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TEACH US TO PRAY (iv) BY AYANFE AKINBOLA

Ayanfe Akinbola

Some things in life are not natural to man generally, so they need to be taught and learnt; prayer could be one of such. The bible mentions some things that need to be taught. They include:

  1. The words of God’s commands (Deut 6:7)
  2. The ways of God’s statues (Psalm 119: 33)
  3. The observance of God’s commandments (Matt 28: 19-20)
  4. Numbering our days (Psalm 90: 12)
  5. Prayer (Luke 11:1)

What is Prayer?

Prayer basically entails our interaction and communication with God (verbal and non-verbal). It is first a heart connection with the one true God and the expression of love, the reverence one has towards God.

Is prayer worth learning?

Yes, by all means. There are many benefits inherent in prayer.

  1. Answered prayers, forgiveness of sins, healing of our land (2 Chro 7: 14)
  2. The desires of your heart being granted (Psalm 37: 4)
  3. Response to your requests, finding treasures, open doors (Matt 7: 7)
  4. Accomplishments, fulfillments of agreements, God’s abiding purpose (Matt 18: 19-20)
  5. Receiving your requests (Matt 21: 22, John 15: 7, 1 John 3: 22)
  6. Completeness and fullness of joy (John 16:24)
  7. Confidence of communion with the Father (1 John 5: 14)

Who teaches us to pray?

  1. A disciple approached Jesus Christ to “teach us to pray” (Luke 11: 1)
  2. Jesus Christ did not teach them of himself but of God ( John 7:16)
  3. “The Holy Spirit will teach you all things” (John 14: 26)

The bible encourages us in several passages to pray:

  • Seek the Lord while he is near, seek his face continually ( 1 Chro 16:11,)
  • Trust in God at all times my people. Tell him all your troubles for he is our refuge (Ps 62:8)
  • Before they call, I will answer, while they are yet speaking, I will hear (Is 5: 24)
  • Pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17)
  • Men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18: 1)

The Bible records the prayers of many:

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Deborah, Gideon, Hannah, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Hezekiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Job, The Psalms, Jeremiah, Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, Jonah, Habakkuk, Mary, Zechariah, Simeon, The Publican and the Pharisee, Paul, Stephen, Jesus Christ etc.. Can your name be added to the list?

We are told how not to pray

  • When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words as the pagans do, who think that God will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them (Matt 6:7)
  • We are also taught to pray in Luke 11: 2 : So he said to them, when you pray say, ‘Our father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day or daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one’

Who do we pray for?

‘Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings, and all who are in authority,…for this is good an acceptable in the sight of God our savior, who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.’ ( 1 Tim 2: 1-2)

Who should pray?

Prayer is a spiritual affair and must be continually, continuously and consistently made (Eph 6: 18-19). You are largely a product of your teacher, who is teaching you to pray? Don’t merely learn to mimic how a ‘man of God’ prays, choose rather to build intimacy with God, prayer rubs off naturally from your communion with God (Father, Son and the Holy Ghost). What is most important for us in being taught to pray is –JUST PRAY.

We may never experience the possibilities in God if we don’t learn to pray. We pray by praying, we are taught to pray by praying, we learn to pray by praying. Jesus prayed, so I will pray. Will you pray? Let us pray!

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