Happy New Year!😃🙌🥳🎊🎉
Wow, can you believe it’s 2019 already!
Brethren, God has taught me a lot about discernment, humility and how to protect your destiny with silence.
However, there is one thing that God has taught me that has surprised me in many ways, and that is PRAYER. In the book of Matthew 6:5-16, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, it was a model pray, a structure for us to know how to strategise when we pray.
Let me just start of with the beginning of The Lord’s prayer which says “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
I’ll stop there.
There is a way to start of prayer, and that is by first worshipping and reverencing the presence of God, but giving Him thanks.
A lot of us start prayer of by simply go straight into the asking, myself included🙈, yet we ought to first pray with thanksgiving in our hearts, and once we do we must acknowledge that the prayer we are praying is according to God’s will on earth and in the heavens, why? Because He knows you and He knows what you need, if you don’t believe me then study the book of Jeremiah and you will understand.
Everything that you and I must have, must be for a purpose, believe me it is not the will of God for you and I to live a life without purpose, if that were so then you and I never would’ve been created, we would not exist, but we existed in the heart and mind of God and we came into fruition, and for that very reason it means that we have purpose and therefore our prayers are and should be full of purpose and that purpose is His will.
Brethren prayer works and I’m telling you that we most certainly have the power to pray, we just need to have to discernment to know how to pray and what to pray, at the right time, because there are indeed steps to take.
Pastor D.K Olukoya said; ‘When you begin to pray correct prayers, then correct things will begin to happen for you.’
Brethren this is the very saying that has empowered me to know that I can pray for myself, sure there’s nothing wrong with others praying for me, but I don’t have to depend on them because I am a child of God, I know who I am and therefore I can pray.
I don’t need anyone to lay their hands on me, to prophesy that they know my name so that I can be trapped in believing that they have the power to set me free, no I no longer need all of that.
I know my Jesus, and I know myself, but not as much as my Jesus knows me, because even with all the prayers I have prayed, He still continues to surprise me with His grace and abundance of love.
Brethren we serve a faithful God, and I haven’t even begun to go into the message yet, but this is just an introduction to let you know that we serve a living God, who surely answers prayers, but in 2019 I urge you to know that you can pray for yourself and I want to encourage you to believe and have faith that God will answer your prayer according to His will and by the recognition of the fresh fire, sacrifice, humility, worship and knowledge that you receive by seeking the face of God in the secret place of His Word.
Brethren, you will see results once you make the right changes, I can’t tell you the changes that you will need to make, that is something that you will need to learn from God.
However, I can guide you on the steps that you can take based of from examples in the very Word of The Lord.
So let’s start with the book of Isaiah 38:1-5, starting from verse 1.
“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’ ””
- What would you do if you received a negative prophecy, yet that negative prophecy came from God?
I’m sure many of us would think that this is not a word from God but from satan, but let’s first understand what prophecy is.
- Prophecy is amongst the spiritual gifts of God.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 teaches us what it means to have the spiritual gifts of God including prophecy.
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
I Corinthians 12:4
“There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.”
I Corinthians 12:5
“And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.”
I Corinthians 12:6
So notice how in verse 4 to 6, the scripture mentions same three times.
The same Spirit, the same Lord and the same God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It’s the blessed Trinity and where there is the same spirit of God there is power.
This is what God expects from us today, irrespective of our gifts but sadly there is more division than there is unity.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:”
I Corinthians 12:7
So the gifts of the spirit is not to profit ourselves but to populate the kingdom of God, and here are all the gifts of the spirit
“for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,”
I Corinthians 12:8
“to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,”
I Corinthians 12:9
“to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”
I Corinthians 12:10
“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
I Corinthians 12:11
Notice again from verse 8-11 same spirit is repeated again and again irrespective of the differences of gifts.
God wants us to understand the importance of unity in ministry and where there is unity, there is power. Same Spirit, same God, same Lord, different gifts, same purpose of ministry not to profit self, but to populate the kingdom of God.
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;”
Okay so let’s get back to the message of Isaiah’s prophecy, Hezekiah’s prayer, Hannah’s sacrifice and God’s response.
“Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD,”
“and said, “Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”
- What would your reaction be to such a prophecy? Would you respond in prayer or panic?
I have been prophesied on both negatively and positively but I didn’t know how to respond, and often through my experiences of receiving prophecies there was never a teaching on how to prevent that negative prophecy from occurring, or how to ensure that the positive one comes to pass, and so my trusting my dependence on God began to lean more on man on what they could do to get out from, or into my current situation.
Running from place to place, until the grace of God simply found me and moved me into the right understanding and place that I needed for prayer.
That being said, I love the way that Hezekiah responded, not only did he respond in prayer, but he also asked God to remember that he has walked in righteousness and obedience.
He asked God to remember that he has served and worshipped Him in Spirit and in truth.
The bible says that;
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
And it’s because Hezekiah walked in righteousness that God responded to Hezekiah’s prayer.
“And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying,”
““Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years.”
God in all His power and majesty changed that prophecy of death into life.
- Do you think if Hezekiah did not walk with the Lord, that the lord would’ve granted his request?
Brethren, we have the power to change, to live and not to die, to experience the fullness of life, to live our God’s purpose no matter what word is spoken over our lives. As long as we are walking with The Lord.
Hezekiah knew that it was not his end, he knew his purpose, he confidently knew his standing with God.
Isaiah wasn’t just any prophet, this was a prophet that foretold the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet he told Hezekiah that he was to die.
Brethren I want you to ask yourself again what will my response be?
Let’s also look at Hannah’s prayer.
In the book of 1 Samuel:1-28
We are introduced to Hannah and Penninah the two wife’s of Elkanah.
Hannah was a barren woman, yet Penninah was not. Penninah would mock Hannah so much that it grieved her soul, but one day Hannah made a decision.
“So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD.”
I Samuel 1:9
“Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.””
I Samuel 1:11
Note the three important steps that Hannah took to have the desires of her heart.
- She arose from the place of despair, depression and defeat.
- She stepped out in faith and into the house of God.
- She sought the face of God.
- Like Hezekiah she pleaded with the Lord to remember her case.
- She made a vow to the Lord, she did the unusual, she gave out of the abundance of her heart, she sacrificed to The Lord.
“And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth.”
I Samuel 1:12
“Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.”
I Samuel 1:13
“So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!””
I Samuel 1:14
“But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.”
I Samuel 1:15
““Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.””
I Samuel 1:16
“Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.””
I Samuel 1:17
“And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.”
I Samuel 1:18
So God favoured Hannah and blessed her with one of the major prophets of the bible, Samuel.
Imagine if Hannah stayed in that place of depression, despair and defeat then she would’ve never received her breakthrough.
Imagine if Hezekiah accepted what Isaiah said after all he was a major prophet of God, but they both refused to accept it, they both got to a place of desperation and that’s when God heard their cry and answered them both.
Humility is also the key to opening your gateway to breakthroughs.
If we look at verse 13 and 14 again in 1 Samuel 1, the priest thought that Hannah was drunk in the temple.
He judged her, rebuked her and insulted her, because of her strange prayer of desperation.
In verse 15 Hannah responded in humility.
She had every right to be defensive, to have an attitude, she could’ve said because of thus experience I’ll never go to church, she could’ve even began speaking badly about the man of God, but she didn’t.
She didn’t allow herself to lose focus, and distraction can come in the form of anyone even a man of God.
It was Hannah’s response of humility that opened the way for God to answer her prayer.
Sadly we are living in an age filled with many false prophets, so it’s also important as believers that we are discerning in spirit.
There are many itching ears, to hear what the flesh wants to hear, as opposed to what the sprit man wants to hear.
Prophetic messages that have turned into fortune telling conferences, self gatherings all about self glorification and nothing about God, just entertainment, no Word no substance.
Trust me, I have been there and seen the same thing over and over again, and believe me when I say that, that is not it, and if we do not know who we are in Christ , if we don’t know God’s Word then we will not be able to discern truth.
Whether the prophet utters a word that is positive or negative, as long as it comes from God it is always the responsibility of the believer to pray, and it’s because we have the power to do so.
I pray also that like it says in Isaiah 38:16 we shall receive restoration.
And that The Lord will also deliver our souls of corruption and bitterness, and that we shall receive His total peace because He has cast our sins behind His back as it says in Isaiah 38:17.
And whilst we are praying for God to answer us we must also pray for God to forgive us of our sins, because its our sins that separates us from receiving the promises of God.
Hosea 5:15 says;
I will return to My place
Till they acknowledge their offence.
Then they will seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.’
So its not until we get to that place of total humility and obedience that God will blot out our iniquities, and have mercy on us. So I pray for God’s mercy and grace and that we shall learn to walk in total obedience.
I’d like to encourage you with these scriptures
“It shall come to pass
That before they call, I will answer;
And while they are still speaking,
I will hear.”
I have held my peace a long time
I have been still and restrained Myself
Now I will cry like a woman in labour
I will pant and gasp at once.
Put Me in remembrance;
Let us contend together;
State your case, that you may be acquired.
I want to end this message by saying that there will be challenges, that is something that we can never run away from, we have to work hard, face those challenges headstrong, and by faith and through prayer I believe in the year 2019, that we shall surely overcome them.
Remember though, that there are steps to take and please in 2019 run to God more than you run to people to seek solutions.
Be a God pleaser and not a people pleaser, and don’t allow your time to be wasted for it is precious.
Oh and for financial advise, save your money.🥳🎉🎊