1 Nov 2013 by Donna Uning CM –
“Jesus Christ is the greatest prayerful person that ever lived on the earth,” said visiting speaker Ps Raphael Shanker from Kuala Lumpur at Tiberias Church Singapore at the Marriot Hotel recently.
“He not only taught us how to pray, but He also gave the apostles the key to the supernatural,” he said telling of how many people today are not taught on how to pray.
Luke 11: 1, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus went to a deserted place to pray. He went early in the morning to pray. One-third of our lives are spent on the bed if we sleep for eight hours, he explained.
“He always did what the Father taught and said what the Father said,” he told. When Jesus fed the 5000, there were probably 20 000 people there fed if you include their wives and children. “He first heard from His Father and He never did anything unless He saw what His father was doing and told Him to do,” he added.
“This is the key to our lives; prayer is the key to success in our life. It all comes back to our prayers,” he continued. What stood out in Luke 11 was His prayer life.
“The Bible is a teaching to us and Jesus gave them a pattern of prayer,” he said. Matthew 6 talks about the disciples’ prayer. “Jesus gave a pattern to follow but there’s more to it; each one reveals a certain aspect,” he said.
Verses 2 to 4 of Luke 11 is a profile of prayer or pattern on prayer; verses 5 to 8 a parable about prayer, and verses 9 to 13 is the promise of prayer.
“The message today is on the profile of prayer,” he said. “The kind of person Jesus wants us to be. For every prayer He receives answers. He wants us to be like Him and be a praying person.”
There are five wonderful truths found here in Luke verses 2 to 4. He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’”
“And it came to pass as He was praying. How can we ensure this? If we pray according to the will of God,” he said.
1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
This is one of the most certain item we have in prayer. Where is the will of God from? “The will of God is from the Word of God; being effective in prayer is being diligent to the Word,” he said, and to “always be reading and feeding.” Line ourselves with the will of God, and then our prayer can be heard. It all boils down to the will of God.
In his 25 years of ministry, the pastor had heard all kinds of prayers, even some of which sounded like curses. “But God only answers prayers based on His will.” He said. “Salvation belongs to the Lord. Salvation, and not destruction or harm or evil, He loves to answer these kinds of prayers,” he continued, ‘because He delivers us’.
Jesus also prayed at a certain place. The pastor told about his favorite place to pray at home, that is on his rocking chair or at a certain place. “But this is not about a physical place,” he told. “Many times we pray but do not come to that certain place,” he said.
Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
“That is the confidence that we have in Him; when we pray effectively, you must have confidence,” he said.
In the Old Testament, to enter the Holy of Holies, one needed cleansing and washing. “Today, our hearts have to be cleansed,” he said. Some examples of confidence-destroyers are fear and condemnation – a reason for us not to pray effectively. Another is unforgiveness. “When we stand to pray, we need to forgive,” he said, telling that we will never have the confidence if we have unforgiveness.
Luke 11: 1 says Jesus finished or ceased praying. “He stopped here because He had the answer,” he said, “because He had a breakthrough.” We must not cease in prayer because we are told to pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray continually.”
“He is not talking about stopping prayer but about giving up,” he said. “We are not to give up on prayer. Many things we pray for may not happen today or tomorrow.”
“The suddenly in Acts did not just happen but there was a leading-up to the moment,” said Ps Shanker. For ten days, the disciples were gathering together. There were 500 disciples on the Mount of Olives but 120 remained and the other 380 went back.
“There are some things in our lives that we need to persevere,” he said. “Although it may not manifest now, it will break through.” The first day you prayed, God has heard you. “The timing of God and the timing of men are two different things,” he added.
“Persevere, pray without ceasing. On some things, we do the asking, and sometimes thanking God for the answer,” he said. Give thanks that God has heard you and He will answer you in His time.
Ps Dian Ticoalu also led the bilingual session in English and Bahasa Indonesia held at the Marriot Hotel. Ps Raphael Shanker is a minister of the Word, teaching and preaching all over the nation and overseas.
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