Monday, November 28, 2011
Spiritual Benefits of Prayer
What if there was something you could do to resist temptation, be healed, forgiven and revived, and receive protection? Pastor Ben at Faith Alive in Jos, Nigeria reminds us that there is something we can do on a daily basis—pray. Below, he tells us about this month’s spiritual theme, Prayer that Availeth Much, based on James 5:13-18.
This month our heavenly Father decided to teach us about prayer in a way to boost our prayer life and to make us more effective in the ministry. He did the same to the apostles when they came asking him.
The subject of prayer was so vital that the early apostles made a special demand from the Master to teach them how to pray. Do we still have such request today? It is amazing today to hear this request void of spiritual ingredients but purely made up of physical benefits. No wonder we are losing the battle against the foes.
• Prayer was the only spiritual exercise that we were told to do continually (1 Thes. 5:17). This means prayer is the air (oxygen) we breathe for spiritual existence, suggesting that once we stop praying, we are dead spiritually, as no man exists without oxygen. So, what God thought and is still teaching us this month is that to survive in our spiritual journey, we must learn to breath prayer in and out. The breath in of prayer is to receive from God in prayer while the breath out is to reach out to God, people and our environment in prayer. When I breath out in prayer, I reach out to you thousands of miles away.
• Prayer is the only weapon against temptations. When Peter failed to watch in prayer, he became prey and was so messed up by the enemy that he denied his Mater three times. Jesus said, “Pray and watch that you do not fall into temptations.”
• Prayer heals. James says that anyone sick should send for the church elders to pray for him/her that the prayer in faith will heal him/her.
• Prayer brings about forgiveness of sins. James says if he sinned, his sin shall be forgiven.
• Prayer removes troubles. James says anyone troubled should pray. But today when we are troubled, we become depressed instead of lifting our hand and voice up to God in prayer.
• Prayer gives spiritual authority. James says Elijah prayed and there was no rain for three and half years; he prayed again and there was rain.
• Prayer brings revival. Peter prayed and Tabitha (Dorcas) came back to life; Jesus prayed and Lazarus came out of the grave.
• Prayer sets free. Peter was released from prison because the church prayed for him (Acts 12). Paul and Silas were released because they prayed.
• Prayer brings protections. Daniel was protected from the paw of lions as a result of his prayer.
• Prayer brings favors. Queen Esther received favor of her husband the king as a result of prayer.
• Prayer brings deliverance. Prophet Jonah prayed in the belly of the fish and was vomited out by the fish.
• Prayer removes fears and gives boldness. Jesus prayed in Gethsemane and received boldness and courage to face the cross (the cup)
• Prayer opens doors for revelation and understanding. Daniel entreated God in prayer and received the revelations and understanding about things to come.
The list is inexhaustible. So let’s equate prayer to our breathing rate because PRAYER IS THE SOLUTION; PRAYER IS THE ANSWER. DO ALL IN PRAYER.