In the first article, I wrote on definitions on prayer, when prayer starts and some of the components of prayer. While in the second article I finished my brief exegesis on components of prayer. The third article is centered on those who should pray. The fourth is on some of the reasons why talk (pray) to our heavenly father. And the last one is on places of prayer.
This would be the concluding section of occasions of prayer unto God.
(xi) In Pains/Spiritual Fight (or Unrest)
When we are in pains, maybe for losing someone we loved, when we are passing through discouragements, when we are fighting a battle that seems protracted and looks like if the battle would not end like what happened to Israelis in Egypt, we can raise our voice to the Lord in prayer because that was what those people did.
“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
“And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” (Ex. 2:24-25; see also Mt. 27:46; Lk. 22:44; Heb. 5:7)
(xii) At the Point of Death
When we are about to give up the ghost, instead of cursing people, we should pray to the Lord. Pray for our children and loved ones, pray for the gospel’s establishment and progress in our area, among other things and people to pray for.
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
“And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:59-60)
(xiii) Before Evil Days Come
Jesus has enjoined his disciples to pray before the evil days come. This he passes on to them because he knows that when the evil days have come, one would not be able to pray again.
Consider Job, when the evil day comes, he couldn’t pray again. When evil days come, one would not know what one is doing again, one would become speechless.
“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Lk. 22:32)
When apostle Peter fell into temptation, he became speechless, all the rantings he had earlier stated that he would die with Jesus he couldn’t maintain those utterances again when his life was threatened. But Jesus says he has prayed for him. He also allows this prayer to work because he genuinely repented after the fall.
Our genuine repentance is needed in this journey, we should not be an hotch-potch person.
Believers who are living in regions and countries where the gospel are not allowed could at any time face something like this, and sometimes, they may become afraid such that they will deny their profession like Peter did. After that happened and their hearts have again been touched by God, they should come genuinely to God in repentance and he would accept them, giving them help not to fall again like he did unto Peter.
(xiv) When Persecutors of Gospel Arise
After Jesus ascension the scribes and other religious leaders of the days of the apostles do not want the gospel to thrive thus, they rise against this with all they ‘ve gotten. But the disciples having received power and boldness from God now to stand anywhere were not discouraged by what was happening they stand their ground prayerfully against those who are attacking the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Acts. 4:24-31)
(xv) When a Brother (or Brethren) are in Bounds
Apostle James perhaps was the second martyr after evangelist Stephen. He could be killed because when he was apprehended by the King, detained and tortured to the point of death before being beheaded, the disciples and other apostles were not praying, they neglect their role, they were not their brother’s keeper. But after his death and Peter was apprehended, they arose together to pray against the enemies that wanted to pull down the gospel during their days and their prayers were answered.
“Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” (Acts. 12:5)
Today, our brethren may not be facing a similar challenge, but he could be facing another challenge, like falling into temptations, like being set up by the worldly people, financial challenges among other challenges, we should arise with one voice, faith, hope and pray to God on the behalf of the person and the God who hears the disciples prayers when they prayed for Peter would also hear our prayers and give the person victory, which shall collectively bring us joy, because we are one in him, as he says, let them be one because he and his father are one.
“And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:” (Joh 17:22)
When we neglect our duties of being our brothers keeper, the devil will continue to cheat us.
(xvi) For Expansion of the Gospel
When the gospel is to be taken to other places around the world, we are enjoined to pray like the apostles did. When revivals and open crusades are to be held in some places, the prayers of believers are essential for God to always be manifesting at those places, throughout the time that the program shall last and afterwards.
A good and Godly filled revival or crusade leaves indelible mark in the hearts of the people long after it has been held.
I was invited to held a revival at some places in the country, and years after those revivals have been held, people who are there, and those who at distant places still make mention of those revivals because it leaves in their hearts indelible marks that they cannot easily brushed aside neither swept under the carpet. In fact, someone would testify decades after that, “by your words, I have maintained my faith till now”.
This is the kind of revival we want, revival that would bring people to Christ, revivals and crusades that would lift the believers to a new height in faith, revivals that would show many people hidden things in the word of God. Not the kind that’s awash the continent of the world now which battered the lives of believers, which make people doubt their salvation because they are full of worldly possessions and acquirements, they are not enmeshed in pointing people to Jesus Christ.
When a church is to be planted at other regions, though in the time of the disciples, the churches are home based ones,
“And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:” (Phm 1:2)
If we want the church to stand the test of time, if we want the church to grow remarkably in the region we should commit the step into prayers, people, brethren should gather to commit the step and those who shall be assigned to the place into the hands of God. The growth may not be in numerical numbers, although we cannot overrule that as the word grows in such area, but I am saying growth spiritually, such that brethren got to know God the more, and those who were once afraid of their faith in Jesus would be able to stand against the enemies, that come what may, they are for Jesus Christ. This is the kind of growth which Jesus expects of us, this is the kind of growth that the heavens would be happy about and indeed God would delight in.
We need to commit this into prayers, because we are fighting not against physical things that could be seen, but our battle is spiritual ones, and spiritual battles should be met with spiritual battles if we combat spiritual with physical we shall lose out, because we have trekked another terrain, and the children of darkness that are wiser in their own generation would arise before us to negate whatever it is we want to do.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Co 10:3-5)
The apostles and disciples prayed for the Gospel’s expansion, if indeed we are Christ’s and we are doing his services, we must follow what those people did, by praying unto God for the expansion of the gospel. Money is good, for without money gospel may not be taken to some remotest parts of the world, no doubt about that, but more importantly is this act and art of committing the program into God’s hands, because it is God’s business not ours, so that he blesses the work and makes it grow. (Acts. 4:24-37)
“And David said unto Ahimelech the priest, The king hath commanded me a business, and hath said unto me, Let no man know any thing of the business whereabout I send thee, and what I have commanded thee: and I have appointed my servants to such and such a place.” (1 Sa 21:2)
If we hope for remarkable success in the King’s business, then we must tell the King about how we hope to map and work out his business so that he will bless our works.
It is high time we stop relying on our might, power to do the King’s business. Tell him about his business and see him at work beyond your imaginations.
(xvii) When One Wants to Ask for Direction
After Jesus ascension, the disciples remained in the upper room according to what Jesus told them. However, they noticed a vacuum which needs to be filled, and in filling this vacuum, they talked it over with God before taken the step and they never regretted the step they take.
“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,” (Acts. 1:24)
They did not regret the step because we never heard that the chosen person betrayed them, the cause of Jesus neither do untoward thing after the election.
We have elected people to offices in the gospel today that people regret ever electing such people to offices because of what they afterwards start doing which would make people ask that are they saved at all before?
(xviii) In Distress
During the time of distress, the person whom we can call upon is the Lord like the people of old have called upon him when they were in distress and he answered them.
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” (Ps. 18:6)
Sometimes we may not be able to manage our distress by ourselves. And even if we can manage our distress by ourselves, it is still good to seek for his assistance and we shall see him at work beyond our imaginations.
(xix) When we are Weary of Life/Living
Sometimes life’s challenges could overwhelm us such that we shall become tired of life and living. We shall recall that Jeremiah the prophet was overwhelmed by the challenges of life and he wished for death, but he did not die. (Jer. 15)
When we are also inundated by the challenges of the world such that we become depressed and wished for death than being alive, we should call unto the Lord, we should remember Jabez, for he called unto God and he answered him, changed the situation of his life.
“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” (I Chro. 4:9-10)
(xx) In Trouble
When we fall into divers’ troubles and temptations, the onus is on us to tell it to God. He though sees what we are passing through, he sees the mess we are in, yet he wants us to speak those with him.
“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (Ps. 50:15)
Having seen some of the occasions that have led people of old to pray, hopefully trusting that in whatever position we find ourselves we shall also talk to God, for he is always there for us and he would answer us. In the next article, I shall be talking about time of prayer.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN