HOW TO SAY PRAYERS THAT MAKE THINGS HAPPEN | Thursday 1st Week of Lent | Day 8

Have you been praying and hoping and nothing seems to happen and the situations remained unchanged? Then bless God because you just found a secret that shall transform your prayer life. Since Lent is a period of intense prayers, the Lord wants to teach us how to pray effectively on this 8th day of our journey. In one of my teachings on Prayer, I taught that the future needs we take to prayer is between the Past and the Present. And I demonstrated how to bring it to actuality. Many still pray without results, and relapse into despair or seek solutions outside God only to increase their woes. If you want to transform your prayer life then read slowly...

Esther 4:17 

Queen Esther took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She besought the Lord God of Israel in these words: ‘My Lord, our King, the only one, come to my help, for I am alone and have no helper but you, and am about to take my life in my hands. ‘I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family, that you, Lord, chose Israel out of all the nations and our ancestors out of all the people of old times to be your heritage for ever; and that you have treated them as you promised. ‘Remember, Lord; reveal yourself in the time of our distress. ‘As for me, give me courage, King of gods and master of all power. Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion; change his feeling into hatred for our enemy, that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.

POINTS FOR REFLECTION

1. Child of God, the story of Esther is a popular one. The part you just heard is taken from the Additions to the Greek version of Esther in the Septuagint. The Hebrew version which is very common and present in many Bibles lack these, and God is not mentioned even once in it unlike the Greek version. However, the church recognizes both versions as inspired. Both versions tell us that Esther was in dilemma of losing the lives of her people or save her live with her position as Queen. But she gives that up, risks her life to save her people-the Israelites. She called for a 3-day fast while she prepares prayerfully to confront the king- her husband. An in her prayer we just heard above, we learn how to bring our FUTURE NEEDS to actuality in the PRESENT.

2. Esther achieved her FUTURE need which is the salvation of her people by Prayer, Faith and Right action. The Future need is the safety of her people. She made that move into the future by telling the Lord God what her Present situation is: “I am alone and have no helper but you, and am about to take my life in my hands”, she said. And then She goes on to remind God of his faithfulness in the PAST. She said: ‘I have been taught from my earliest years, in the bosom of my family, that you, Lord, chose Israel out of all the nations and our ancestors out of all the people of old times to be your heritage for ever; and that you have treated them as you promised.

3. And then She makes her FUTURE requests: That the Lord be faithful in revealing himself in times of distress, and that she may have the courage to do the right thing- which is to confront the king, and that the king's heart melt to her wishes, that his heart may change into hatred for her enemies. And it was so. All these came to actuality according to her prayers because she applied the prayer principle of discovering the future between the PAST and the PRESENT. The PAST is brought to life by REMEMBRANCE: always recall the works or wonders of the Lord in your life. The PRESENT is brought to life by rational enquiry to the present state of affairs, not denying what is right or true. And then the FUTURE is realised by FAITH declarations and right ACTION. Declare with FAITH and take the right and necessary ACTIONS so that your faith together with good works or actions will yield fruits or be fulfilled concretely. Listen, a poor memory of what God did in the past or acknowledgement of how God works could jeopardise your prayer.

TASK: Start applying these principles now to your prayers with confidence because Jesus assures us in Matthew 7: 7: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. If you don’t receive, know that you haven't asked or have not asked well as Jesus says in John 16: 24: Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. God bless you. Amen.

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