John Wesley
Unless and until a man asks God will not do anything on earth. It is about how the earth is designed to function! Does God, heaven and earth wait for a mere man like me prays? God is all knowledgeable, but why does he wait?
In answering this mystery, we will begin from Gen 1: 26
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
A statement about how man is to be made, and for what he is to be made. Let them have dominion- over everything! God’s good counsel determined it this way- that men would rule and that the earth realm would belong to them. The import of this delegation is better understood if we consider that God never can or will change His mind after such a pronouncement! Man is in charge, he can forbid or allow it to happen. He has decided it to such an extent that He even excluded Himself out of it! Unless man asks for it , God has decide not to do!
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Ps 8:4 AV)
From now on, Whatever man wants will happen on the earth!
What happened in the Garden of Eden?
Gen 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
Prior to the fall, as long as man lived in obedience to God, man enjoyed the position of the top being on earth; ruling and had dominion on earth. The moment he disobeyed God, he allowed the devil to become his master. His action made the statement, Satan is my lord. No only did they come under the power of Satan, everything that they owned also came under Satan’s authority.
Look at some additional information available in the temptation of Jesus in Lu 4
5 Then the devil took Him up to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the habitable world in a moment of time [in the twinkling of an eye].6 And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.
By and through Jesus were all things in heaven and earth created! Who is the devil to make claim that he possessed everything in the earth? That this has been delivered to him. When? That h could give it to whomever he wished. Jesus never contested it!
Though God is the creator who made everything and owns it all, since He had given it to man, he does not claim ownership of it anymore!
That is why to take back the earth from the then god of this world- Satan, he had to come in the form of a man, nobody else had rights to contest ownership! That was the reason for incarnation, take on flesh. As a man and as man’s representative, Jesus is called the second Adam or the last Adam. Adam lost it Jesus regained it and gave it back to man to whom it rightfully belongs!
Why should God take the form of a man? Isn’t there a man on earth who could do it? Why not a prophet, or sage, or mahatma?
Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.
All men are sinners, so no one qualifies to contest rights to the earth ( by being sinners, they have already obeyed the devil)
1 John 5: 19 We know [positively] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one.
The fall placed the entire human race under the power of the devil and the devil places them under the quicksand of sinful nature; if you try to help one another, you will only sink faster; you are all in it!
The only One who could help is one who is not caught in the miry clay of sin, and throw a lifeline to save them!
Jesus came as man’s answer, born of a virgin. Why does he need to be born of a virgin?
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Was it the woman who sinned first? The bible gives us men a bad deal right there? Man is the one who passes on the sin nature from generation to generation. Everyone born to a man is a sinner under the power of Satan, already sinking in quicksand. No one among the sons of men could be used for this purpose.
Therefore God became man and came down born of a virgin. Of a virgin because everyone born of man is sinful, he had to bypass man, and become the seed of a woman. Untainted by sin and therefore not under the power of the devil! If he was not born of a virgin, he was a sinner, if he was a sinner he cannot be a savior. That is why the virgin birth is so central to the Christian faith- if you cancel the virgin birth out, you can cancel the savior, then there can be no salvation.
Jesus stands outside the realm of Satan, free from the power of sin, able to bring man out from the clutches of Satan. Which is why when he walked the streets of Galilee, he performed miracles, made the evil spirits to flee, healed the sick! The demons had not seen a man like Him before: He was a different kind of a person whom they could not handle!
When they crucified Him, they thought they had Him defeated; but he had finished paying the redemption price for man as a representative of man, died there cursed for us, bearing our punishment. After He died he descended all the way down to hell and there he defeated Satan as a man.
God did not have to defeat Satan: God is greater than the devil anyway! He did it as a man, as man’s representative! Took the keys of death and hell and walked out as a victor- as a man!
1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Many years after Jesus had ascended to the father, Paul wrote, there is a man seated there! He is still a man. Christian teaching says that Jesus will never given up his humanity: forever he would remain a man. The greatest honor God can ever give to man, the second person of trinity comes in the form of humanity and retains it forever and ever! If one man could do it, then all men can defeat Satan and rise up!
What is this man doing now? The man Christ Jesus, is at the right hand of the father and He intercedes! We talk such a great deal about the 33 ½ years of Jesus’ ministry on earth: what is He doing now? Was it all over for Him after the cross?
The Present Day Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 8: 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Heb :4: 14-16 talks of the great high priest.
Heb 10: 10-22 Jesus is in a prayer ministry now: as a man! It is n this context that we can understand John Wesley’s statement more fully: unless man asks God won’t!
Before man ever came along, God in his wisdom had declared that he would have dominion and rule!
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
What a statement? A man ? Why such power and honour to man?
This statement needs understanding because people usually lapse into ‘begging mode’ in order to pray.
Or they realise they are in front of God, and the only way they will get anything is by howling and screaming! Dealing with God is a difficult time!
God wants man to join Him in ruling and reigning. Praying is not about begging and pleading about what we want!
God originally made man so that only what man wanted would happen on earth! The greatest example is the fall itself!
Why did not God prevent the Fall? God could have stopped it and taken the earth realm away from man!
Were you there when God hung the skies in space? When he said to the seas, thus far and no further? Instead of questioning God it is better to be in awe of God! This precious person: man that God has made! Before you come to God and start begging, your mind has to be filled with the respect and honour God has bestowed on you! How does God think about you ?
God looks to you as a man made in His likeness and image; as His son as His daughter, He wants you to use your authority on this earth: He wants you to be the man on this earth (that you were made to be)
The begging can stop right there!
Rise to the occasion; stand in your place and (even if it means listening to some of these things again) then pray!
Your approach to prayer will go beyond tears accounting! God will answer according to His specification! No armchair philosophy works with God. No Murphy law; no rocking chair theory!
If God could do whatever he wanted to do on earth, the the Christian has it made! Without ever asking, everything must be so good and so perfect in every Christian’s life? Why is it not going right?
If you do not decide and you do not ask, nothing is going to happen n your life, your family or church or world- unless you ask for it!
A big storm or hurricane or tsunami blows, you say, I think God sent that storm! if you think that the earth is going to take care of itself because HE knows about it, you have not understood the import of John Wesley’s statement: If you don’t, God wont!
Redemption is God’s answer for man the loser messing up creation’s design at Eden! It is about gaining the earth realm and giving it back to man!
There is no use begging God! Prayer is about such privilege! It is about God’s purposes and plans and we are God’s vice regents! This is what is amazing about this God! Most gods abuse you; demand you to come here or there! He says Come as you are!
Understand His purpose and plan for you and live for it! understanding of God’s love lifts me to a new level of respectability. God respects us so much and lets us determine what we want.
To a blind man He said, what would me have to do for you!
Are you blind Jesus? Cant you see the man is blind? However The man needn’t have wanted his blindness healed, maybe he had a head ache! what do you want? What you want will happen!
Mk 11 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Without you desiring it, nothing is going to happen. Saved, baptized spirit failed people do not go anywhere since they have not realized what can happen, how God’s will can come to pass in their life through prayer!
Mt 16: 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Amazing that God creates the whole earth and delights to put this whole earth under the responsibility of a man!
Even in the OT,
Is 45:11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.
Even in the OT men had such clout with God, they could go to him and literally command Him! You would make a mistake, if you said, I am just a worm in the dust, how can I command God? Armchair philosophers would say: God can do anything, he even used a donkey!
God used that donkey because the prophet was sitting on that donkey, the prophet who was to prophecy wrongly about Israel! Balaam was invited by Balak to curse the people of God who he was afraid would overrun his country! The prophet agreed to do it for evil gain; opened to curse God’s people and only blessings flow out!
So many are led stray owing to bible verses! They would find a verse to embrace poverty! That bible verse killed their future, abilities and potential! It made them nothing because they didn’t understand the verse under the power of the Holy spirit!
2 Cor3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
If you take the word out of context like the devil applied it to Jesus…
Jesus called the bluff! He discerned that the devil’s aim was to kill Him! I know what the verse means. The devil was tying to kill Jesus with Ps 91 which was actually a life giving psalm! Jesus could interpret that verse with the help of the Holy spirit- with enlightenment! Some unsuspecting believer would have said, I jumped acc to ps 91… and would have been dead or with broken bones!
Ps 91 is not talking about jumping off buildings! Not understanding God’s word with spirit’s help causes people to embrace disaster and reckon it is God!
Some quote, give thanks to god for everything… you better not give thanks to God for what the devil does…
What does the verse Give thanks in everything mean? It means give thanks for every perfect gift comes form the father above… don’t thank God for everything the devil does!
The bible if applied the wrong way can destroy you! So may live lives of utter failure because of what the church has taught them! powerless, and like dirt- they become what they hear!
How to command God?
Realise that God never does things against His will! Though people use prayer and fasting as an arm twisting exercise! Somehow God…
God’s arm never can get twisted: His arm is long and extended! Cooperate with God and you will find prayer very easy!
God’s will has already decided: God has no confusion about it- he has made known His will: he wants us to know and do His will on earth! You can understand His will only in that context! It is all about a relationship with God; God created man to rule and throve in a relationship with God!
We must work as a result of a relationship with god! That is the way it was ordained by God! Yet a nagging doubt remains in some- why does he want us to ask? Why cannot he just do it Himself? Why waste time with me!
You tell a crying child as you leave for work that you would get her ice-cream if she behaved at school! As soon as you return- you expect the child to clamor for it- and the father loves it- he loves the whole exercise to getting her the icecream!
The father loves the son to ask- the whole interaction, one wanting to do more for the to her- and the child is apprehensive- will my father get me the icecream? The father would get any amount of ice cream- how much more the heavenly father!
Prayer is like that- God wants to see if we believe Him and His promises! Have you looked into it, and have you asked based on his promises- God is so delighted since you are bringing his promises.
Put me in remembrance… tell me what I told you! Has he forgotten? No! Does he need Siri, the virtual assistant? No! it shows that you read it, you desire it, and you believe Him! You have something going between with God! This is the plan and purpose God has…
Then prayer becomes a very easy exercise! If oyu think prayer is a hard exercise, that you do not know God , and what he is about; whether you would get it or not…
Sometimes He gives,
Sometimes he odes not give…
Whether He gives it or not, you be cheerful!
Paints a picture that man is better than God! Man is steady and God is cantankerous! You cannot believe.. never mind, you be more mature than God, you give thanks anyway! Be glad any way; keep your smiles up anyway… what nonsense!
Believe God wants you to have joy, peace, that is his will for you- success, prosperity… that is his will. Yu do not need to ask God for all these things because you like to have it! Every beggar would like to have it too! We are children of God, we know who we are, we know what he wants for us- therefore we so not ask what we want! We ask these things because it is his will- He wants it for us!
I like success because God wants it for me! God does not like me to be failure, or beneath or tail or victim. Because He wants it, I come against everything that comes against my success, exaltation, prosperity, victory! I am convinced that I am filled with the passion of what God wants for me! He delights to see me succeed! To come up just like I would delight to see my children come up!
So my prayer is not me wanting something! It is not like going to a grocery store and handing over a list!
Prayer is not about your needs or your desire- it is about what God desires for you- higher than your ambition for yourself!
Many face prayer with trepidation… pledging to go wherever god sends-
To the slum,
To Africa… you can thrive in Africa because God will prosper you there!
Prayer is understanding what God wants for you, be convinced about, go at it with all you have got because God is with you, like a bull dozer, ready to pulverize everything in your path!
No weapon formed against you shall prosper- it is not about an individual person! It is about a person going out to fulfill God’s purpose, and God guarantees that nothing will thwart God’s purpose, no weapon can withstand his purpose, align with god’s purpose!
Prayer is not a grocery list! It is a big job! Whatever I ask for, salvation, peace prosperity and success, and riches– all because it is His will! I will not embrace anything else! Because I want to see His will come to pass!
If you embrace poverty, that is what you will have! If you let it go, it will go! You can say… I am going to do the will of God, stand with God and pray it…
You can have the desires of God… the desires God places inside you comes from Elshaddai God! Your mind and heart expands- and think in larger and larger terms, because of relationship!
Your forefather did not live in a house called success in a town called prosperity. You know it because God teaches you, you read his success book everyday!
There is no use of Christians praying and praying all day long on their knees, with tears- and achieve nothing!
Ask and receive , that the Father may be glorified- in you receiving what you ask! When you get it it is because it is His reputation at stake…
no use because of armchair philosophy- one day we will know…
It s better to know you can ask according to His purposes! Do you know what he wants you to do- are you praying according to these lines- are you bearing fruit in prayer? (that is a lot of work- read the bible, go to church, take notes…) much easier to say God can use a donkey… Lord Jesus make me a donkey to carry you you into Jerusalem!
God says No! I have made you a man in my image! No hard work involved!
Love God, worship enter his presence and there you will have what you ask- let his word fill your heart!
 After I photographed Reverend Graham, he entered a press conference with hundreds of reporters and photographers. As he was leaving, one of the interviewers asked him to pray for his ailing mother. Reverend Graham stopped immediately and prayed with the man as if he were the only person in the room, and as if it were the most important task of his day.