‘Call to me’

countryside-336686_640(1)Jeremiah 33:3: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Having a vibrant prayer life is part of the process for knowing God, which also has to do with knowing what he knows, hence the focus verse where he promises the same. It reveals that the place of prayer is the place of revelation. It is the place where the soul is conditioned, stilled to download things from the Holy Spirit. Prayer is the place where we unburden to God, and take on his burden.

So when we pray, it should be more than mere religion observance, we should realise that it is our meeting point with divinity, to see the visions of God and hear his word. Jesus talks about the rewards of prayer, saying that when we prayer it should be private and the God who sees us in secret will reward us openly (Matthew 6:5-16). (That shows prayer is primarily an expression of private devotion to God and not for show.)

One of those rewards is what we have in the focus verse, as we walk increasingly in the reality of his personal revelation to us. James said: draw near God and he will draw near you (James 4:8). Showing you things, giving you understanding is part of what it means for God to draw near you.

When we draw near him in the place of prayer, he draws near to us with who he is, in his power, grace and anointing and in all manner of endless abilities, gifting, miraculous power.

Before Jesus appointed his 12 apostles, he was on a mountain for an all-night of prayer (Luke 6:12-16). That was an important decision and he spent the time on the mountain to be on the same page with the Father. It is possible that Jesus already knew Judas was going to betray him, but before then he had to be in the best relationship with him for years even make him the treasurer. Choosing Judas may have been a difficult decision and he needed help in the place of prayer to have his will fully forged with God’s will, the same thing his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46).

It was in the place of prayer that the Holy Spirit gave the instruction that Paul and Barabbas should be separated to him for the work he is wants them to do (Acts 13:1-4). They called upon God and God manifested his clear direction to them, for the next push for the advancement of the church.

And when they appointed elders in the churches that they planted it was through prayer and fasting (Acts 14:23). They called on God with fasting to make things work out in the churches in those places through the new leaders. They knew it is not by natural ability but spiritual ability that things get done in the kingdom of God. Hence the prime place they put prayer, to connect the new leaders with the power of God.

We are invited to call on God with the assurance that he will answer. This is not the picture of an absentee God, not the picture of an angry God, but one who invites us to seek him, to know him, to embrace him.

When you call he will answer, he will answer by changing you from inside out. Prayer is focus on God and we become like whom we focus on (Hebrews 12:1-2). He will respond to you call, showing you his perspective of things, then you can conclude that he is working all things in your favour (Romans 8:28).

In the prayer that Paul prayed for the church in Ephesians, he revealed the importance of having knowledge and spiritual understanding. So, through prayer, in answer to prayer, they can be delivered to us (Ephesians 1:15-22).

“Call to me” is an invitation to relationship. God made man for relationship. Therefore, in view of the focus verse, a litmus test of relationship with God is prayer. When prayer is not held in high esteem then God is not held in high esteem.

The value we place on God is the value we place on prayer and vice versa. Jesus, emphasizing the importance of prayer said: men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1-8). He then illustrated that fact with a parable which was about a woman seeking the judge to be on her side to deal with her adversary. So in the journey of life it is very important to take hold of the tool of prayer to come out tops against the forces marshal against us, seeking to hold us back from the best of God, from what is rightly ours.

For the widow the intervention of the judge was her one and only option. So she kept pressing in. When we realise that we do not have an alternative to prayer to deliver into our hands all what is rightfully ours we will embark on it with gusto. He will press on in it regardless. “Always” (a word Jesus used to describe attitude to prayer) is a word of priority.

Paul also said that we should pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17). That is a way to cultivate the atmosphere of heaven in our lives. He said we should be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might, putting on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) because of the spiritual forces we wrestle. He then listed the different pieces which he said we should put on (helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit [word of God], belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, foot shod with the preparation of the gospel of truth), he hinted that all are put on as we pray all prayers in the spirit.

That is why when someone begins a new life in Christ, becomes born again, it is basic discipleship to help them start a daily life of prayer. It should be part of the daily routine instilled in them. Seeking God should be their priority in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life. When a man is born again it is the beginning of a brand new relationship with God and it is through prayer that that relationship gets rolling.

At the beginning of the church the new believers were said to have continued in the apostles’ doctrine and prayer (Acts 2:42). The apostles’ after some time spelled out their priority as being prayer and the ministry of the word. Prayer can never be relegated (Acts 6:4). There is the need to regularly shut everything out and pray.

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