The things we don't have are the things we have not asked for, for Jesus told the disciples in John 16:24-25, "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." Prayer will bring us into the fullness of God's blessings for our lives. Still not all that we asked for that we receive.
James 4:3 lend us some insights, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts'. In other words, it is possible for prayers to miss its target if it's motivated by the wrong reasons! Prayer premise on the wrong motivation brings no intervention!
What was it that motivated Paul to lead a great life of prayer? What was it that urged him on all the times whether he was on the road, on the sea, at home or in prisons? We will read a few passages from some of Paul's prayers.
Ephesians 1:15-16, "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers"
Philippians 1:3-5, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now"
Colossians 1:3-4, "We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,"
Notice in these passages of scriptures the things that sent Paul into prayer? "Since we heard of your faith" we have been moved to pray. This is the common thread you will see in all of Paul's prayer, it was good news that sent him and motivated him to pray. Good reports of the lord, great news of faith and of the acts of God in the church moved Paul to pray! It was good news and not bad news that moved Paul to pray!
Now, how many of us can really say that? More than any other thing in life it is bad things/news/circumstances that moves us into prayers! Sickness, disease, failure, poverty, the impending death of a loved one, lost precious property etc. It is these sorts of bad things that move us into prayers, hence prayer rather than being a fellowship becomes an escape route from our troubles!
Truth is, without needs and crises many of us would have never had a prayer life!
But prayer should never be needs driven but fellowship driven, for prayer is fellowship, friendship, partnership and companionship with the Godhead
For some of us, it is crisis mode that activates spiritual intensity! About 70%-80% of believers live in this mode! However, the higher plane is where spiritual intensity becomes your natural affinity! Paul said "always' I make mention you of you in my prayers! For Paul, prayer was a lifestyle!
And this is the way it ought to be for us as believers too: prayer ought to be a lifestyle, not a life jacket! We are to pray without ceasing! Our prayer lives are never meant to be seasonal but phenomenal!
Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;"
This is the phenomenal prayer lifestyle: it prays all kinds of prayers and watches for long in it with perseverance. It's not just off and on, but always on, a lifestyle and a fellowship with God!
To be continued.....