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Jesus Reigns: Prayer

By Pastor Erick Estilloso

Prayer is a very common tool that is used by everybody. Even non-Christians use prayer in their life. But do you really understand how it works? 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

You have to be dependent on the Lord Jesus Christ for everything. Rejoicing always does not depend on your circumstance. Your happiness should not depend on the amount of money in your pocket. Do not stop praying even when you are in the best of everything. If you will notice, people forget to pray when all is well. Most people who experience anxiety and depression are the smart and intelligent ones because they think of their situations with a critical mind. This does not have to be the case. There are some instances when you do not have the capacity to solve your problem - all you need is to surrender them to God. Overthinking feels like you have already drowned when you have not even stepped into the water yet. You take things in your own hands and when you cannot find the solution to your problem, you become depressed. It is very important to have prayer because you need to surrender your life. You cannot do it but God can. You have limitations but God is limitless. You have imperfections but God is more than enough. You forcedly think about your problems without even doing anything. Fear and worry start to take over. It is like sitting in a rocking chair where you are moving without getting anywhere. It should not matter whether your problem is big or small. What is important is that you surrender it to God.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man. But its end is the way of death.” Sometimes, you feel like you are walking on the right path but it will lead you nowhere, or even to your destruction. You put your emotions on the line but it will lead you nowhere. These are the things you do not pray about; the matters that you take into your own hands. But do not make the Lord into your own personal genie, wherein He grants you three wishes and you get an answer right away.  You forget that prayer builds relationships. You have to fix your communication first. If only one is talking or both of you are talking, it is not communication. So prayer should be the same. You should not be the only one talking; allow God to speak to you.

1 Kings 17, talks about how Elijah had communication with God. Ravens brought him food in the morning and evening and he drank from the brook. This was a time when Elijah lacked food but since his communication with God was very good, he was blessed. God answered his prayers with more than what he asked. God also led Elijah to a women who gave him food. The jars of oil and flour of the woman never run dry because she fed him. Psalms 1 likened a man who obeys the Lord to a tree planted near flowing water. He will never run dry. Prayer helps you be continually connected to God. 1 Kings 18 tells of how God asked him to present himself to his enemy, Ahab. Prayer gives you courage to face your fears. God will do something extraordinary in you if you know how to pray. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah was afraid. He chose to listen to Jezebel and did not consult with the Lord at that moment. The natural response of the flesh is to be afraid. But if you know how to listen to the Lord, fear will not overcome your life. Many people cannot be used by God because they are scared. Their prayer life is not a two way street and they listen to other people more. If you do not pray when you need it, you will get scared.

Focus on God’s instruction because there will be a lot of distractions. Many things will try to lure you into doing the wrong things. So if prayer is not your lifestyle, you will be weak. Your connection with God is of utmost importance. Your emotions will sway you. Your successes will sway you. The Bible encourages you to continue praying and depending on God. Everybody is weak. And many lives are destroyed because prayer is not their priority. They prioritize being happy but their happiness is fleeting. Because real happiness cannot be found in material things and in the people around you. True happiness can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:14 says, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.” Bartimaeus was a blind beggar who was there when Jesus was passing by. He kept on shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” And people tried to stop him from doing so. Just like when you call on God, many people will stop you. Many will get in your way and stop you from doing the right thing. The evidence of desire is pursuing. God knows the heart of Bartimaeus. He wanted to see because He wanted to follow Jesus along the way. God also knows your heart. He knows the words that will come out of your mouth even before you say it. When Jesus answered his prayer and he was able to see,he did not do as he desired. He followed Him. He was stopped but he did not allow them to stop him. Man’s sincerity does not allow others to hinder him from going to God.  Bartimaeus did not go to God in secret. He was very loud about it. You should be the same because God has everything. Do not stop praying because God has not stopped answering.

Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Be dependent on God. May people focus on  the benefits. That is why they never grow in their faith. If you focus on your relationship with God, you will be blessed beyond measure. Pray every time. Pray for everything big and small. Pray to show your dependence on God. God answers with a yes, a no and a wait. No is not a rejection but a redirection. God has something better for you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” Bring everything to God, big or small. Fruitfulness is not a result of overworking, but an overflow of blessings on the Lord. Every time you pray, God is pouring out His presence on you. The people around you will notice a change because God is overflowing in you. Overflow in them. Pray without ceasing.

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