Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful
In the first article, I wrote on definitions on prayer, when prayer starts and some of the components of prayer. While in the second article I finished my brief exegesis on components of prayer.
However, in this article as I continue with the topic prayer, which indubitably is being practiced by all globally though unknowingly to some, I shall be talking on those who should pray.
4. Those Who Should Pray
As this article is centered on believers in Jesus Christ’s type of prayer, I will want us to see some things from the biblical context of those who are required to pray to their heavenly father, who is God through Jesus Christ his son.
(a) Those Who Have Forsaken Their Sins
The first requirement for coming to God through Jesus Christ is that a person confesses and forsakes his or her sins. It is for the redemption of mankind that Jesus comes into the world, he essentially did not come for religious purposes although, after his demise, another religion eventually sprout up as the apostles put it, and it is Christian religion, but it is suffice for all to know that it was not for that, I mean establishing religion that Jesus comes into the world.
He came to give mankind a new heart and a new spirit to deliver (save) us from our sins.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Mat 1:21 cf Isa 45:21-22; Eze 36:25-29)
What essentially stemmed out that the apostles call religion happened because the people of the then world saw that what they were doing which they were being lay down for all to follow cannot but be classed under religion and that was why it was called religion.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (Jas 1:26-27)
However, we shall notice that the emphasis according to the gospels documentation and other prophets accounts, has been he will save his people from their sins.
It is those people who have forsaken their sins and have cleaved to the Lord Jesus Christ that are being called to direct their prayers unto Jesus Christ.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
“Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” (2 Chro. 7:14-15)
Now if you have confess and forsake your sins, and have been clothed with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, then be it assuredly known to you that you have been called to prayer, to talking to your heavenly father, who sees all things and can do all things.
(b) Those Who Have Humbled Themselves
In the quoted verse we shall see that king Solomon says, that those who would pray are those who are humble, those who would come with humility of heart to the Lord.
““If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chro. 7:14)
Hebrew word used for humble here is “כּנע”, Romanized form is kâna‛ (pronounced as kaw-nah') which means to bend the knee, bring low. Those expected to pray and whom their prayers would be heard and answered by God are those who would bring themselves low under the power of the almighty God. This author of the book of Psalms 9:12b says, “…he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.”
Parents and masters know that the children (and or servants) who are proud would not want to come to them to talk to them about his plight and his position, but when such a servant can see himself in his despicable position that he needs the assistance of this father he would go to the father to talk to him.
Take the case of the younger (or prodigal) son in the book of Luke 15 as example, when he was still full of himself he cannot go to his father but when he sees that he is wasting away, he humbles himself and went to his father and he4 was accepted by the father.
“And when he came to himself, he said, how many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
“And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” (Luk 15:17-19)
Look critically at the word that he said in verse 19, that “and am no more worthy to be called thy son”, this shows that he has removed pride from his heart and has humbled himself, desirous for the worst before his father, but the worst which he expects was not meted out to him because he is his son.
In the same vein is God seeking for those of us who would humble ourselves before him so that we shall be crowned with his righteousness so that our prayers would be without hindrances.
(c) Those Who Are Saved
The apostles who have known the importance of prayer, and from their intimate relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ when on earth cannot but emphasized this to all believers who have come to God through Jesus Christ that what is expected of them is to continue to watch unto prayers.
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5:17)
“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” (1 Pet 4:7)
Greek word for watch here is “νήφω”, Romanized form is nēphō, (pronounced as nay'-fo) which means to abstain from wine, to be sober, being discreet. Now, instead of the saints given themselves unto prayer, they are being called by the apostle to rather be clearheaded to be able to discuss what is troubling them with their Lord.
Some do say, when they are in depression or passing through some terrible times, what they used to do is go and take strong alcohol drink. In fact, in my land, some musicians have used such words to sing, that drink so as to remove the depression from you. But that is a misnomer, it is a mistake, because drinking does not remove depression neither burdens from anyone, what removes such things from our hears is sincere heart to heart talk with our father, and thus believers have been called to that, that we should not be like unbelievers who are in the oblivion about what they are doing in the world but we should always be ready to talk to him for he is ready to hear our voice as his children.
(d) The Righteous
Those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ have been clothed with the righteousness of Christ Jesus before god, God no longer sees us again, but he is seeing the righteousness of his son in our lives.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Co 5:21)
Having known this, we should know that we have been called to pray unto our father with boldness, for he is seeing Jesus in our lives and not seeing us again.
It is when the devil makes us to remember our pasts, makes us to think we are unworthy of God that is when we neglect and ignore this that God has called us to, which is prayer as children to his father.
“The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.” (Pro. 15:29)
(e) Those Who Are Holy
The holy ones before the Lord are those whom the Lord does not impute iniquity unto them again.
“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Psa 32:2)
We attain this status by the blood of Jesus Christ, not by our works neither our good deeds. (Ps. 15; 24) Holiness is the nature and abode of God, he thence requires us all, those who shall come to him in prayers to come with pure minds and clean hands.
In the next article, I shall be talking on some of the reasons why we should pray.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN