Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4: 6-7)
In between anxiety or worry and peace we have prayer. Prayer is a weapon of all time, it can suit any challenge, any situation you find yourself in. The truth is that situations that will stir up anxiety and worry are sure to come, there is little or nothing any man can do about that. Today we have a problem that is affecting the whole world. But, amid those challenges, difficulty and stress, there is something that can usher us into peace. To have a request is one thing, to channel it to God is another, and the only means to channel our request to God is through prayer. Prayer is a weapon, an agency that can connect us to God, connect our situation to God for God’s intervention. Prayer is like air; we cannot do without it. We need it in everything, we need it in every situation, and we need it in every circumstance, in everything by prayer. Prayer remains the channel to handle every situation.
Some things that can make our hearts to be overwhelmed listed in Luke 21:34 – 36 are:
- Surfeiting – Surfeiting is caused by excessive consumption or participating in pleasure
- Drunkenness – Occurs when people consume excessive alcohol and their heart is overwhelm to the point that they lose control.
- Cares of this life –If you open your heart to the cares of this life, it can overcharge you.
In verse 36, it says “watch ye therefore, and pray...” The only thing we must do to get ourselves free from being overwhelmed, from being anxious, from being overtaken by pressures around us, is to watch and pray. Praying is the key to handling any situation and challenge. The same view is put forward by Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7-9 “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” God cares for you, He understands your cares, but you need to cast it upon Him, channel it to Him. And how do we cast our cares upon Him? It’s through the means of prayer.
The devil your adversary uses your challenges as a weapon. He capitalizes on some of the problems that come our way, making them seem overwhelming, giving us a feeling of having lost control thereby making us easy prey for himself. How can we rise above situation? We must resist the devil steadfastly in the faith. We must constantly remind ourselves that our challenges are not peculiar to us as other Christians face same. How do we resist him in faith? It is by prayer.
Another example can be seen in Luke 18:1-8 of the importunate widow which emphasizes the force of the power of prayer, it is a very interesting story telling us how much power prayer has. The issue is not if we pray but when we pray, which means prayer is something we must do all the time. Christ expects all men to always pray otherwise you will faint. To faint here means to lose heart. Our power is not mechanical but spiritual and spiritual power comes through the agency of prayer. It is through prayer the Holy Spirit comes upon our life and gives us strength.
In Luke 18:1-8, we find a very interesting parable which is an analogy of two classes of people, a judge with a lot of power to decide the fate of people either to condemn or to set free. This judge was difficult and did not fear God nor respect man. The second person is a widow, in most societies like in the context of the text, widows were helpless because they had no husband to speak for them. It was an uphill task for the helpless woman approaching someone so difficult, even getting assess to him must have been difficult.
This woman went to meet this judge almost daily saying “avenge me of mine adversary” that is, give me justice, but true to the nature of the judge, he did not pay attention to her. But after a while he said to himself “...Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me..” The woman was using the weapon of prayer, she continually petitioned and troubled him. As weak as she was and as difficult as the man was yet there was a force that could weaken him and bring him to yield to her petition, he said “..Lest by her continual coming she weary me”. Prayer puts pressure and power that can weary any situation. There is no force that can stand power. The woman got justice not because the man was considerate, or soft but because a force was released that the man could not resist, prayer releases that force. If this unjust judge could succumb to her constant petition, how much more God the righteous judge? He will grant us our request and address our situation when we cry to Him day and night.
Lastly in verse eight, he finishes with an assurance “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily..” we are assured that God will answer, if there is any man who is ready to pray, there is a God who is ready and willing to answer. If there is anytime we need the weapon of pray, it is now. Christ when teaching on prayer, talked about three categories, asking, seeking and knocking (Matthew 7:7)
Prayer is a spiritual exercise and that is why we must desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is our helper in prayer. Romans 8:26 tells us we don’t know how to pray but the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Prayer is a battle, while we are unleashing the power of prayer, hell will also unleash its forces to withhold us, but if we are in the spirit, heaven will send help to us through the Holy Spirit to quicken us.
Not every prayer will be answered instantly, we need to persevere. Just because you prayed today and did not get the answer a week, a month or even a year ago, should not stop you from praying. Some people think prayer is like fast food - answer is gotten instantly. Sometimes, there may be delay, but God expect us to press on in prayer. Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving…” If you have started praying continue in prayer, if you have not started praying, start praying and continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. To be vigilant in prayer with thanksgiving means that even if you have no answer yet, you should thank God in anticipation of the result. Thanksgiving strengthens our faith and fill us with expectation.
James gave us the example of Elijah (James 5:13 – 18) who confronted the challenge of ungodliness in his time, he needed to show forth the power of God in his time. What did he do? He prayed. The scripture says “Elias was a man subject to like passions” he was a man like you and me, at some point in his life, he was afraid of a woman and ran away, but there was one weapon that anytime he used it, it was so potent and brought down the power of God. That weapon was prayer. There was no other way, even though he was a prophet, prophesies could not handle the situation. He gave himself unto prayer. He prayed that there should be no rain, and it happened and to restore the rains, he prayed again. Prayer was a constant!
Dear friend, God is waiting for the prayers of His saints, to turnaround our situation. We must rise up in our spirit to hold unto heaven and bring down the power of God, bring down His righteousness. We do not understand God’s agenda in this time of a global pandemic, but I believe prayers will accomplish every one of them. Peace that flows and you cannot even control, understand and comprehend comes through the channel of prayer, “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11)