You’ve got a place of prayer in the presence of the Lord, communing with God face to face, I just love that God has asked us to come to him boldly. We don’t have to go through somebody else. Halleluiah, don’t you like that?! You don’t have to go through pastor, prophet, apostle or anyone else. You can come yourself into the presence of God. I’ve heard people say, ‘I’m not going to pray for you’, well tough luck, I can pray for myself. God did not create us to depend on somebody else as it were to make it through life; thank God we can pray one for another, but if other people are more interested in your well being and welfare than yourself, then everything is not right with you.
In Luke 18 verse 1, Jesus spoke a parable that men (women) always ought to pray and not to lose heart, i.e. we ought to pray and not give up confidence in praying. Another translation says men ought to always pray and not to cave in. God is calling us to a place of prayer. It is not a place of prayer we go to mechanically, he is interested in answering our prayers. That is why I am so excited today that we have the Holy Ghost inside of us to help us connect supernaturally with God. He can help us pray and our prayers would by-pass our minds and the devil and make connection with God. We have something today that Elijah and all the Old Testament saints like Abraham, Moses etc never had. Even people during the earthly ministry of Jesus did not have what you and I have today. It is the most awesome package ever; however people are not taking advantage of it even though they would want the best God has in store for them.
JESUS OUR EXAMPLE
Looking at the ministry of Jesus, we would see that he was a man of prayer. Even though he had the baptism of the Holy Ghost without measure, he still needed to pray! The anointing you and I have is with measure because it can be increased, but the one on the life of Jesus could not be increased. The body of Christ (The Church) is a whole and has the anointing without measure but no single individual does. Anyone making such a claim would be in error. Since we all have the anointing by measure, it can be increased or decreased. It is rare for any minister to operate at optimum level all the time, but there are things we can do to help us function near where we should be.
Let’s look at the ministry of Jesus in Mark chapter1, he being a man of prayer despite the fact that he was the Son of God. In verse 33, we see a trade mark of his ministry, ‘all the city was gathered at the door and he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him’. Jesus had a very successful ministry healing multitudes, but in verse 35 we see a habit of his, ‘and in the morning rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place and there prayed’. In other words, he woke up very early, went to a solitary place and prayed! I’m quite sure that his rising up in the morning wasn’t 30minutes before day, because the bible said he rose a great while before day. Jesus was sought for by all and sundry and before they came, he would have gotten up to go spend time with his Father. That was like charging his battery up, praying and putting things in place.
One of the terms the Lord communicated to me that I read was praying things through. He said I need to pray things through. There are times God would show us things in the future and I’ve found that out for my life, but we would need to pray those things through before they happen, praying it into the here and now, especially if it involves different people like things in the ministry. If say I needed healing or finances for myself, I would not need to pray it through. I can just take what the word of God says, believe it, meditate on it and act on it and that would be it. But things concerning other people and situations where other people’s will are involved beyond yourself, you need the Holy Ghost to help you in those areas.
One of the things I love about the Holy Ghost Is that he can help us to pray about the future. The people, who have to pray with their understanding alone, usually have to play catch up. Something happens and then they are praying to fix it to change it. How about praying ahead of time that before you get there, you have already shaped things in your favour? When you get there you would just be soaring from glory to glory, halleluiah! You and I need to pray about the future because we are headed there, but the Holy Ghost is already there at the same time here with you, he’s also in the past and he can effectively help you so that you are not playing catch up all the time.
When Jesus came into the world many people do not realize that he had to seek God for direction and follow in that plan, just like you and I need to do. Jesus in his earthly ministry, did not carry out things as the Son of God, scriptures tell us that he laid down his power and glory and took on the form of a man. Did you notice that there were some things that Jesus didn’t know for example, he didn’t know where Lazarus was laid, and asked where have you laid him, even though he raised him from the dead afterwards? God knows where everyone is and does not need to ask anyone, but Jesus had to ask some questions because he had to depend on the Holy Ghost. Jesus functioned as a man anointed with the Holy Ghost. If you live your life without the Holy Ghost, you are really putting yourself in danger. We have an enemy the devil who has been around long before the first man. So in terms of dealing with humans, you cannot match him with your intellect. I’ve been faced with situations where I had just two options A or B. But praying further, the Holy Ghost let me see that there is a third option, C. The devil would think he had it all figured out, probably thinking that either A or B, I’ll get him. By the time you take the option C shown you by the Holy Ghost, the devil would be defeated and sidelined. The Holy Ghost is a supernatural being to give us God’s wisdom and guidance and beat the devil every single time because he has already been defeated. It is in your own best interest to know him, if you ignore him, you do so at your own peril and you’ll regret it.
In Luke chapter5 verse 15, we see more things about the ministry of Jesus. We are told that, ‘however, the report went round concerning him, all the more and great multitudes came to hear him and to be healed by him of their infirmities’. We definitely can tag this as a successful meeting, but see what Jesus would do after a successful meeting, ‘he himself often withdrew into the wilderness,’ and did what? Prayed. He did this often, withdrawing into a quiet place in the wilderness to just be with his Father, God. To hook up with the one who knows all things. If Jesus needed to do that to fulfil his calling in life, you definitely are no exception.
In John 18 from verse 1, which was about the time Jesus was to go to the cross. ‘When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron where there was a garden and he and his disciples entered’. Some translations say, often times he would go to this place. You should have an ‘often’ place of prayer, a place whereby it is between you and God regularly. Make time out for God. Just being in the presence of God in fellowship would charge you up. Actually for me when I’m right there I walk in love better. I’m able to relate with people better, I have long suffering better. Verse two tells us that Judas who betrayed him also knew the place, for it was a regular place he went. For Jesus often met there with his disciples. Then Judas having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns torches and weapons. Jesus therefore knowing all things that would come upon him went forward and said, ‘who are you seeking?’ Did you see that? ‘Knowing all things’, how did he know? Yes, in the place of prayer and regular communion and fellowship with God! You cannot live life successfully without the regular communion with God.
A survey in North America amongst ministers of different denominations was to find out how long they spent in prayer on a daily basis. Do you know what the average time was? 5minutes! The sad thing about it is that this is an average and some ministers would pray less than 5minutes a day! I don’t care who you are, you cannot get by on five minutes of prayer. It is no surprise the church is the way it is with ministers praying for an average of 5minutes a day. We are told Jesus knowing all things that would come upon him was not startled, afraid or in a frenzy when soldiers came to arrest him. He had such composure and calmness and as it were, he was busy directing everything. He said to Pilate, no, it has not been given to you to set me free. I have power to lay down my life and power to take it up again. The boldness and confidence of the Holy Ghost would be transferred into you as you spend time with him, that’s what God designed.
We are the temple of God; He is living on the inside of us. Why is he there? Is He an added weight for you to carry, or a lonely hitch hiker to hitch hike through life with you? Listen he is in there to help and put you over life’s difficulties, to put you through thick and thin. When the enemy comes any which way, he’s there to put you over and put the devil to shame in the name of the Lord Jesus. It is for that same reason the devil wants to possess some people and that is why God is on the inside of you. And so, victory after victory and glory after glory is what God intended your life to be. Jesus won it for us all.
Let’s see more about the ministry of Jesus in Luke chapter 6 verse 12, ‘now it came to pass in those days that he went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God! I remember when I just gave my life, prayer was one of the most difficult things for me. Whenever people said let us pray and fast, I would say these people just want to kill me because I had never done it before. As I began to feed on the word of God and grow in the things of God, it became easier. It however got much easier when I got filled with the Holy Ghost. It was like I had a nuclear bomb of the spirit; it was like I knew I had something I didn’t have before and whenever it was time to pray, I always longed for it. I felt like someone riding a motorcycle and suddenly being put on a supersonic jet. You see, the Holy Ghost is a gentle man; he is not going to force, he’ll just give you a gentle push and if you resist it, he’ll leave you alone. But guess what, you’ll pay dearly for it. Let me say this, every failure in life is a prayer failure. Not connecting with the one who’s been sent to help you, he will forewarn you and show you of things to come, I love that! I’m not saying that God would show you everything completely, but He would show you enough to get you headed in the right direction. Back to Jesus in verse 12, we are told that he continued in prayer all night and when it was day he called his disciples to himself and he chose twelve who he also named apostles. It was time to chose people who were going to be pillars in the church, who would change the course of history, who would affect millions and generations all through the years even till now. But before making that kind of decision what did Jesus do? He spent time in prayer. Before you make any major decision in your life, don’t just do it by mental calculations and deductions, give yourself to prayer.
You have probably been reading all along and you have being depending on other people praying for you and wondering, ‘how can I get all the things I’m reading about?’, you can get filled with the Holy Ghost today with the evidence of speaking in tongues. All these are part of why we are to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Jesus prayed all night, you may not be there yet but if you have been born again for a year or two, you should be able to pray for at least an hour in tongues. Christians of old used to talk of the ‘sweet hour of prayer’, but today, it is just a word of prayer. There are things you cannot be taught, but you will learn in the process of praying consistently and persistently. Remember, if Jesus who had the Holy Ghost without measure prayed all night, you’ll definitely be missing something if you haven’t had such an experience, because that’s where the great things happen.