The efficacy of prayer
A LONG ESSAY PRESENTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF POST GRADUATE STUDIES BY
OGUNYEMI, OLUWAFEMI AYOTUNDE
MATRIC NO: 60754
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT FOR THE AWARD OF POST GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN THEOLOGY AT
THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN BIBLE COLLEGE, REDEMPTION CAMP, OGUN STATE JUNE 2010
Prayer ... is not a soliloquy. It is a dialogue between man and God. Prayer is conversation with a real Person who actually hears what is prayed and does something about it. Prayer has subjective value too, and blesses the one who prays. If a man never got an answer, he would be a better man for having bowed his knees to Almighty God. A man "never stands taller than when he kneels to God..." Prayer is objective as well as subjective. Prayer brings results — not just in the man who prays but in the ones for whom he prays, the things for which he prays. A man prays from his home in America for a missionary friend in Africa. God hears the man in America and responds by supplying the need for the man in Africa. The Bible does not explain prayer, but abounds with demonstrations of it. Abraham did not pray just for his own edification. He prayed for a son as did Sarah, his wife. God gave them Isaac. Moses was utterly indifferent to his own welfare when he prayed. He was concerned for the children of Israel. God heard Moses and blessed Israel in the wilderness. Hannah prayed and God gave Israel a great prophet to lead her into national prominence. Nothing was further from Hannah's mind than her own personal blessing when she asked God for a son. God heard Hannah, who had been unable to have children, and Samuel was born. Elijah prayed for rain —the rain came — and the Apostle James declares that it was Elijah's prayer that was responsible for the rain." Christians frequently have trouble praying because they either misunderstand prayer or lack the assurance that God answers prayer. This week's lesson will encourage you in your prayer life. WHAT IS PRAYER?
This is a million dollar question that many clergy has gotten amiss and many are still getting amiss today. In my quest for an answer that befits this paper I asked many people the same question – what is prayer? I will quote a few before stating mine. Prayer is talking to God
Prayer is tendering your heart desire before God believing that you will receive your desire granted. Prayer is asking from the divine being what you cannot do for yourself. As much as I want to say they were all right, yet there are loop holes in their definitions. You may want to say, how? Well let us quickly check them all out one after the other. “Prayer is talking to God”. Which God? Let us assume all things been equal; we are talking of Jehovah God, creator of heaven and earth. Yet it is possible to be talking to someone and the fellow does not responding. So we can put this definition in one corner. “Prayer is tendering your desire before God believing that you will receive”. God is been treated like a slave that has to do all our desire at our beck and call. “Prayer is asking from the divine being what you cannot do for yourself”. Which divine being are we talking about here? We are even turning the divine being into last option. We go to the divine being only as last resort. Now what can we say prayer is? I say prayer is communication with God in accordance to his will. Communication is a two way issue, it means both of you are having a dialogue. That is, you talk and your partner responds and when your partner talks you too respond. “In his will means he knows about what you are asking and he has already known what to do about it but he only want you 2 tell him about it. With this definition we can move ahead in our discussion, putting in mind that, “prayer is communication” and that it must be done according to his will. He wants us to communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Many people question what is prayer because they desire to pray, but don’t know...
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