Child of God, I welcome you to October, our covenant season of Prayers and Blessings. Yes, it is a season of our independence and freedom as a nation but for us as a church it is our season of prayers and blessings. It is a time to pray God’s Words back to Him, claiming His Promises. Beloved, when you study the prayers of the Bible, you will begin to notice that the prayers God honors and answers are those that repeat his promises back to him.
The story of Jacob is an eye-opener to this truth. At the beginning of his life God had prophesied—before Jacob was even born—that the blessing would be his and not Esau’s (Gen 25:23). But it was not until Jacob took it in a prayer-wrestling match with God that it really became his. He laid hold of the promise of God through a night of prayer. The Bible is a book of promises; there are an estimated 3,000 promises of God therein. Some of them apply to specific and unique situations, as with God’s promise to give Jacob the blessing. But Paul calls all the promises of God “Yes” in Jesus (2 Cor 1:20). So in a Christ-centered way, every one of them is Yes for you and I, praise the Lord. The Bible is our prayer book, therefore, let us read through it and lay hold of the promises of God! But the question is, what promises have been left unclaimed for you and I? A story was recently shared that every year $5.8 billion worth of gift cards go unclaimed in the United States. These are benefits that have already been purchased, but never get enjoyed. It is the same way with God’s promises. All the promises of God are yes in Christ Jesus. They have been purchased by Jesus’ blood! There are over 3,000 gift cards in the Bible, purchased by Jesus for you and I! These blessings can be accessed by Prayers and supplications (Phil 4:6).
Beloved, we are blessed if we keep the commandments (Deut. 11:27, 1 John2:3). But what does it mean to be blessed? Sometimes we may think of blessings in such general, vague terms that they lose part of their significance. But every commandment brings us specific blessings when we live it. As believers, we can know in our hearts that God is Sovereign and strong. We can believe that His plans for us are for good and that He has blessings in store as we follow after Him.
The Object of Prayer
Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings. While sincere prayer brings many blessings, it’s important to remember that we shouldn’t keep commandments just to receive blessings. We should keep the commandments to show our love and gratitude to God. Love is the motivating influence in God’s actions, and it should be the motivating factor in ours as well (Matthew 22:36–40).
How Prayer Connects the Blessing – Some Biblical Examples
- Prayer breaks limitations and lifts embargoes from the lives and destinies of the prayerful. Starting without finishing, living without relevance and dying before time. It doesn’t matter if your prayer has not changed anything yet, just keep on praying, it is only a matter of time. When the cloud is full of rain, they will empty themselves (Ecl 11:3).
- Prayer changes the identity and climate around the life of the prayerful. Hard work is good, but struggle is an abomination! Prayer changes the perception of a person in the eyes of others; perception determines possession and reception. Prayer changes the climate around your life; the atmosphere you carry is changeable by prayer. The climate you carry determines what can germinate around you. Prayerful people carry a positive climate.
- Prayer enlarges the potential and spiritual capacity of the prayerful (1Chron. 2:55)
- Prayer gives the prayerful access to the Presence of God (2Sam. 6:12). Prayer establishes the prayerful in the Presence of God (1Kings 17:1). Your communion with Him determines your connection with Him. Those who struggle for God don’t struggle in life.
- The place of prayer is the place of access to the wisdom of God (Prov. 8:15; 1Kings 10:23). The Blessing of God travels in the direction of the wisdom of God.
- Prayer gives the prayerful access to the reserves, the treasures and the resources of God (2Chron. 1:6)
Some Biblical Examples
The scripture makes it clear that there is an inseparable connection between prayer and the Blessing. These can be seen in the characters of the following pillars of faith:
- Abraham (Gen. 12:2-3; 24:1; 12:7-8; 13:2-4; 19:27; 18:17, 23-33)
Abraham was the father of the Blessing and the symbol of the Blessing. Abraham was a man of altars and prayers (Gen. 12:7-8). The Blessing of God travels in the direction of prayer.
- Jacob (Gen. 28:20-22; 32:1-3,10; 24-28)
At the place of prayer, there can be the multiplication of life and destiny (Gen. 32:10). The place of prayer is the place for the enforcement of the Blessing (Gen. 32:24-28)
- Jabez (1Chron. 4:9-10; 2:55)
You can move from miserable to honourable at the place of prayer
- David (1Chron. 29:3-5, 26-28; Ps. 55:17; 141:2; 3:4-5)
Those who know how to pray without ceasing are blessed beyond measure. And those who know how to pray without ceasing are blessed at all seasons. Your schedule determines your success; your routine determines your results. Your habits determine your habitat; and your manner determines how much you matter.
- Solomon (2Chron. 1:6-12; 1Kings 10:23-25)
The place of prayer is not only the place of the Blessing, but the place of unprecedented breakthroughs, miracles and results. The place of prayer is the place of existence in excellence. The place of prayer is the place of eminence, prominence and pre-eminence in life.
- Daniel (Dan. 6:10; 2:17-18, 46-48)
The lifestyle of prayer places the prayerful in a class of their own. The life of prayer releases the Divinity inside humanity. The lifestyle of prayer creates the atmosphere of the supernatural. The lifestyle of prayer is the doorway to effortless greatness. And the lifestyle of prayer establishes the prayerful in rulership and authority.
Secrets of Blessedness in Prayer
- Love for God (1Kings 3:3; Matt. 6:33; 1Cor. 2:9-10). It is love that fuels prayer; love for God.
- Love for God means placing the pleasure of God above the pleasure of self or the pleasures of the flesh. Love for God is the major key to the kind of prayer that changes things. It is your heartbeat for God that will make things beat for you.
- Love for God means a heart panting after God, hasting after God, and running the errands of God. When you are a chaser of God, things begin to chase you! Those who pursue things never become anything with God.
- Love for God means value for the Presence and Person of God
- Love for God means making God central to your life. It is not possible to love God and the people who know you don’t know you with God. Love for God gives access to the resources of God.
- Lovers of God are the defenders of the interest of God
- Love for God means living a life where nothing comes between you and God
- Sacrificial living (Gen. 12:7-8; 13:2-4; Gen. 28:20-22; 1Kings 3:3-5). God can’t need it and you have it! That is sacrificial living. Sacrificial living refers to the sacrifice of time and resources. Our prayers are more effective if they are tied to sacrificial altars (Gen. 28:20-22; Gen. 12:7-8; 13:2-4; 1Kings 3:3-5). Sacrifice will oil your prayer altar, making it effective and instant in answer. The more sacrificial you are, the more effective your prayer life. Sacrifice at the altar provokes fire at the place of prayer.
Child of God, remember, it is the love of God that fuels prayer. Some answers are only given after a night of wrestling, so press through. It doesn’t matter if your prayer has not changed anything yet, just keep on praying, it is only a matter of time. When the cloud is full of rain, they will empty themselves (Ecl 11:3). This is the God who went through the darkness of Gethsemane and the pain of Golgotha for you and I. So press through. Do you feel like God is distant or uncaring? It’s an illusion – press and pray through. Do you feel like he doesn’t care about your broken relationship, your unsaved husband, your wayward child, or your lost friends? He does! Press and pray through! Beloved, our prayers are more effective if they are tied to sacrificial altars. Do not doubt the goodness of God: there is so much grace that flows off of his table that even if we have only the worthiness of a dog, there is enough for us (Matt. 15:26-28). Do not measure the compassion of God on his apparent distance: measure the compassion of God by the cross and his power for your situation by his resurrection. Put this to mind, prayer gives the prayerful access to the reserves, the treasures and the resources of God (2Chron. 1:6).