Open Heavens Devotional by Pastor E.A. Adeboye
MEMORIZE: “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” (James 5:17).
READ: James 5:17-18
God expects a lot from His servants and true representatives. Leadership transcends title or honour; it is a matter of exemplary service in all areas of life. Apostle Paul was a good role model for Timothy hence, he instructed him to reciprocate such exemplary lifestyle in all activities (1 Tim 4:12-13). One veritable area that the Christian leader should not joke with is his or her prayer life. The prayer life of an ecclesiastical leader must be worthy of emulation by members of his or her congregation. A prayer-less pulpit is not only powerless but also useless. The progress the Early Church recorded in their day was because of the level of prayers they invested into it. Ministry, or any spiritual assignment, cannot move forward without the oil of prayer. How prayerful are you? To what extent do you pray for your family, Church members, leaders or ministry? Or have you stopped praying, hoping that you are totally covered by past prayer efforts?
If prayers were evaluated, you would discover that not everyone who prays receives result. A leader who prays like just any other member may have very little to show for his or her efforts. God calls us to earnest prayers like that of our Lord Jesus Christ. To get results, leaders must arise and pray earnestly, forcefully, purposefully and productively. At the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord gave us an example of earnest prayers, although He had followed that pattern all through His lifetime. Earnest prayer involves the spirit, soul and body. It enables you to bear serious burdens and present them to God through intensive intercession. You will know when you are engaged in this kind of prayer because it will take something from you. Your body must pay a price whenever you engage in this kind of prayer. At Gethsemane, the Lord’s body emitted sweat as thick as blood while engaged in this kind of prayer.
In other words, Jesus had started shedding His blood while engaging in earnest prayer before He went to the Cross. Jacob lost a leg while wrestling with God during such a prayer. Elijah also had to pay a price during such fervent prayers. It is a type of prayer that when you are through, you will need to pray to God to be able to recover what you have lost. Earnest prayer reaches Heaven at the fastest speed. How often do you do this?
Believers are not just called to pray but to pray in a way that Heaven cannot turn down their requests. How do you pray? Lead a soul to Christ today!
Bible in One year: Gen 3-5