Friday, May 14, 2010

How To Pray (Part 2.1)

By Odon Bulamba

Prayer has different stages. First we lift up God’s name and speak of His Holiness, say that He is a powerful God, pray for what He has done for you, say to God, “You are so great because you’ve done this and that”. He is a God who loves praises and will reach out to us when He hears this. Remember when Paul was in jail, remember Peter when he was arrested, only praises helped them be delivered. Our God is a God of praising prayers.

Secondly thank Him for everything He has done for you. He provides for you, He gives you good health, food etc. Also don’t forget that when a Christian prays he/she prays for the good and bad things for God says to praise Him in all circumstances. If you are sick say thank you to God, if you have good health say thank you God because it’s His will for our lives. So praise God for everything He did for you and all He is.

We are gathered together to talk about prayer and look at the stages that will help us get closer to Him. Jesus always had His disciples with Him but they did not know who He was. The disciples didn’t know how to pray but Jesus said in Matthew 6:9 pray then in this way. We all know this prayer. Our Father who art in heaven.

The first thing Jesus gave us was to lift up God’s name and sanctify His name because our God loves glory, so we have to praise Him before anything else. If you are a sinner or are in a sinful state and feel something inside of you is not right but you make the step to praise Him do so, for He is merciful and He will listen to you.

The second step will be for you to ask Him to forgive you. “His kingdom come” means that when two or three are gathered together God is with you. How do we know if God is here? If you want to know that God is here you have to sanctify yourself and forgive each other.

Mark 11:25 “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that Your Father who is in heaven will also forgive your transgressions.”

Does it mean that you’ll go to God and ask for forgiveness? No, you have to forgive others. Jesus tells us to forgive each other. If Michael did something against me, I won’t wait for him to ask for forgiveness, but according to the Bible I have to forgive him before he comes to me. If I wait for him to come to me you can be sure your sins won’t be forgiven and all your prayers will be wasted.

Prayer from a sinner is like prayer from a rubbish bin. Jesus says that if someone strikes you on one cheek give him the other also, you have to be flexible to forgive and accept the situation the way it is. Amen.

In the same prayer Jesus said, “Your will be done on heaven as it is on earth”. It’s not my will or your will be done but God’s will. So what is God’s will? God’s will is the Word of God. If you want God’s will to be done in your life, you have to see it in God’s Word. Think that God is in front of you when you read the Bible. For example Nathaniel goes to his mum and says, “Mum, I have to go to camp now it is 6pm, you promised me mum so you have to do it”. Can the mother go back on her promises? I think not, if so she has to explain herself.

It’s the same with our God, when we pray we have to tell God, “God it is written, Your Word says this and that, now look at us because we are in a situation and we need your help”. That’s exactly what God wants us to do and this is how God can answer our prayers. If you do not use the Word of God the devil can twist our prayers.

Daniel spent 21 days in prayer and fasting. Because his prayers were not framed on God’s Word, his prayers were not answered, but when he remembered that God had answered his prayers before his prayers were answered. This is how we pray, according to John 17:17, sanctify them by the truth, Your Word is truth. God’s way is the truth, He never lies. Remind God of His Word.

Jesus said in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the truth, this truth we pray is Jesus Himself and Jesus must confirm it because He promised that if we have faith we can do greater things than He, this is true but the condition is to have faith.

In the same prayer God keeps talking to us, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What does this mean? In the spiritual world we have strength, we can change things in the physical world because we have this authority.

Matthew 18:18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bound on earth you shall bound in heaven, and whatever you shall lose on earth shall be lose in heaven.”

What power have we got? The devil does not have this power for we have more strength than the devil, however we don’t want to acknowledge the authority God has given to us. Do you know why? It is because we don’t know God’s Word, it’s a lack of knowledge and this is how we perish. When we lack knowledge, we lack faith and the devil plays with us. When he looks into us he can see a spiritual emptiness and attacks us. So you have to read God’s Word, meditate on it and put it into practice. The angels in heaven will serve you as God says, “We are sons of God”.

When we eat something we have to look at the work in front of us and say I am God’s son. If I am God’s son and I pray to the King of Kings, it means that we are princes and we can only play with people in this kingdom. Everybody knows that one day a prince becomes a king, so Satan must fear us. He will fear us when we discover the treasure we have in us and when he sees that we have a deep fellowship and unity with our God. If we forget about God the devil will play with us.

With this Jesus says, “ Give us our daily bread”. What does daily bread mean? Do you pray for your daily bread or not? Of course we eat and drink but our spirit needs to be fed. Jesus said that, “He is the bread of life.”

How many times do you eat Jesus? Jesus said that He is the truth. We know that the truth is God’s Word. Jesus said, “I am the bread”. Ask God to give you your daily bread. Many people only see the physical side or material things like food in shops, but when it is spiritual food they are not serious. You’ll find people will say that I am saved and soon I will go to heaven, but who told you that you would go to heaven? Your spiritual health also needs to be considered.

I remember a mother who visited sick people in a hospital and children were suffering. The mum picked up a baby which was in good health, then three beds down she picked up a baby with malnutrition, the mum couldn’t even touch this child because she could only see bones and skin and was afraid to touch it. Sometimes we are like this spiritually, God doesn’t want to touch us because we look ugly. We have to ask God for our daily bread so that we can keep breathing spiritually.

When we prepare bread we mix it with yeast, what is yeast? Yeast is mixed with flour to help it rise. Sometimes the Word of God is mixed with hypocrisy. Some Christians are puffed up, they say that they know God’s Word and eat daily bread, but if you look in depth you will see there is yeast in it. Remember what Judas did do Jesus? Judas and Jesus were together all the time but just at the end Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. We all know a kiss is a sign of love except this kiss was poison.

Christians today ask God for bread that has yeast in it so everybody can praise them. You can lose your faith doing this. Because God forgives you, forgive those who have offended you. It doesn’t matter if your father was killed or money was stolen from you, sin has no size. If you throw a stone in the water it will sink no matter how big it is. For God all sin is heavy. If you were a stumbling block for someone you have to confess. If you are ashamed on this earth Jesus will be ashamed in front of you. The Bible says that before giving an offering go to the one you have offended and make peace.

Sometimes we sin without knowing it. You can do things that hurt others without knowing it so we have to think before we speak because it is better to produce something good.

After this we say to God, “don’t lead us into temptation but deliver us from all evil.” Ask God to help you overcome temptation. Satan cannot tempt the one who believes because he already knows that this one belongs to God. Whoever calls himself a Christian can expect a spiritual battle, a spiritual battle according to Ephesus 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers of darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. We must be ready every time and know where to be fed.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

The Bible says we have to be sober because these are the last days. Let nobody deceive you because this is a terrible time for God, even Satan will stand in the temple of God. The Bible says that in the last days Satan will come into the church and stand to preach to God’s people. If you don’t walk according to God’s will or if you haven’t asked God for His will in your life, for His glory, do you think you can make it? Do you think you can recognise that Satan is preaching? You’ll find that a few people will lose their souls because they don’t have discernment. We have to give ourselves to God and ask ourselves, “what I am doing, does it please God? If you have hurt Michelle go and ask Michelle to forgive you.

So first praise God and then ask for forgiveness, if you’ve done something against someone don’t ask God to forgive you. God will say, “You haven’t done anything wrong to Me but Michelle, so go and see her then come back to Me”. This is how God works.

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