Wednesday, 20 July 2016
OPEN HEAVENS THURSDAY 21ST JULY 2016 TOPIC : VITAL INGREDIENTS OF PRAYER
And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25
Read : Mark 11:22-26
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Our Lord Jesus Christ did not give us an outline for prayer in what is popularly called "The Lord's Prayer" (Luke 11:2-4), He also gave us some vital ingredients of prayer. The first in our consideration is faith. The Almighty God demands that we have faith in Him. A man that prays without faith cannot get anything substantial from the spiritual exercise of prayer. When we pray, we should be assured that God is capable of doing whatever our desires are. Doubt is a grievous offence before the Almighty God. The children of Isreal that doubted the capability of God were consumed by the fiery anger of the God who had been erstwhile benevolent to them, however, as many as believed in His Almightiness received great recompense for their faith.
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." James 1:6-7
Another vital ingredient of the prayer that God will answer is forgiveness. This is a two-edged sword. Blessed is he that is forgiven, sin is a hinderance to prayer. Unless we are forgiven, our prayers cannot be answered. This is why our Lord Jesus put an aspect of confession of sin in the prayer outline (Luke 11:4). No matter how old we may be in the Lord, if we discover any sin ranging from lying, outburst of unwarranted anger etc in our lives while we are getting set to pray, we must confess that sin first. The Bible says:
"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:8-9
On the other hand, our Lord Jesus Christ said:
"And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25
Many of us come to the throne of mercy without the milk of mercy in our hearts. We come for mercy while we are not merciful; we come for forgiveness and we are not forgiving. What an irony? In Mathew 18:32-35, our Lord told the parable of the wicked servant who jailed his fellow worker that owed him a little after he himself had received pardon for a greater debt. His unforgiving spirit made him to forfeit the pardon for the debt he earlier received. Beloved, let us cultivate the habit of forgiving one another, at least for the fact that our Father in Heaven forgives every of our sins.
Father, please increase my faith and put in me the spirit that freely forgives.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
Galatians 4-6 and Psalms 18:1-19