Prayer and success

steps-388914_640Genesis 24:12: And he said, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham.

Prayer is as simple as that- making a request from God. Those who pray seek help from God, they do not seek to try and accomplish things on our own. The bible says it is not by power or might but by the Holy Spirit. Prayer is about deriving help from the Holy Spirit in all your ways.

When Jesus prayed, he received the Holy Spirit, and he was powerfully impacted to He had a successful ministry (Luke 3:21).

The man who prayed in the focus verse did not have an alternative but to do that, to ask for help to successfully accomplish his mission (Genesis 24).

He was going to a strange land to get a wife for Isaac his master’s son. That was uncharted territory, it was something he had not done before and he needed to prayer for success.

Ezra also prayed for success (Ezra 8:21-31). Making a journey to Jerusalem, through precarious landscape and he had with him precious metal for the temple which had been carted away to a foreign land many years with him. So he prayed and fasted for safe journey.

When Moses was leading the children of Israel from the land of Egypt to the Promised Land, he prayed that God should go with them, saying if you will not go with us, take us not from here (Exodus 33:15). He knew with the presence of God the millions of people he was with can move through the wilderness in peace.

This world is also a wilderness. And because of that Jesus taught us to pray: deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:9-13). Similarly, Paul asked for prayer that he will be delivered from wicked and unreasonable men (2Thessalonians 3:1-2).

When we pray it is a sign of humility that we need God and that qualifies us for grace. When Israel moves from place to place in the wilderness, Moses will declare: let God arise, and let his enemy be scattered, let those who hate him flee before you.

Prayer releases the power of God to aid us in our journey in life. It is a recognition of the supremacy of God. In the Garden of Eden, the devil was able to get Eve to reject the supremacy of God and seek supremacy herself (Genesis 3). That was the beginning of a fall, and you start to rise when you say Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10).

We would not trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean on our own understanding, and acknowledge him in all our ways when we are not do not see him as supreme, as worthy of our total trust (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If we do not recognise that we are empty without him, we would not seek to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that we who are evil know how to give good gifts to our children how much more would our heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Luke 11:13). But you cannot ask for what you do not think you need

When we ask for the Holy Spirit we express a recognition of the power of God, we express an openness to the workings of God, a need to experience the glory of God.

In prayer we are empowered to go to the next level. In prayer we seek an encounter with the light of God, with Jesus the light, with the Spirit of revelation, we seek enlightenment, as Paul prayed that the church in Ephesus be given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:15-18).

We are constantly moving into new places, into new situation, even new days and we constantly need God’s help. When Jesus was in the garden of gethsemane, he did not go there to express objection to the will of God as much as to seek help from God to do him will, because of the new experience of dying on the cross, seeking God’s help (Luke 22:42).

Remember he said to God: let your will and not my will be done. That has a parallel in the words of the prayer he taught his disciples, thus: let your (God) will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Success therefore can be defined by the will of God getting done. There is hardly a more powerful prayer than saying: help me to do your will Lord.

Prayer brings a change of fortune. The widow of a prophet was about to sell her two sons to pay for a debt owed by her husband. It was not a good thing. She needed respite and she met Elisha for a solution. That, at that time was like seeking God in prayer. And Elisha gave her a prophetic word, and from a pauper she became a major oil seller of some sort (2Kings 4:2-7).

What about Hannah (1Samuel 1)? Her prayer was for a child and she got it. Before the birth of the child she was an object of mockery, and she felt life has dealt her a poor set of cards. But with prayer her situation changed.

Jesus taught on the central role of prayer in our lives. He told his people: men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Jesus pushed the prayer mandate saying: we should pray in the secret and with that we receive a big reward from God in the open (Matthew 6:6).

Jesus modelled prayer. The bible says he prayed all night (Luke 6:12), he also prayed early in the morning (Mark 1:35), he prayed when he was baptised by John. Jesus offered up prayer and supplication, to the one who is able to save him from death (Hebrews 5:7).

He sought the help of the Lord and he received it in abundance. And his mission on earth was successful. With prayer, light is released on our path, we are given special insight into the word of God, and we get to gain God’s interpretation of situations so that we can take the right step.

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