Praying or Murmuring - Saturday 17, December 2016
Memorise: Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. – James 4:2
Read: Luke 15:25-32 (KJV)
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Bible in One Year: Leviticus 8-9, Psalms 119:161-172
In Christianity, prayer is generally defined as a solemn request for divine intervention or an expression of thanksgiving addressed to the Almighty God. It is therefore clear that prayer is not synonymous with murmuring, protest, demand, or complains. A proper understanding of the art of prayer and the type of prayer that brings results is very important in Christianity.
Let’s consider some biblical examples of prayer. While describing the way he prayed under a particular circumstance, the Psalmist in Psalms 42:4 says he poured out his soul to God. The phrase, “I pour out my soul” describes the soul like it is liquid. Depending on the situation, some prayers can take on a casual form while others may wear a garb of seriousness.
The intensity of your thanksgiving prayer will differ in a case where you experienced a hitch-free trip compared to when you met with several difficulties during the trip but eventually arrived safely. The Psalmist in Psalms 130:1-2 talks of calling unto God out of the deep. Somebody said that this was Jonah’s prayer in the belly of the fish. When there is no imminent danger, and you are in the comfort of your air-conditioned bedroom praying, that kind of prayer will be sweet, smooth and leisure-like. But the one in the belly of a fish such as in Jonah’s case would definitely be different. Jonah would have been very aggressive and desperate and must have prayed like a drowning man.
In 1 Samuel 1:13-18, when Hannah was praying, only her lips moved. Some people have used this as an excuse to engage in silent prayers. But the truth is, although she was not making a sound, it does not mean that she was not praying aggressively. We could compare this to a situation where an eight-day-old baby is circumcised and he is in pains. He cries out in agony and he continues to cry until his voice pales out, yet he will continue crying. Hannah must have cried to the extent of losing her voice. There is an extent to which you will pray and you will realize that you have gotten God’s attention. What kind of prayer takes place in your family? How desperate are you? If you can pour out your heart to the Lord without being so mindful of grammar or who may be nearby, or who is looking or not looking at you, you will get His attention.
At the end of the day, what is important is getting answers to prayers and not whether you appear to men as being prayerful. I have often stated that whatever progress and achievements are visible in the RCCG today; they are by the grace of God and the prayers of the saints. As you engage heaven in aggressive prayers this season, you will receive divine attention in Jesus’ name. Call on Him!
Prayer Point: Father, please, teach me to pray genuinely from today in Jesus’ name.