Work and pray
Working and praying are mutually exclusive in the life of a believer. Man is expected to use both of them in his relationship with God. It is truly God’s loving duty to provide for his hand-made living beings. Man has his part to play by having to live up to the standard required of him to be able to get all divine benefits opened to him. For instance, Government can provide free education, parents are obliged to gear their children up to take advantage of it. The students have to yield themselves to school discipline, study at home and at school with parental guide all through the grade schools up to College level to be able to get maximum level of basic education for life. Symphony orchestra praying for good outing must do countless rehearsals for God to crown their effort on stage.
Nehemiah became sad over the destruction of the temple and walls of Jerusalem. He prayed and did fast until God answered his prayer through King Artaxerxes who, by divine inspiration, underwrote the expenses and gave papers to facilitate inter territorial journey. In Jerusalem, in the face of opposition, he and his men worked hard, prayed and were battle ready throughout, Neh. 2: 1-20. So also, before God could assure Zerubbabel that the rebuilding of the temple would be completed, he (Zerubbabel) had begun work with dedication and prayer. Zechariah 4: 6 says in his prophesy: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power but by my spirit”. Verse 9 was more profound. It says, “The hand of Zerubbabel, Have laid the foundation of the temple His hand shall also finish it.” Every believer must stick to praying and working like Zerubbabel did and got the backing of the Almighty God to finish what he purposed to do. These human acts of working and praying tend to convince God that a person is serious about his plan to achieve the blessing of God.
God isn’t a robot the way in which HE answers prayers.
Everything that man does has technique or right methodology to guarantee success. Man inherited this from our creator. There is a set pattern of nurturing a child before becoming a worthwhile adult. For prayers to strike the right cord or resonate with the will of God, the person saying the prayer must be certain of things. These include knowing that as a Christian one must know the importance of prayer to a believer. It is the sure source of conversation between man and God. Though man cannot see Him, He is all eyes and ears. Seriousness in prayer raises it to divine level.It is a potent weapon for fighting physical and spiritual wars. In simple language, it is man’s SOS to his maker. 1 Samuel: 12-15; Jeremiah 33: 3; 2 King 19: 4-5; Act 12: 5
What then are the pre-requisites for answered prayers: (1). A believer must be very humble wherever or whenever he is praying. (2). One is not a believer if one does not have faith in the prayer one is saying. One needs to pray in faith to God James 1: 6-8 (3). Jesus asked us to pray in His name for His Father to give us HIS attention Phil 2: 9; Act 4: 12. (4). A person must know that his prayer cannot receive God’s approval if it is opposed to the will of God, for instance, cursing others instead of blessing them in prayer. (5). Man needs to remember that God’s ministering Angels are around to teach man how to pray or supplicate answerable prayers. 1 Samuel 15: 22; Matthew 17: 2; Psalm 50: 15 and 2 Chronicles 1: 6-7
We can always ask God to increase our faith in Him. Lastly, we need to intensify talking to ourselves and others about faith-based prayers in this scientific age. Science is being regarded as the be all and end all. What we lose sight of is the fact that scientific discoveries are things new to man but are the next level of God’s release of a tiny speck of his knowledge to ardent seekers. The discoverer can only discover what had been put there, whether tangible or not, visible or invisible. It is only those given or blessed with the uncommon knowledge that can bring it forth to the attention of humanity
We have seen how prayers of some biblical characters were acceptable to God. Hannah, for instance, prayed with the essential ingredient for answered prayers. It is, essentially, FAITH and more. In spite of Prophet Eli’s innocent insinuation, she showed such an overwhelming faith that the Lord blessed her divinely through the prophetic utterance of Prophet Eli. God granted her request with the birth of a baby boy named Samuel before the next annual journey to Shiloh. 1 Samuel 1: 10-17. Another important aspect of answered prayer is to endeavor to back up prayers with a vow that if God granted the prayer, one would pay ones vow. It does not necessarily need to be money. It can be in form of ones time by serving in the house of God. It can even entail refraining from sinful past life. An alcoholic can pray to be freed from drunkenness with a vow that upon being freed he would help others by example and prayers to quit alcoholism.
Hannah fulfill her vow lending young Samuel to God and backed it up with prayer of praise and worship 1 Samuel 1: 27-28 as recorded : “For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore, I also have lent him to the Lord, as long as he lives, he shall be lent to the Lord” 1 Samuel 2: 1-10. Another prerequisite of answered prayer is eschewing bitterness and not engaging in blame game. Although Hannah felt bad about her barrenness but she never blamed anyone for her predicament even in the face of severe provocation from, Peninnah, the wife with many children. Instead, she constantly focused on asking God to remember her. God opened her womb to conceive a male child that she asked for. She resorted to thanking and exalting the awesomeness of God. Hannah’s prayer for the unborn child, to my mind, laid the foundation for the anointing bestowed on Samuel’s life as a great prophet in the annals of history in Israel.