“..the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” - James 5:16 (NIV)
In his travels here on earth there was once a case that was brought to Jesus. It was about a boy who was crippled with a dark and malevolent spirit that left him paralyzed. Jesus asked the boy’s father, how long he had been like that.
“From childhood” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us!” (Mark 9:21-22).
Jesus wondered if the boy’s father had belief. “If you can,” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes” (vv 23). The boy’s father asked Jesus to help him overcome his lack of belief.
Soon after Jesus rebuked the spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said. “I command you come out of him and never enter him again” (vv 25). After the spirit had left the boy and he was well, the disciples asked Jesus why they could not have casted it out too.
“He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer” (vv 29).
In this passage we come across three important lessons. First, we realize this boy had been tortured by a dark spirit since childhood. There are cases when a matter brought on by the evil one, Satan, can trouble or oppress us for years. Secondly, is belief. Jesus pressed on to the father of the boy if he believed he could heal him. “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” pleaded the father.
And then there is prayer. This dark spirit that had oppressed the boy for years could only be overcome by prayer. As he drew to the disciples’ attention, Jesus is here telling us that we have keys that can give us a break through. Those keys are prayer.
Today, whatever it is, a condition that has persisted for years, and seems of such nature that all attempts to score success are futile, of course you should not give up to the enemy’s delight! Have belief that Jesus can deliver you. And start with prayer.
Prayer for today: Lord Father in heaven, today I pray in the powerful name of Jesus, that you bring me victory in that situation where I have done everything and now only you can bring success!
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!