DAY 2: SATURDAY 3RD, JANUARY 2015
FOCUS: REMOVING THE BARRIERS TO ANSWERED PRAYERS: OPERATING UNDER OPEN HEAVEN
TEXTS: PS.66: 18-20, LAMENTATION 3:8, 44; JOB 27:9;
PROV. 15:29, ZACH. 7:13; JOHN 9:3, JAMES 4:3
INSIGHT FOR EFFECTIVE PRAYERS OF THE DAY
Prayer is powerful. Prayer is a mighty conqueror. When we pray, God works. And when God works mighty and marvellous things happen. Prayer is a key weapon of the kingdom of God. According to Edward Payson, “Prayer is the first thing, the second thing and the third thing necessary” Jesus’ while He was here on earth made prayer the priority of His life and ministry. He prayed hard. He prayed hot. He prayed aggressively. He prayed unceasingly; He prayed with strong cry and agony. He prayed all night. He prayed short and long prayers. He prayed more earnestly and intensively. He had set an example for us to follow. He prayed alone. He prayed with individuals. He prayed for others. And above all, God answered all His prayers expressly.
Beloved, how is your prayer life? Is it healthy, dead or at the point of death? If you allow the devil to beat you in the place of prayer, he can beat you in every area of your life. However, if you take prayer very seriously by beating the devil in the place of prayer regularly, you can beat the devil any how and anytime in every area of your life. So be determined to give prayer the priority it deserves.
God answers prayers. But in Psalm 80:4 we read that God is angry against the prayers of His people. And Psalm 66:18 reads “If I regard iniquity in My heart, the Lord will not hear me” In line with the truth of these scriptures, it has been observed that there is a great deal of praying today that is merely a form and of the lips only. And a great deal that is an abomination to God; because the heart is not right. God will not hear or answer the prayer that is not right. Job declares, “Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure” (Job 16:17).
For us to get the best for these 30 days of fasting and prayer; our prayer must be pure. We must be very willing and humble enough to deal with all possible barriers to receive answers to our prayers.
Assuredly, God will not answer the prayer that is not pure and fail to fulfil the Biblical conditions of prayer. It takes obedience, humility, wholeheartedness and clean hearts, to get answers to our prayers accordingly. Sincerely, an evil heart of unbelief, cherished sin, impure desires, malice, envy and worldliness Will spoil our prayers and make God to reject or ignore them (Lamentation 3:8,44). God hates sin supremely. Yet, there are some sins that He hates in a special manner – those that are injurious to our neighbours. The reason is obvious, for we are no more right with God than we are with our fellow-men and wrong relations with our fellow men lock the windows of heaven so that God cannot pour out His blessings upon us.
Truly, your relationship to brethren can affect your prayer life: Wrong relationship between husband and wife will hinder their prayer (I Pet. 3:7). The BE Commentary NT relates a story that underscores this point:
An Evangelist had preached on the Christian home in a camp meeting. After the sermon a father approached him. ‘I’ve been praying for a wayward son for years’ said the father, ‘and God has not answered my prayers’. The evangelist read Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” ‘Be honest with yourself and the Lord’ he said, “is there anything between you and another Christian that needs to be settled?’ The father hesitated, then said, ‘Yes, I’m afraid there is. I’ve harbored resentment in my heart against another man in this Church”. Then, go make it right” counselled the evangelist and he prayed with the man. And the man did so. Before the campaign was over, the father saw his wayward son come back to the Lord. What a wonderful story! What are the lessons that you and I need to learn from this true story? We can see that wrong relationship with our fellow men is a great barrier to answered prayer.
Beloved, it is possible that we have wronged ourselves, we have defrauded ourselves, we have injured ourselves knowingly and unknowingly, yet we fail to reconcile. God will not answer our prayers unless we make right every necessary wrong relationship. Therefore, let us seek when we pray to have sincere hearts, free from resentment, bitterness, hypocrisy and the love of sin. Otherwise, our prayers can not prosper or prevail. So, let us examine ourselves with strong determination to deal with every iniquity in our lives so that we can clear the coast. Beloved, we must endeavour to sift ourselves by self and sincere examination just as Satan does by tempting. Who have you offended? Who has offended you? Who have we offended as a local Church or as a family? Let us lead the counsel, Go and make it right so that we can operate under open heaven.
LET US PRAY
- Read Psalm 31:10 Lord, give me total and timely victory over every iniquity that kills my strength.
- Read Ps. 18:23. Holy Spirit, help me to always be upright before God by keeping myself from mine iniquity.
- Read Jer. 5:25. What are your sins that are withholding good things from you and your family? Name them: O Lord, by Your mercy purge those sins working, standing or speaking against my destiny.
- Read II Sam. 12:9-14, Eph. 4:27. Iniquity gives the devil access to one’s life and family. Lord purge me from every form of iniquity that gives Satan access to my life.
- Eccl. 10:8. Iniquity breaks the divine hedge around one’s life. It also breaks the shield or protection around one .O Lord, give me total dominion or mastery over iniquity.
- Your iniquity deprives you of the right standing with God. It also destroys the boldness of your faith before the throne of Grace. Lord, command total victory for me over sin of any sort.
- I Tim. 5:24 Lord, destroy any sin going ahead or coming behind me.
- Prov. 16: 6 O Lord, by mercy, purge every iniquity of my life, family and lineage.
- Zech.3:4. Lord, cause my iniquity to pass from me and clothe me with garment of righteousness.
- O Lord, help me to operate under open heaven all through the year.
- Personal Prayer Points for the day Ps. 6:9.
- Corporate intercessor for the day – Grace for GOFAMINT children to be more godly.
- Ministration for the day. People that need the help of God in their family devotion and Personal Prayer life.