“I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.” – Charles Spurgeon
“There is no other activity in life so important as that of prayer. Every other activity depends on prayer for its best efficiency.” – M. E. Andross
“He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” – John Bunyan
“Prayer is not learned in a classroom but in the closet.” – E. M. Bounds
“Relying on God has to begin all over again everyday as if nothing had yet been done.” – C. S. Lewis
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” – Martin Luther
“He who kneels the most stands the best.” – D. L. Moody
Colossians 1:19 For this reason we also, from the day we heard of your faith and love do not cease praying and asking for you, to the end that ye may be filled with the full knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
Psalms 144:1 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
From my 7 years that I have been in the prayer closet learning: how to do targeted prayer, how to fast, to hear God’s voice and the prompting of His Spirit, obedience, surrender etc, it goes without saying that a hungry spirit is constantly thrusted into new endless dimensions, where the current kinda acts as an additional illumination to the former revelation. Needless to say, we never come to a point of ‘ultimate knowledge of prayer’ as long as our souls are open to learning and thirsty for more.
In this regard, I must reiterate that I don’t view myself as the ‘ultimate prayer guru’, rather, an eagle with an open mind & heart, thirsty for more knowledge; a submissive vessel that’s ready and eager to learn and be taught some more, and on that note, one that’s willing to share her knowledge from her prayer journey.
I remember on 31st December 2017, I had this heavy heart, many cares racing simultaneously through my mind and my heart weighed heavily upon me. My spirit was troubled. I purely dreaded coming back to the city to face the unknown and in that instant; I was led to go to Heaven’s Gate prayer mountain in Gilgil. Yes, what I needed at that time was all there – quiet uninterrupted time with my Heavenly Father. I deeply yearned for an assurance of peace, of rest, of hope. Sitting, kneeling, praying, worshiping and lying prostrate beneath a tiny tree at the top of the mountain evoked a feeling of familiarity with the incomparable beauty and awe of the garden of Eden (before sin crept in). The tranquility there is unparalleled. I spoke to the Lord and it was as though His strong yet gentle arms beautifully wrapped me in this cozy and sweet embrace that I never wanted to peel myself from. I was massively consumed by this infallible and unrivaled love as I savored the moment and drowned in such breathtaking and indescribable splendor. And so it was when I left after two days that I was almost prompted to feel like I hadn’t had enough of God. Well, God is everywhere, with us and in us, yet the experience at the prayer mountain was just outta this world, if you know what I mean.
Back in the hostel, two of my roommates were candid enough to share experiences of how when they slept at night, they could feel like they were having intercourse with a stranger. There are some of these things that we read about and think that they are myths. One of them even shared with me of how she had broken an engagement thrice. It was my time to minister. Armed with knowledge from my prayer trainings, I forthwith knew without a shadow of doubt that this lady had a counterfeit – an evil spiritual spouse claiming her. That she had been married off unknowingly in the evil spiritual realm which basically rendered her unavailable in the physical realm. I remembered the lessons that I had acquired of such spirits, of soul ties, of their effects, control and manipulation even in the lives of believers.
Believers joke and laugh with the devil, but the devil? This scene to me is well exemplified in my reconstructed version of the pig proverb – “Never play with the pig. You both get dirty and the pig gets happy.”
Allow me to take you back to something I shared in an earlier article on this blog entitled ‘Passion Prayer’. – “Before anything happens at all for you to see, it has already been enacted in the Spiritual world.” – Elisha Goodman
My take: It all begins in the spiritual realm. It’s first enacted there – evil or good. That’s why it’s imperative that our battles are not fought carnally if effective results are by any chance to be achieved.
As I continued spending time with God right at the mountain, He revealed to me a new dimension of effective prayer: Praying with love and Praying with knowledge.
Fast forward to late last year, I had a vision on prayer. As I was sleeping, I saw this intensively bright light which connected my heart to Heaven. I felt like a Jacob when he saw angels ascending to and descending from heaven. Then I heard this voice audibly say, “Two things determine answers to prayer: WHEN and HOW you pray.”
Well, the factors above inform the basis upon which I write on prayer today.
‘When’, I believe cuts across ‘what time’ as well as ‘triggered by what’.
What time – ‘when’ did the Lord Jesus pray?
-Matthew 14:23,25 “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone….and in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.” This prayer must have been throughout from the evening right up to before the fourth watch of the night when He walked up to his disciples – by estimation around 3, 4am.
-Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed in a solitary place, and there prayed.
-He prayed before undertaking given tasks e.g before choosing His disciples, He prayed all night – Luke 6:12-13.
-Luke 14:19 He prayed before eating food or breaking bread – Luke 24:30.
-He prayed prior to being tempted, Mathew 4:2. He had fasted for forty days and forty nights.
-He prayed when in pain and agony, Luke 22:41-44, well equipped with knowledge of the great sacrifice that lay ahead that He was to make on the cross.
These are a few examples of when Jesus prayed.
The Bible is not only keen and specific on matters numbers and seasons, but also exact timings. The Bible is so deliberate in giving us precise indications of times when certain: deliverance, victories, miracles and even judgement took place – a call to pray during times such as these.
How about looking at ‘when’ – the exact timings when miracles, deliverance, even judgement took place in the Bible.
-Paul and Silas were delivered from prison, Acts 16:25-26 at midnight.
-Peter and John administered healing at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, Acts3:1-8 at the ninth hour.
-The veil getting torn at the temple and saints being awoken from sleep, Matthew 27:46-53 was preceded by darkness from the sixth to the ninth hour.
-David arose to give thanks, Psalms 119:62 at midnight.
-Cornelius received a vision, Acts 10:3 about the ninth hour of the day.
-The Egyptian first born sons were smitten to death, Exodus 11:4 about midnight.
-When Jehovah didn’t answer King Saul either by dreams or by urim or by prophets, he resorted to consulting a woman that had a spirit of a python, 1Samuel 28 by night. Through the spirit of Samuel who was already dead, Saul gets the message of the Lord having rent the kingdom out of his hand as well a prediction of his death together with his sons on the following day, which was executed as per the word of the spirit of Samuel.
I wonder though why the Bible is so deliberate in giving us precise indications of such timings. Is it for beautification or décor? Would they have been stated just for the sake of it? I mean if they didn’t serve any functional value? That’s upon you to personally think about and decide.
Much as I basically pray anywhere, anytime, I personally love my prayers and intercessions at the midnight hour – 1hour, 2hours, even 3 hours as led. And much as midnight is assumed to be the time of evil: invocations and practices, it also stands out as a calm time with minimal distractions when seeking the face of God.
Close to two and a half years ago, I dared God, and well, He honored me with a visitation right in my house. It was at the midnight hour, precisely 7 minutes past midnight. I wanted to hear His voice, I asked Him for His glory. I was nuts, I really was. Someone had told me without batting an eyelid that God doesn’t speak, but I believed the contrary. I asked God why He spoke to others and not me. Well, with a conversation that began at 2pm in the day, the guy appeared at 00:07. Again, this ran on persistence & obedience – I was directed on two specific worship songs to sing which I did. Imagine singing the same two songs repetitively for close to two hours while kneeling? Well, on that day, He didn’t speak audible speech but coded language with signs.
He got me dazed, made me lie with my face downwards. And the next thing? My bed shook terribly, I heard thunders, rumblings and saw light – these, three consecutive sequences. He served me a tiny dose of His glory. I hitherto still wonder if I would have contained the full splendor of His glory. Yet, this tiny dose was, for lack of better description, excitingly frightening and enough to make me not to switch off lights while I slept for the next 7 nights. My visitor didn’t wait for a glass of juice. Later on, 8 months later, He started speaking audibly to me.
See? It all was initiated at the midnight hour.
I view this as cutting across ‘the manner’ as well as ‘the strategy employed’.
How did Jesus pray?
-Jesus prayed alone (Matthew 14:23 & Mk 1:35), with a chosen few (Mk 5:37, Mk 1:35-36) and with the crowds e.g before eating.
-He prayed in fasting and sometimes retreated alone to the mountain/ wilderness throughout the night. (Luke 5:16 & Luke 6:12)
-Jesus always addressed His prayers to God and prayed in accordance with His will.
-He prayed kneeling, He prayed with strong crying and tears Hebrews 5:7, He prayed with love and compassion, He prayed with a thankful heart (John 11:41, Matthew 11:25 & Luke 10:21).
The Lord’s Prayer still remains our greatest guide. Matthew 6:9-13
So, how should we pray?
-Our prayers should always be directed to God.
-They should be made through Jesus. In His name – John 14:6.
-In accordance with God’s will.
-Making declarations using scriptures related to and that address the given situation.
-Articulating the request with clarity and precision.
-Having a clear focused prayer strategy.
-Getting engaged in the night watch.
-In a closet, in secret, Mathew 6:6.
-Employing the prayer of agreement as led.
-Persistently – day and night, Luke 18.
-Guided by the Spirit.
-In worship, with praise and giving God all the honor that’s due Him. “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, amen.”
-In asking for revelations and His guidance so we can pray with knowledge.
I love it when God breathes His guidance in every tiny step of a project that I’m undertaking. I started co-authoring a book with Daddy beginning mid-October last year, a book in which He clearly showed me the two main themes that were to govern and override the content throughout. Interestingly, having done 8 chapters in 3 months, I somehow debated within myself whether I was done writing. And I kept hearing this prodding in my spirit…so I asked God, “Father, is there anything you want me to add in this book?” And sooner than I knew, He gave me a full chapter and shortly afterwards, another last one. The result of simply asking Him for guidance and listening to His instructions.
3. PRAYING WITH LOVE
I believe that this is self-explanatory. We attract with love, admiration, awe, positive acknowledgement etc. And we repel with hate and bitterness etc.
4. PRAYING WITH KNOWLEDGE
Here, I would like to focus on two things: knowledge of God’s word & praying with revelation.
Knowledge of God’s word.
Every single situation that we deal with has a scripture element related to it. That means checking out the scriptures that back up the petitions we take to God is a sure way of praying on target.
Praying with Revelation.
This is my personal favorite. God reveals secrets to His saints when: He speaks audibly, thro’ certain, almost strange occurrences like the writings on the wall – Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin; thro’ His servants and the prophets, thro’ visions and dreams, thro’ mental inscriptions etc
Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
So, at the start of the year, God was reminding me of the importance of seeking that secret code, that hidden understanding from Him so that when I embark on prayer, it’s not a matter of aimlessly throwing arrows in all the wrong directions.
I’ve had moments when I’ve said simple prayers like “Oh Lord revive my dream altar.” Or “Oh God revive my midnight prayer altar.” Or “Father revive my worship altar.” And the consequence sometimes is a night of three to four revelations. When I awake, the 1st thing is to record them down then check out the relevant scriptures and the prayer strategy to employ. Sometimes I can’t understand a dream, so I ask for its interpretation and well, God always gives it to me.
Candidly, I have moments I wake up to worship at midnight – David style, Psalms 119:62, other moments when I’m perfectly just not in the mood for even prayer and yet some nights when I start to pray at 1:00am and the next time I check the clock, it’s 4:00am.
What would you do if you realized that you have been praying amiss? Or how you are praying is not the way you should pray? For instance, you are praying for a health, marital or financial breakthrough, yet those are not the root issues? That what you see in the surface as a tussle that is to be tackled in prayer is simply hidden in the root issue which must be effectively addressed in prayer but which would only be possible through a revelation?
I remember one time being led to consistently pray against the spirit of rejection. If I were to have chosen to look at things from a contrary view and at surface level, then I wouldn’t have been praying with understanding.
Another time I was led to pray against the evil manipulation and control of destiny stealers and destiny diverters as well as star gazers/ monitors and star hunters.
Praying and walking in revelation means you could be heading in a particular direction and the Spirit guides you to change the course of your path. Praying with revelation means you can effectively pray on target for 15 minutes and get results on the same issue where another with no revelation has prayed for an hour and missed results.
What happens when we pray with doubt?
I believe that clearly articulating what we precisely want, getting the related scriptures, forming that image in our mind and praying in God’s will nails it.
Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe my ways.”
Beyond stating our needs with precision, we need to broadcast the image of that which we want from God with clarity.
Look! God did not only tell Abram that he would be a father of many nations, no. He directed him out then showed him the countless stars in the sky in comparison with the promise. Why? So that there would be an imprint of the promise in his heart and mind and consequently, focus with clarity.
We have the power within ourselves to attract or repel that which we want just thro’ our attitudes, declarations and feelings towards that element/ factor/ thing. It’s simply an inexplicable law of nature. For instance, it’d be harder for one to obtain a certain car that they long for, yet when they see someone else with it, they criticize it.
I remember one time reading Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now and he illustrated how he and Victoria once enhanced their faith and clarity. A house and neighborhood that they loved but which was waaay beyond their pocket power. So they would stroll and just simply sit around that area.
Ahem! Ahem! Well, sometimes you just gotta be in that ‘environment’, if not physically, mentally.
Just like Abram, God will sometimes imprint certain images in our minds so that we can focus with clarity. Similarly, He has the unbeatable strategy and power to make extinct from our sights and imaginations the deterrent factors to focus on His promise, again, just so we can focus with clarity.
- Understanding Seasons.
I have come to deeply understand that discerning and understanding seasons also help us to pray with knowledge.
-Are you in the Job season? What ought to be the believer’s attitude?
-Are you in the Elijah season? Being prepared, learning of supernatural provision, being used by God to affirm that He is the one true and living God.
-Are you in the Daniel, Shadrack Meshack Abednego season? Needing to defend your faith prior promotion?
-Are you in the Esther season? Being used as a deliverer, to even reverse a decree?
-Are you in the Hannah season? Your hands and fingers are being trained to battle it in prayer. Your waiting patience has been stretched but not ‘beyond repair’ and well, tested in the fire.
-Are you in the Jonah season? Running away from being used of God. Trust me; He’ll soon catch up with you.
-Are you in the David season? No one sees your importance yet in God’s agenda, there’s imminent shift in ranks from a shepherd to a king.
-Are you in the King David’s season? Your very own son conspires with your adversary to dethrone you. An adversary whose wisdom, God is yet to turn into utter foolishness.
-Are you in the Ruth season? Making deliberate sacrifices. The reward is not at bay.
-Are you in the Eli season? Serving faithfully yet having rebellious children. What are you doing about it?
-Are you in the Nehemiah season? Tobiah and Sanballat & company won’t let you breathe, yet God’s work must be done.
-Are you in the Joseph season? A dream got you in trouble. I get lekker exhilarated every time I read Exodus 42:6 on the fulfillment of this dream whose origin had God as its trailblazer and on how Joseph’s brothers got to bow down to him – their faces to the earth.
So, what season are you in?
Embracing seasons ◊ Having a revelation of ‘em ◊ Letting God be glorified in and thro’ them.
Can you see and feel how practical the Bible is like I do?
- Beware! A roaring lion seeking to devour.
Of late, I find myself continuously thinking of the story of Job. I’ve had a ruthlessly inquisitive brain since I was a toddler that stems from very keen observations and insightful imaginations. At 3, I asked questions that made adults fumble with logic, facts and reason. Everything rare I observed was a cause to be mesmerized and to seek answers. The stars? They looked sooo cute and adorned the sky with so much grace and beauty in the night. Well, these may sound hilariously stupid to you, but they didn’t to me as a 2 year, 3-year-old or thereabout. For instance, I innocently asked, “Where does rain come from?” It bothered me. “Where do flies go to at night?” “Why is it that when we go for long call, we wipe and clean ourselves, but when the cow does, he doesn’t clean himself?”
That aside, back to Job. Job 1:6 “When the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, satan also came among them.” What I keep wondering of late is: In which form did satan appear? How was he dressed? Did the sons of God who stood next to him discern that they were standing right next to the devil himself or it’s only God who knew?
Isn’t it also mind-boggling that there’s no chance for a short leave or even an off from prayer? One must pray before they get a job to attain it and after getting it to maintain it. One must pray before and after marriage…and so on.
Back to the prayer mountain where I began, even in such a divine and anointed place, you meet highly anointed servants of God: pastors, bishops, apostles, prophets and needless to mention, witches too. They really got guts. So at night while we were fasting and praying, satan and his consortium: advisors, consultants, priests and prophets also came to church and when people were fewer, right at the altar – a cause for being warned for all, irrespective, to keep off from the altar. Listen, I am not glorifying him, neither am I afraid of him. I’m simply reminding us to be on the lookout.
My take? Just as we’ll never get to a point of ultimate knowledge where we are saturated and have no more room for more, we too should never get to a point of comfort where there’s no more need for prayer.
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Accompaniments to Effective Prayer.
Here I would love to state a few factors. By no means is this list exhaustive.
–Fasting Mathew 17:21 “But this kind does not go out but by prayer and fasting.”
What if your prayer item and case shares the same category with this of the lunatic boy?
–Giving Isaiah 58:8 One of the benefits of giving Isaiah 58:7, is the glory of Jehovah being our rearguard. “Then shalt thou call and Jehovah will answer;”
–True repentance. Hiding sin in one’s heart is a sure giveaway. It sells you exorbitantly. It is a stronghold and a thriving ground and cause for the enemy to accuse and for counter-attacks.
–Deliverance. This is an elephant in the house that believers still grapple to deeply understand.
As I conclude, if you’ve been crying because it is just too much, I’d love to console and encourage you even as I do the same to myself ‘cos I too, once in a while shed a tear or two. “God is not as moved by tears and complaints as much as He is moved by faith and praise.” – Hebrews 11:6. To me, tears, grumbling and giving up is by no means different from creating a perfect entertainment zone for the enemy where he gets to have the real time of his life. It is like playing him a guitar and the goddamn being dances like crazy.
Wow! didn’t I just write a looooong blog post…probably the effect on the first article after just having completed writing a book.
I honestly wanna increase in understanding and practice of how to pray with knowledge and effectively so. I can’t help wishing the very same for you.
Remember, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” -Oswald Chambers
Pray with love!
Pray with knowledge!
The wrecked vessel.