The key word in the scripture reading today is transcendence. We see people in the world today are faced with many problems: financial, personal and in their families. Then, what are people doing to resolve those problems? Some turn to the New Age movement, Christian Science, Buddhism or other religions, but they cannot resolve these issues. They don’t believe in God but they pray and meditate and receive some kind of power. Examples of people who did this are Tina Turner, who recited Buddhist chants and Steve Jobs who meditated. If they are able to receive that much power, how much more power could we as Christians receive when we pray?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)
We are children of God, God is with us and our lives are in the hands of the living God who loves us and gave us his one and only Son. Therefore, do not be anxious but be thankful because we have a sure assurance.
People misunderstand that prayer is akin to begging to God. If you look closely at the prayers of Buddhists and Muslims, they ask for God to bless their children, their finances and for success. However, Christians prayers are no different and that needs to change.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)
Our prayers are different because we are already saved. Even though we didn’t ask for it, God came to us first and saved us. In the praise we sang it says: “How marvelous, how wonderful is my savior’s love for me”.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14)
What are we living for? We are living for God’s direction of world evangelization. Our prayer must be different from those of any other religion. Our prayers must transcend above our problems.
1. Answer to prayer will continue if we pray three times a day
The greatest prayer is asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit. When the disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore his kingdom after he resurrected, Jesus rebuked them saying that it’s not for them to know. Instead he says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. Jesus tells us that our concerns should be on praying to receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. Why? So we can stand as witnesses for Jesus Christ. When we receive the Holy Spirit, he will fill us with his wisdom and his peace, and guard our hearts.
“So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.”
What is the filling of the Holy Spirit? It’s not a mystical state of being nor some dramatic action. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled with assurance that God has called you to save the world. If we are not in prayer, filled with the Holy Spirit, our mind and our hearts have no choice but to be occupied with the things of the world insead.
We misunderstand that prayer is a way for us to show God how much we love him, and thus becomes a laborious chore. We know prayer is a blessing God gave us but why can’t we pray? Because it is a spiritual battle. Satan does all he can to prevent you from praying and worshipping God because he knows the power of the Holy Spirit that can be gained.
If we can pray with his covenant for even just a little bit, God’s spirit will work through us to change our fields. Let’s pray for even a little bit asking him for the filling of the Holy Spirit.
2. God’s plan will be fulfilled through our lives when we continuously pray
When we continuously pray, our lives are in the midst of God’s plan. We don’t pray to nag God till he answers us, but we pray because we know God will answer us. We hold onto his promises in our prayers: his promise that he saved us and that he is with us and will use us.
Let’s look at Ananias who saved Paul, who only makes an appearance in Acts 9. God used him to change the life of Apostle Paul. How can we be used by God like Ananias did? By Continuously praying to God, with his desire or saving souls..
3. Our field will change when we set up a time and continuously pray
Daniel heard the decree that everyone needed to bow before King Darius or they would be executed, but instead of praying in secrecy, he opened up his windows and prayed, just as he had done before. We transcend over our present problems with prayer because Jesus has resolved everything on the cross. Let’s make the primary purpose of our church to save those who are lost.
When we talk about evangelism, it’s not just about talking to people, but it begins with prayer, breaking down the forces of darkness and asking God to open up the doors, just like the Early Church did.
Ask yourself: Is my life in God’s word? God neither sleeps nor slumbers, but is always working on his plan of salvation. For my life to be in the midst of God’s word is the greatest blessing we can receive. Am I living my life or is my life in the midst of God’s working? He has given us a new identity, a new authority and prayer, for us to enjoy. Have I seen the field that God wants to save? The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. The field is not just in Africa or the Philippines but in your current workplace or school.