I left others behind, and followed him as he led. I had to wait and watch with him, as he moved ahead to pray. He fell upon his face and began to pray. The way he prayed surprised me. “Is he not the son of God?” I reasoned. “How is it that he’s praying in this manner? Groaning in prayer? Why exert so much energy” Those were questions I tried to answer within myself. I tried to watch him for some minutes, but it didn’t take long for me to sleep off. Suddenly I woke up from my sleep. It was him tapping me. I checked my time, and discovered that one hour had passed already. “One hour?” I reasoned! “What’s he praying about? Has he forgotten that he’s the son of God? And now he’s even sweating profusely. Is God no longer his father?” I thought he came to wake me so we can start leaving, but I was wrong. He came to wake me to join him in prayer as he went to pray the same way two more times. I couldn’t just stand it and had to fall asleep again and again.
As we left that place, I kept thinking about the prayer scenario. And really, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. That has been his attitude from the onset. He had always kept times of prayers. I remember after one meeting we had, where there were so much miracles, he still went somewhere to pray till midnight. I had thought he would just go somewhere to relax, but I was wrong. At another time, he prayed from evening till morning; which was around 12 hours. “Why that long?” I asked in my heart. At some other times, he rose so early to a very quiet place to pray. I had been wrong in my thoughts that he wouldn’t have to pray if he was the son of God. I came to understand many of these things later.
When Jesus left us with the ministry and we had to continue preaching the gospel, we had to devote ourselves also to prayer and the word. It was as if there was something in us that just pushed us to pray. Same way he did during his time, we made prayer a priority; we had daily times of prayers, even though we pray without ceasing. We didn’t miss our prayer times for anything. And we saw so much healing and miracles just as when he was with us. We devoted ourselves fully to prayer. I remember praying somewhere one day, and even when I became so hungry, I still continued to pray. It was already the sixth hour and food was being prepared for me, but I continued in prayer. Even when we faced problems with the governing authority, that didn’t stop us from praying; it was like breathing to us. It is just our nature to pray.
Now I know why our master would always pray. That was his nature. As he was always in constant communion with the heavenly father, we were also in constant communion with the father. Some from among us even while they were remanded in prison couldn’t resist the urge to pray. They prayed, they sang praises to God. No situation was too big to stop prayers. At a time when I was also arrested and put in the prison, what the other brethren did was to pray. It was as if what God would do is dependent on our prayers. We cooperated with God in prayer to see his will established here on earth. Every one of us in the group was a man and woman of prayer. Prayer was not left for some certain group; everybody prayed. What was He praying for? He prayed that God’s will be done and His Kingdom Come.
He taught His disciples the same in what we call the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6: 9 – 13).
One Common act practised by our Patriarchs of Old is Prayer. Yes, they prayed. Elisha prayed earnestly, Elijah Prayed, the prophets prayed, Paul Prayed in Ephesians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Peter Prayed, the Apostles Prayed they prayed and prayed until they were able to reveal and establish the kingdom of God on earth. The 120 people who gathered in the upper room prayed until God’s Promise of the Holy-Spirit was released to the Church. Paul encouraged us to Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). Pray without STOPING. The Apostles said we “would give ourselves to the ministry of the word and Prayer (Acts 6:4). Prayer get things done. The Holy-Spirit came on the wings of Prayer. Our Father in Heaven is ready to hear us,
“And this is the Confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14)
“If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
Now the Baton has been passed unto us, the Church. It is time for the Church to rise-up to pray and not just pray, but Pray for God’s will to be done and His kingdom Come. Prayer aligns us with God’s will for corporate turning that can activate our journey towards God. Prayer opens the eyes of our understanding just as Paul prayed in Ephesians, Colossians etc. for the Church. Prayer can create in our spirit a Hunger for the Lord. Prayers is Praying the Scriptures. God’s will is specifically declared in the Bible. That is a very safe way to pray the will of God.
The whole region knew us. We were accused of turning the world upside down. We did it through the word and prayer. As for the sick people, it didn’t matter if we touched them, or used handkerchief from our bodies, or our shadows, or just our words, they always got healed. Dead people were raised back to life too. There was no room for laziness. We were so fervent in prayer. And it was glaring that we took over the whole world, filling it with the wonderful name of the savior Jesus. Prayer to us is like breathing.
And yes we are the new creature; created in Christ Jesus for every good work. Yes we are! We pray because that is who we are. Our call was not to irresponsibility and laziness; it is a call to take over the world with his name. We are taking over. Not just by mouth; we will yet pray, and pray more, and pray. We will act too. Yes we will! Pray! Men that took over prayed, so pray now. Pray! Pray now! Have you started praying already? What are you waiting for? When you are weak, pray. When you are strong, pray.
Our Generation may never witness the Power and wonderful acts of God as we see in the bible, if we don’t learn to Pray. The effective and fervent prayer of the righteous makes tremendous power available, dynamic in its working.
The church will keep being insensitive, and Babes if we don’t Pray. We must arise. This is a wake-up Call, Pray. Pray for your Family, Pray for your country, Pray for the Church, Pray for yourself. Pray and Pray and Pray. Pray until something Happens.
Don’t waste time, pray. Pray and Pray and Pray. Shut down the Television, Shut down the Radio, Shut down that Laptop instead PRAY. Yes, I said PRAY.
Written by Ajayi Samuel and Afolabi Samson