The Necessity of Prayer (Part 1)

The Scriptures constantly encourages us not to worry or be fearful about anything in our lives. This is because God is with us. He is our God and His intention is to strengthen, help and uphold us with His righteous right hand (Isa 41:10). Christ put it this way:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matt 6:25-34,NKJV).

29 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things, the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. 32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Lk 12:29-32, NKJV).

Now this does not mean we do not think or plan about tomorrow. However what we must not to do is to worry about tomorrow. It is only our flesh that is satisfied whenever we worry. If we truly understand the riches and the treasure within this heavenly kingdom, then worrying will be a thing of the past, and in its place will be thanksgiving.

We have to ask ourselves, is God truly our source for everything, in every circumstance and situation, or do we depend on our own power and might or that of other men. Is our first reaction to come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, or do we initially go down to Egypt?

1 “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;
Who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadow of Egypt Shall be your humiliation. (Isa 30:1-3,NKJV)

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy one of Israel, nor seek the Lord! Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; They all will perish together.

1 The plans and reflections of the heart belong to man, But the [wise] answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are clean and innocent in his own eyes [and he may see nothing wrong with his actions], But the Lord weighs and examines the motives and intents [of the heart and knows the truth].
Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance]. (Pv 16:1-3, AMP).

The kingdom or throne that we are to seek first is not an earthly one, but rather a heavenly one. The person we are to call upon is “Our Father who art in heaven”. Jesus Christ through His blood has made a way that grants us access unto Him. But any who come to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6,NKJV).

Jesus taught:

When you pray, enter into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly (Matt 6:6, NKJV).

Our attitude must be such as the widow who came to the unrighteous judge (Lk 18:1-8) or the friend that came at midnight (Lk 11:5-8); we just must keep coming to Him, i.e. persist in our goal! This is what it means to pray without ceasing. In any particular situation, we do not stop until we receive and lay hold of the supply of the Spirit (Lk 11:9-13). We know that the kingdom of God has come when the supply of the Spirit is made manifest (Matt 12:28; Lk 11:20). We have been called to experience heaven on earth. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end (Isa 9:7, NKJV). Let us therefore daily pray: thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!

           Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. 2 Behold, as the eyes of the servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us (Ps 123:1-2,NKJV).

           If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:1-3, NKJV).

            1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps 91:1)

           16 Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though the outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2Cor 4: 16-18, NKJV).

            For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Our focus, of necessity, must be towards the unseen, to the hope laid up in heaven for us (Col 1:4). It is a living hope granted through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; it is an inheritance that is beyond the reach of earthly change and decay (incorruptible and undefiled); it does not fade away because it is reserved in heaven for us (1Pet 1:3-4).

Our enemy, the thief has no access to this heavenly treasure (Lk 12:33). However, our conduct and behaviour is essential to our walk of faith in accessing and showing forth this heavenly treasure in our lives:

A giving heart, one that is faithful with earthly treasure, in the things of God and in the things of men, will always have access to the heavenly treasure (Lk 12:33-34; Lk 16:10-13; Mal 3:10);

Husbands who dwell with their wives with understanding, giving honor to them, as heirs together of the grace of life, will not have their prayers hindered (1Pet 3:7);

Bondservants (employees) who obey their earthly masters (bosses), not with eye service as men-pleasers, but in the fear of the Lord, will receive the reward of the inheritance (Col 3:22-25);

Those who understand God’s call to have compassion for others, and to love, to be tenderhearted, courteous and humble, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but rather blessing, are the ones who shall inherit a blessing (1Pet 3:8-9).

TO BE CONTINUED…

Dr Bayo Esan

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