Continue to pray
Col.4:2, ‘Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;…’
Apostle Paul was a prayer warrior and he always commanded the church to pray earnestly. The words he used to describe the prayers and thus make it unique were ‘earnest’, ‘continue’ and ‘vigilant’. Any prayer less than these are not of much importance. Most of us pray. We pray as and when we fell the need for it. But here the apostle puts emphasis on continuous prayers, which does not depend on situations, feelings or even interest for it. We have been commanded to be connected to heaven through prayers on a continuous basis. This is not possible with physical strength. Jesus said, ‘ don not be weary in prayers’. Prayers indeed need a lot of spiritual strength. And without the power of His Spirit, we cannot be in a attitude of prayer always.
1 Samuel 1:12, ‘And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth.’ Hannah, the wife of Elkanah was barren and was often mocked by Peninnah. She accompanied her husband and family members every year to go to the temple at Shiloh . She went with the intention of worshipping and praying to the Lord. But her rival, Peninnah often mocked her for her barrenness so much so that Hannah would end up her trip in depression, tears and hunger (1 Sam.1:6-7). This happened year after year till one day Elkanah, her husband expressed his unconditional love for her. This made Hannah rise up and enter into the temple to pour out her heart before the Lord. Elkanah’s unconditional love for Hannah represents the love of Christ for each of us. Unless we focus on this love, we cannot rise up to pray earnestly before the Lord. Hannah took a decision to be connected to heaven by over-ruling and ignoring the mocking words, her circumstances etc. To be in an attitude of continuous prayers is a firm decision, focused on the love of Christ, which alone can resist all the words, feelings and situations coming against it.
Hannah offered her prayers (V 11) and she continued to pray(V 12). Hannah had decided to pray till her prayers would get an answer. Though Eli spoke words of misunderstanding, the prayerful attitude of Hannah did not cease. She expressed her heart’s condition with great humbleness and respect. Continuous prayers transforms the heart of the praying person. Earlier, Hannah would to be a victim of mocking words by ending up days in depression, tears and hunger . But after she started praying on a continuous basis, she found herself responding to mockery with humble words.
Had Hannah not continued in prayers, Eli might have not watched her. Her continuing prayers attracted the attention of the priest, who in turn interceded for her and was answered by heaven. Had Hannah not continued in prayers, Israel would have missed the great prophet, Samuel, who became the voice of God guiding and strengthening them. Getting weary and thus ceasing the prayers is a great spiritual downfall. It’s a sin in God’s sight. Our weariness in prayers is stopping the birth and sanctification of prophets, evangelists, preachers and missionary workers who are needed much for building up of His Kingdom.
1 Kings 18:41-43, ‘Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, 43 and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” The prayerful man of God, Elijah heard the sound of rain after three years of famine. He then prayed till his servant saw a small cloud like a man’s hand. He asked his servant to go and look up at the sky seven times. The number ‘7’ represents completeness more than referring to exact number of ‘7’ times. It refers to praying and seeking the answer till its manifested. Had Elijah stopped praying after 2 or even 6 times of reporting from his servant about ‘there is nothing’ , the rains might not have been manifested . Continuous prayers builds up faith into perfectness . Elijah had already heard the sound of abundance of rain before he began to pray. Our prayers are already answered in the heavenly realm but needs perfect faith which is built up by continuous vigilant prayers for their complete manifestation. The body of Christ is facing famine these days. There is famine of true word of God . The believers who are the sheep, are weak and weary because of this great famine. As a result, many are falling out of grace, many are backsliding, many are wounded and yet many are misled. The Lord is calling us to cry out on a continuous basis for spiritual rain, the abundance rain of His presence and His anointment, till we see the souls being satisfied with bread of life and till they become like a watered garden and springs of water, whose waters do not fail (Is.58:11).
Mt.28:38-44 speaks about our Lord who prayed again and again the same words for three times. V 44, ‘So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.’ Lk.22:43 says that an angel came from heaven and strengthened Christ. Jesus, who being God and man the same time, bore the pain of cross in flesh . His flesh was weak to go through the much painful crucifixion, but He did not run away from the will of His Father in heaven. Instead He sought strength through continuous prayers to go through the process. Had He stopped praying after the 2nd time, He might not have got the strength to go through the punishment of sins of the entire mankind and we all would have been condemned. The way to salvation is narrow path where we need to carry our own cross to follow our Lord. This is possible only through continuous prayers, earnest prayers and vigilant prayers. We are not called to run away from the hurdles placed on our track of faith life. Instead, our response to them determines our destination.
Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 14:15, ‘What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding…’ As a result, this man of God could pray continuously, earnestly and with vigilance. His prayers sanctified many lives to be God’s faithful servants. His prayers caused spiritual rain in areas he stepped with gospel, which caused churches to spring up across nations. Moreover, his unceasing prayers strengthened him to finish the race of faith with the great hope of receiving the crown of life kept for him. Lets take time to examine our prayer life. What do we expect from our prayers ? Prayers for the worldly blessings end up soon after we receive them but prayers for spiritual blessings never cease for they are inspired by heaven. Unceasing prayers represent unceasing communication with our Lord. Such prayers don’t ask much but instead enables us to give more of ourselves to be under His Lordship. They are the only channels to experience heaven on the earth. Lets build up our prayer life on the basis of scriptures and thus be blessed and be a blessing to many.
God bless us all
The mark of the Lord !
Ez.9:3-4, ‘Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the [d]temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a […]
Genesis 47:1-4 New International Version (NIV) 47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?” “Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”
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Message from The Word – Joseph’s Journey – Series – Part 1 – Joseph & Jesus – The Past Reveals the Future – Pastor Blessen Cherian – 29th May 2020
There are times when life is overwhelming, when all we have is questions. In those moments, hope can feel far away. The great thing about prayer is that it shifts our perspective toward the One who stands ready to listen. No matter what you’re facing, we’d love to pray with you!