He was quoting from Isaiah 56:7, “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
Prayer should be one of our major preoccupations when we come together. That means we should be people of prayer. The walls or furniture don’t pray; it is people that pray. Church people should prioritize prayer privately and corporately. The church should be known primarily as the house of prayer. The world should see the church as the place of divine encounter.
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Matthew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
The Lord says, when you pray, not if you pray. God expects us to pray individually. God expects us to for one another. God expects us to pray for the church. God expects us to pray for our nation. God expects us to intercede for the unsaved so that they can be delivered from sin and Satan. God expects us to pray together. And your results will come from your prayer life. “… Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.”
The early church was a praying church. They prayed all the time and for everything. They recognized their weakness and constantly prayed to God for help. In Acts 4:23-31, we see them coming together to pray, not for their personal needs or comfort but for the progress of the gospel and the church.
Prayer is the oxygen of the church. A church without prayer is in coma. A believer without prayer is in coma. Prayer is what unites us with our heavenly Father. Prayer is what elevates us from the natural to the supernatural dimension. Prayer is what makes the church a wonder on earth.
Prayer goes beyond coming to God with a list of demands or petitions. It is intimacy with God. It is gaining access to the greatest power source in the Universe. It is becoming one with God in purpose, thinking, strategy and execution.
It is through prayer we receive the grace to do what is required to achieve God’s desires on earth. It is through prayer we surrender to the demands of the assignment no matter the personal cost to our lives. Our Lord Jesus Christ was facing the horror of crucifixion; it was enough to rattle anyone, but He surrendered to the Father’s demand because He prayed. Matthew 26:39. The same thing will happen to us when we pray. More people will comply with the demands of witnessing and doing the right thing. The fear, shame and discomfort most people feel about witnessing will disappear.
In summary, let us look at 5 Major Benefits Of Praying.
- Tremendous power. Grace is poured down from heaven when we pray. Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” The church is anointed, and miracles take place when we pray. See also Acts 4:33. We generate so much power to produce amazing results when we pray. Through prayer, mere mortals can do what only God can do. It is moving the hand of God to do extraordinary things in the lives of men. It is through prayer that mountains are moved.
- Uncommon Growth. Isaiah 66:8. The church grows when we pray. Souls are birthed into the Kingdom when we pray. We can change the world through prayer.
We take more territory when we pray. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” Psalm 2:8. There is a revival with mass conversions when we pray. Prayer is the key to revival. The church grows when we pray. A praying church is a growing church. We learn how to pray by praying. We grow individually when we pray. Soak yourself, family, business, etc. in prayer if you want to grow.
- Tremendous breakthrough. James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Congregations are healed when we pray. 2Chronicles 7:14. Prisoners and captives of the devil are released when we pray. Healings take place when we pray. Miracles, signs and wonders occur when we pray. People prosper when we pray. Businesses do well when we pray. Through prayer you can take delivery of your portion. Families are blessed when we pray. Children flourish when we pray. According to Isaiah 56:7, God makes us joyful when we become a house of prayer. In the house of prayer our prayers are answered, and we experience fullness of joy. You win when you pray. You must pray if you want to win. We succeed better and faster when we pray for one another and when we pray together in agreement.
- Hell shakes when the church prays. Hell is paralysed when we pray. Corporate prayer produces so much power the devil cannot contend with it. Prayer makes us unstoppable. Satan can continue lying and deceiving people until we pray. He is exposed, shamed and overthrown when we pray.
- Corporate praying guarantees results. Matthew 18:19.
How long should you pray in a day?
The Bible does not answer this question directly, but we can get a clue from a few scriptures. In Matthew 26:40, the Lord asked His disciples to watch or pray at least one hour. The Bible talks about the hour of prayer. Acts 3:1. You shouldn’t do less than an hour of praying a day, especially in tongues if you want to make true progress. It will radically transform your life. However, there are times only short prayers is what you can afford. It still works.
How often should you pray?
Without ceasing. 1Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” Acts 12:5, “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” God responded by sending an angel to get him out of prison. Persistent prayer is what it takes to get the job done.
What prayers should we be praying?
All manner of prayers. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Supplication, intercession, petition, warfare, for all men, those in authority, the church and for the expansion of the kingdom of God.
How should we be praying?
Every prayer should be in line with the will of God according to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and this is best achieved in tongues. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” 1Corinthians 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
We need to stop talking about prayer and just pray. We need to wake up from our slumber and do what is right. As we pray we receive boldness and the power to carry on in the face of dangerous, ruthless and merciless opposition. We will win, we will prevail through the power of prayer!! God help us!
Bishop Dr Charles Olowojoba is the General Overseer of Dayspring Bible Church Worldwide with HQ in Abuja, Nigeria & President, Dayspring Christian Ministries Int’l.