Simply defined, prayer is communion with God; it’s a dialogue not a monologue. It is addressing matters in the realms of the spirit so that they can be made manifest in the realms of the natural.
It doesn’t have to be a structured program. It certainly shouldn’t be something you merely do to fulfill the requirements of salvation you have in your mind. The beauty of an omnipresent God is that you can talk to the Holy Spirit wherever you are regardless of who you’re with or what you’re doing. He’s an ever present Helper.
Communication serves as a make or break factor in any relationship and it’s no different with God.
There are believers who hardly pray at all, which is an oxymoron for me. If two people were said to be in a relationship but they rarely spoke to each other or even met with one another, wouldn’t you have your doubts about that relationship?
There are believers who pray amiss consistently. Praying amiss could mean they’re talking at God leaving no room for Him to speak (monologue). It could mean doing so because it’s part of your Christian checklist not because you understand the importance of fellowship with the Lord. It’s recognizing a form of godliness while simultaneously denying its power room to work in your life.
There are believers who pray accurately inconsistently. They know how to pray and connect with God but lack discipline in their consistency. Their prayer life is all over the place and is mostly activated when they are dealing with issues and problems that they want God to intervene in. They’re similar to the kind of person who only reaches out when they need something from you. Now if we abhor that as human beings, why would God be happy about it?
There are believers who pray accurately consistently. Unfortunately, they are spiritual unicorns that we sorely need more of as Body. When people have been in the presence of God, it shows. It shows. There is the fruit of the Spirit abundantly coming forth in their lives. Kindness, goodness, gentleness, patience, self-control, love, faithfulness, joy and peace. If these things are not evident in a person who claims to be prayerful, something is amiss.
You cannot be in the presence of God and remain the same. That which needs adjustment in your mind, heart, will and spirit will be realigned. That which is good will be made better. The work has God begun in us He continues on diligently when we steadfastly dwell in His presence.
“You need a daily infilling of the Holy Spirit.”
– Bishop John Gobanga
It is in the place of prayer that we get wisdom and direction from God on how to handle matters. We get encouragement and strength to continue on. We quiet ourselves from the chaos of the world. We get to hang out with a Father, Saviour and Friend and get to know Him and ourselves better.
Prayer gets a bad rep particularly when it’s not backed by action. Rightly so (unless the express instruction from God in prayer was to take no action).
The Bible is full of examples of men and women who served God in workplaces that were initially anything but favourable to them and their faith. The likes of Joseph in Pharaoh’s palace, Esther in Xerxes’ courts and Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s throne room. Yet because of the relationships they had with God, they were able to serve faithfully and fruitfully.
Key words here – faithful and fruitful.
Prayer yields faithfulness. Joseph, Esther and Daniel were not serving God-fearing leaders yet that didn’t stop them from giving it their all. They didn’t dishonour the kings or consider themselves better than they were. They were working as unto God not men.
Prayer yields fruitfulness. Joseph, Esther and Daniel were spiritually relevant in their day. But they also made significant contributions in the nations they were serving. You cannot claim to be a prayerful believer yet your work is marked by inconsistency and laziness. The testimony of God’s presence in your life isn’t just in the words that come out of your mouth but in the life you lead. How you handle the responsibilities given to you in the workplace says more about what kind of believer you really are and what kind of God you serve than any preaching you do verbally.
The example set for us time and again Biblically is clear – the work of God’s hands is excellent. If indeed you are serving in the name of God, then there is a level of excellence that should crown everything you do.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
– Psalm 127:1 ESV
As believers in the marketplace, prayer is not an option. If we are to manifest the glory of God across the earth, we must be fully connected to Him at all times.
We need to pray for ourselves – that the Lord would enable us to fulfill the assignments He has given us for our workplaces. Spiritual assignments must be sustained and accomplished in the spirit not in our own strength.
We need to pray for our workmates – why has God positioned you in their lives in the manner that He has? What is it that He would want you to decree over them and their families? Changing the world starts with the person right next to you.
We need to pray for our leaders – everything rises and falls on the leadership; whether they are believers or not, our leaders need to be committed to God that they would govern with wisdom and love. We cannot be a people who lament about our bosses more than we pray for them for that is folly.
We need to pray for our workplaces – physical environments have a spiritual parallel; the physical just manifests what is already going on in the spiritual. So if we only address what we can see physically without prayerfully taking charge in the realms of the spirit, it’s a zero sum game.
Pray like your life depends on it. Because it does.