The Wonder-Working Prayer - Thursday January 8, 2015
Memorise: But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. - Acts 9:40
Read: Mark 9:20-29
20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
The Bible in Philippians 4:6 enjoins us not to be anxious for anything, but rather to make our requests known to God through prayer and supplication sandwiched with thanksgiving. The result of this spiritual exercise is found in Philippians 4:7:
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
This is the wonder of an effective Christian prayer life.
Our Bible text reveals that prayer can work wonders beyond our wildest imagination. It also reveals the inevitability of prayer in our lives. If Jesus could do nothing without prayer, then we should not think that an effective prayer life is optional for our Christian walk. When the apostles wondered why they could not cast out the demons in a demon-possessed boy, Jesus in Mark 9:29 simply told them that it was due to lack of prayer and fasting. James 4:2 reveals that many children of God are guilty of negligence in prayer. Some of them even become envious of those who take out time to pray to God concerning their needs. They fail to realise that it is prayer that can solve the problem of lack, and not envy. Like the elder brother of the prodigal son, they are zealous in the work of God but fail to make their requests known to God. They end up becoming envious. The elder brother of the prodigal son even falsely accused his father of partiality. But the father replied that all that he had was his (Luke 15:31). The problem with this son was that he would not ask.
After I was commissioned as the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, I travelled to my home town. On getting there, one of the requests put forward to me was about the access road into the town; as at that time, the road was in a deplorable state. Humanly speaking, it was an expensive project for a pastor to undertake. So I looked up in prayer to the God who called me, just like the Psalmist did in Psalm 121:1-2:
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”
The Lord answered my simple prayer a few weeks after my visit. He moved the government to award a contract that got the road fixed.
Key point: Ask and it shall be given; seek and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.
Bible in one year: Isaiah 23-26; Acts 5:22-42