Prayer is a powerful force that can change the course of a nation.
Prayer changes people, events, and the entire world. This is not the typical ceremonial, liturgical, repetitive prayer that we are used to reciting in church or from something we may read. I am talking about genuine heart felt prayers that breaks through the facades of the heart. Most of us are burdened in our spirit with genuine cares and concerns of life and we tell ourselves that if we can get this problem fix them we will be able to pray. I believe problems are a means to prayer, it drives you to a place where you have no option but to pray.
Having the understanding that prayer changes everything still leaves us wondering what happen, when we pray but do not see any result. If prayer is so powerful and God hears us when we pray why is there no answer to our prayers? Why is it such a struggle to get beyond the veil in prayer? Have you ever felt like the words you pray are falling down on your own heads as you kneel to pray? Have you ever felt desperate to hear from God, you feel so close but yet so far away from him.
Before I came to Christ I never really prayed, mainly because I didn’t know how, I knew that I needed to pray but I had no idea why or how to start. One day as I was praying I got filled with the Holy Spirit, that changed my whole life and my whole outlook on prayer. Prayer became my place of solace and comfort. It became my happy place, my place of peace and hope.
During my prayers, I saw amazing visions and experience the love and presence of God like never before. During one of my prayer time with some friends I had a tremendous vision from the Lord: I saw Jesus riding on a horse, he came up to my friends and I and placed a mantle on our shoulders. He was so close to me that I could feel warmth radiating from him. I asked him what these mantles are for and he said they were mantles of prayer.
I looked around us and realized that we were standing in the night sky way above the earth.
He said look down, as I did so I saw many mantles suspended above the earth, they were similar to the ones that Jesus placed on me and my friends. He told me that those were unclaimed mantles of prayer. They looked old and tattered and torn with holes in them, they were not colorful or attractive. As I consider the mantles, I realized they were tattered and torn because they were well used by other believers who have now gone one to be with the Lord.
The holes in them represents the missing revelation or perception,doubt and unbelief of the previous user. As I continue to behold the mantles I understood that the mantles repairs themselves as prayers are answered through faith. As I behold one mantle in particular, the Lord said it belonged to Charles Spurgeon, I could see that it was very clean and well made, brown with a kind of goldish hue, it was glinting in the night sky and very attractive. It gave the appearance of a very well kept fabric, that was washed, iron and folded.
As I continue to behold the other mantles I received the revelation the the holes in the mantles also represents the highs and lows of our prayer life. Sometimes we will feel like we are one the mount of transfiguration with Jesus and sometimes we will feel like we are down in the pit with Joseph. This bring me back to the issue at hand, why is it so hard to pray and get our prayers answered?
While there might be many other barriers to prayer I have identified three barriers that will definitely affect our prayer life. We do not pray according to the will of God, we have unforgiveness in our heart, or we do not persevere in prayer.
I have noticed that when we pray according to the will of God our prayers are answered quickly, I sometimes see instantaneous results even if the answer is no. We need to ask the Lord what is his will in the situation that we are praying about and then pray according to what was revealed to us. Often times we do the opposite we come to our place of prayer with our own fleshly carnal list of things that we want God to do. We must change this approach to prayer and seek God’s will for us rather than our will for our lives. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us and if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (I John 5:14 )
One of the main barrier to answered prayers is unforgiveness,
I find it very intriguing that right after Jesus said, “nothing is impossible with God”, he said, when we stand praying we should forgive those who have wronged us. If we do not forgive we cannot receive forgiveness from the Lord. If we do not receive forgiveness we have no audience with the Lord. Forgiveness is a conscious decision to release any intentions of revenge or getting even with the person who have wronged you. Sometimes the pain or issue is deep and we may need to ask God to give us the grace to make that decision to let it go.
Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I say to you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore, I say to you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11: 22-26
Another barrier to answered prayer is lack of perseverance, sometimes we need to get to the point of desperation like Jacob did. As Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord he said. I will not let you go until you bless me. We need to develop longevity in prayer and this does not happen over night, it a process. We can develop this habit of persevering prayer by creating a set time to pray, then pray according to what is in your heart and as the Holy Spirit gives you the desire to pray. Sometimes you will not feel like praying but if you discipline yourself to get to that place of prayer, it will happen. Desperation creates the vacuum that sustain perseverance.
Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Genesis 32:26
Identify where your barriers are and ask the Lord to help you overcome them. He will give your grace for any and every circumstances, all you have to do is ask. I hope this post has inspired you to jolt your prayer back to life.
Please leave comment below if this post has been a blessing to you.
John 10:18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.”
Somethings just do not go on sale and it just cost what it cost. The more unique and precious a thing is the more costly it will be and as time goes by the value continue to increase. The cost to follow Jesus will never change, it will cost you everything because salvation cost him everything.
There has been many controversies about the Nike Ad featuring Colin Kaepernick as the new face of Nike. I understand and look at it from many angles and have come to the conclusion that Nike did the right thing, not that my approval is needed. Jesus did the very same thing for us. He believed in humanity so much that he left his heavenly abode and became the sinless, spotless sacrifice so that the world through him might be saved. Colin believe in using the stage given to him to bring awareness to the injustice of racism and police brutality directed at African American men. He knew he would be ostracized but it was something that he felt led to do even if it cost him his career.
What are you willing to sacrifice? are you willing to lay it all down for a greater cause than yourself, What is that greater cause? What is that thing that you say to yourself if you have the finances or if you were in a position of power you would absolutely do it? You may have the solution to that very thing laying dormant on the inside of you.
Jesus saw the effects of sin and the hopelessness of humanity, Jesus knew that the only way to redeem mankind was to through the sacrifice of a sinless spotless blood. Jesus made a decision to take become that much needed sacrifice. This is why Jesus said, “No man take my life I lay it down willingly.” Jesus willingly paid it all,there is no payment plan, as the scripture says, “It is finished!” It’s over, the full price for our sins have been paid. Jesus willingly become our voice and use his stage (the cross) to pay a price that we could not pay. Jesus sacrificed it all for the joy that was set before him, the joy of seeing God’s people reunited with the father. The Joy of seeing God’s people set free from the bondage of sin and shame.
Now it’s up to us to take that freedom that we receive and set someone else free. It’s never OK to walk away when you see the suffering of others, Colin Kaepernick saw the suffering of his fellow black men and simple could not close his eyes and walk away. He did what Jesus would do, he did what Moses did when he slew the Egyptian, he did what Esther did when she went before the King on behalf of her people, he sacrifice his career and put everything on the line because he believed in a cause that is greater than himself. He used the stage that was provided to him for the greater good of humanity. I applaud Nike for standing with Kaepernick, you know when it’s the right thing to do, it just feels right so you “Just do it”.
Somethings are just worth paying the full price. Stand up for what you believe in, fight for what you believe in. We have yet to see the full impact of Kaepernick’s sacrifice on racism and police brutality in America but I have noticed that there are fewer instances of Police brutality being reported. Little by little, step by step we will see that dream that Martin Luther King Jr. saw. We all have a dream and if we believe it enough to sacrifice for it then it will come to life.
When you stand up for what you believe in, it will cost you everything but it will be worth paying the full price.
Google Images (I do not own the copyright to this image)
I Samuel 16: 10-12 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
Have you ever felt like there is more to life than this? have you ever felt like there is a higher calling? There is something about you that cause you to stick out like a sore thumb? Well there is. When you are set apart, called, anointed but not yet appointed to your place of purpose you know deep down in your soul that you are not serving or fulfilling the purpose that you was created to do. This creates a yearning in your soul that only God can fill.
To be anointed is to be endowed with Spiritual abilities that are uncommon to the average person. Often times people do not choose to be anointed or even seek to be anointed as in the case with David. He was far away on the backside of the desert caring for his fathers sheep. He had no idea that the Lord had chosen him to be anointed king over Israel.
When the prophet Samuel came David’s house, David was nowhere to be found because he was busy in fields with the sheep, David cared deeply for the sheep he took his job seriously. I can just see David gently, shearing each sheep, anointing their heads with oil, leading them into green pastures and fighting off bears and lions that would attack them. David loved the sheep and would gladly lay down his life for them but God had another plan. God wanted to make him a shepherd of people, He was destined to be the King of Israel.
David was not Samuel’s first pick, he was not even the fifth choice, he was the eighth and final choice. His own father did not esteemed him highly enough to be the King of Israel but God did. You see the anointing will chase you down and find you even in the crack house, in the ghetto, on the job, broken down on the side of highway, struggling with all kinds of addiction, depression, suicidal tendencies. No matter where you find yourself God is there with. This is reason that David Could say with confidence that, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. (Psalm 139:8).
I don’t know who you are but I hear the Lord saying that He is coming after you. He has sent his prophet to anoint you. You are coming out of the backside of the desert, you are coming out of obscurity. There is a place for you in the palace, a crown is waiting for you, a place of honor and notoriety, you have not asked for this but you have been chosen and set aside for such a time as this.
Thanks for joining me! The journey began the moment we were born into this world. We all have a God given destiny and purpose for our lives. My times in life we will make the wrong turns and end up in places that are far from our intended destinations. Jesus, our good Shepherd have a way of finding us and coming after us.
Purpose chases us down and find us and get us back on track, as I type these words I see pieces of car parts, like a nut, a bolt, a starter etc. I see the mechanic going into the garage and finding the right parts to put into the car. It’s interesting to note that the individual pieces could not function on their own and neither could they get themselves in positions to function. We are those pieces of car parts and Jesus is our Master Mechanic he knows exactly where we fit in the big scheme of Destiny.
Yes it will be a wild ride but the Journey has began and with Jesus we will literally go places that we could only dream of. Embrace the journey, (Process).
I know I am on a journey.
Sometimes I get tired and sometimes I want to quit.
Sometimes I wonder will I ever reach my destination.
Sometimes I stop to get some rest and relaxation.
Sometimes I am tempted to stay in the place that was meant for rest only.
But throughout this Journey my path is directed by my guide.
Not for a moment has He ever left my side.
Like a good shepherd my guide protects and feeds me.
He cares for my wounds and supplies all my needs.
He carries me when I am too weak to continue.
He fights every battle for me and is always victorious.
He picks me up when I fall and when I am lost He finds me.
Lord I am so overwhelmed by your love this morning.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13
So many times we quote this scripture and it has become somewhat of a cliche but there is tremendous strength available to you in this little sentence. There are many folks who are falling short of the finish line because they simply ran out of strength.
There is untapped strength, unmatched strength in doing things through Christ. Many of us already know that we should do things the Jesus way but what does that look like and how can I be sure that I am doing it the Jesus way? What if i mess up? What if I fail? What if I make mistakes and make a fool out of myself?
Over the course of the next couple of days, I want to take your through the lives of the men and woman who did it the Jesus way. I believe that it is the will of the Father for all of us to cross the finish line together, hand in hand with Jesus.
We are not discarded or forgotten, remember He gave his life so that you may have life and have it more abundantly. He his the one called along side us to help us get to the mark of His high calling.
Stay tune, more to come.