Prayer alone is not enough


Prayer alone is not enough (First part)


Verse of the day: Hebrews 13: 16 "But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased"

In this teaching, I compare prayer to food and if food needs salt before being eaten, prayer also needs to be pleasing to God. The salt of prayer is everything we often forget while God needs them in our prayers. We will discover through the scriptures that if many prayers are not answered, the fault is not of God but of our own camp because they lack salt.


We will discover how prayer alone is not necessarily the solution to our problems. Sometimes we fervently pray and fast, but instead of having the solution to our problems, the situation is only getting worse. I'm going to talk about the obstacles that we ignore or neglect but often block most of our prayers.
The verse of the day (Hebrews 13: 16) begins with "remember" because in the previous verse (Heb 13: 15), the author urged the Hebrews to offer continually to God a sacrifice of praise (in prayer) but in the verse of the day he insists not to forget to do good and to share as it is with such sacrifices God is well pleased. If he says that God is pleased with such sacrifices, it means that the sacrifices without charity and liberality do not please Him. If we replace the word "sacrifice" by "prayer", one can say that prayers without sharing do not please God and if they do not please Him, it is clear that the answer is not always obvious.


Jesus was the perfect example to follow in all areas. Although he was the son of God and that he had never sinned, he spent most of his time in prayer to commune with his Father and draw more spiritual strength. I just wanted to clarify that his prayers were not only answered because of his righteousness but also because of his good deeds for the bible says that he went about doing good (Acts 10: 38). Prayer is fundamental to approach God but it’s by doing good that we attract God’s attention. It is charity that makes the prayer effective.

In the second part we will see how prayer alone may fail to solve our financial problems.


Chris Ndikumana

Prayer alone is not enough (Part II)

Verse of the Day: Luke 6: 38 " Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For WITH THE SAME MEASURE that you use, it will be measured back to you

Walking towards heaven is sometimes long and arduous. In the middle of the road, Christians encounter many hardships from the devil. Financial need is the favorite trial of the devil against Christians and many end up losing faith and give up. Without exaggeration, I believe that over 80% of Christians’ prayer requests are mainly related to material and financial needs. In other words, we pray in order to find the solution to our problems which is a natural reflex for God is supposed to be the solution to all our problems.
By the verse of the day (Luke 6: 38), Jesus shows that prayer is not sufficient in order to receive. This is the same Jesus who said, "Ask and you shall receive" (Matthew 7: 7) and this time he added by saying: "Give and it shall be given you" (Luke 6: 38). These two verses have a common denominator: To receive.

To ASK is the first condition and the second is to GIVE and both are fundamental in order to receive. Unfortunately most of the prayers are practically based on the first condition i.e to ASK.
The verse of the day goes little further because it is not just about giving and receiving. It is said that what is received (from God) after giving will be a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. Many are often excited by reading the part "overflowing" but the verse of the day clears any kind of illusions towards the end because it says: " the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you ". Everything depends on the measure that is used i.e to the measure given for the Lord. You noticed that I wrote in capital letters the part: "WITH THE SAME MEASURE" which means that the magnitude of what we receive will not depend on the number of days spent in fasting and prayer but on the measure we use in giving to the Lord. This confirms the letter that Paul wrote to the Corinthians when he said: " Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows abundantly will also reap abundantly " (2 Corinthians 9: 6)
Again, it is not by praying long and fervent prayers that we harvests abundantly because prayer allows us to reap what we sow.

We will talk about this in the third part with a biblical example.

Chris Ndikumana

Prayer alone is not enough (Part III)


Verse of the day: Acts 10: 2 "a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always"


In the second part, we finished by saying that prayer allows us to reap what we sow. The principle we read in 2 Corinthians 9: 6 was clear: "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully". The seed is the needed salt for food (prayer) to be good but as we progress in the teaching we discover other kinds of salt.

The verse of the day talks about a man described as a devout and God-fearing man. He is Cornelius, an officer (centurion), which as described in the verse of the day continuously prayed to God, he and his entire household. In addition to continual prayer (food), he was very generous (salt).


After a period of seed and prayers, God decided to send his angel, and this is what he said: "Your prayers and alms have ascended before God, and he remembered it" (Acts 10: 4)
I hope you have noticed that the angel did not speak only of his prayers but he said: Your prayers and alms (giving)”.

When we pray regularly, our prayers ascend before God and sometimes He does not respond immediately in a visible way (physically) but one must keep in mind that every time we humble ourselves before Him in prayer, our spirt is in connection with the Spirit of God and something must necessarily occur in the spiritual world even though we often do not see it right away. The prayers of the saints are considered as a sacrifice to God as an incense or perfume (Revelation 5: 8) but these are the alms and charity that make it pleasant fragrance to God. Many congregations teach Christians to be "very spiritual" by requiring an external sanctification which apparently often pleases those who look at them but they do not teach the principles of deliverance both spiritual and material.

Your generosity will make your prayers powerful and many doors will be opened.

 

In the fourth part we will talk about submission as "salt"

Chris Ndikumana

 

Prayer alone is not enough (Part 4)


Verse of the day: Ephesians 5:24 “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything


This morning we will mainly talk about unanswered prayers because of the lack of submission in married couples. A wife can pray for a long time in vain for the conversion of her husband without realizing that she is the source of the problem.

The verse of the day tells us that a wife should submit to her husband just as the church submits to Christ. Submission of the Church of Christ allows it to receive blessings from God the Father. The Church cannot ask God the Father to bless it if it’s not submitted to the established authority i.e Christ. Likewise, if a wife does not obey her husband, she should expect an obstacle for certain blessings (from God) that were supposed to reach her through her husband. If you are a wife and you spend forty days in fasting for the conversion of your husband but yet you don’t respect him, I’m afraid that you may wait for a long time because your prayers lack salt (submission).

The letter is not only addressed to wives because in the same chapter husbands are also mentioned (Ephesians 5:25): The verse says that the husband must love his wife just as Christ loved the Church. The same verse insists that the husband shouldn’t just love his wife but he should be ready to give himself up for her.


If you are a man and you don’t do any sacrifice for your wife, you spend days in fasting and in prayer in order to ask God to bow her so that she could be submissive, you may wait for a long time simply because you miss salt (love in action).

The bible says that your behavior toward your wife can block some prayers. In 1 Peter 3:7 it is written: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered”


Writing to the wives who have unbelievers husbands, Peter advises them to be submissive because some can win their husbands just because of their behavior without preaching them (1 Peter 3:1). Here the point is not about knowing who is bigger than the other but it’s all about respecting the order established by God Himself. If God asks to the wives to be submissive, it’s also for their good because their submission is supposed to produce their husband’s love.


In the fifth part, we will talk about work as a kind of salt.


Chris Ndikumana

Prayer alone is not enough (Part 5)


Verse of the day: 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat


In writing to Corinthians, Paul insisted by telling them that they should not be idle. He said: “ For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:7)

Unfortunately many children of God are idle. By “idle”, Paul meant Christians who preferred to waste their time instead of working (2 Thessalonians 3:11).

So far, you can tell me that Paul was right because everybody is supposed to work. The idleness I’m going to talk today is about Christians who want to prosper by faith without making any effort.


Paul served the Lord full time but he sometimes worked to live. While writing to Thessalonians, he says: “nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:8). I hope you understood that Paul was not talking about the work (spiritual) of God but he struggled in order to survive. The nature of his job is found in the book of Acts where it’s said that he was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3). The word of God is always against laziness (Prov 6:9-10) and according to the verse of the day, the one who is unwilling to work should not eat.

Let me say something for those who are in God’s work as fulltime ministers: They are called to give their entire time to the work of God and it’s the same God that will take care of their lives if at least He is the one who called them because working for God in fulltime is a special calling and not an adventure to survive.


Today, some Christians make a lot of efforts to finish their studies but once they have their degrees, they get lazy in waiting for a miraculous solution to get a job based on their faith and prayers.

Nevertheless, their prayers need some salt in order to be efficient i.e they must search and read announcements in fighting with their faith in prayer. It’s true that God often creates many opportunities but He creates them with those who move and not those who stagnate.

What is important is not waiting but it’s the attitude we wait with.


We will finish this teaching in the sixth part by talking about reconciliation as salt.

 

Chris Ndikumana



               
         
               

 

 

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