Prayer is the key to heaven and it opens the door directly into the presence of our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us consider some of the aspects of Jesus’ life journey. He came as a babe in a manger, but just being born as a baby was not His focus for this world. He came to pay the ultimate price by giving Himself as a lamb, a sacrifice so that we might have lif€ eternal. He grew to boyhood learning the carpenter trade in Joseph’s carpenter shop and astounded the priests in the Temple in Jerusalem at age twelve, Then, at the age of thirty-three, He began His earthly ministry calling the twelve apostles, teaching and training them to carry this precious truth to the world after His mission on earth was finished. Jesus not only taught by what He spoke, but also by what He lived and practiced as an example before them.
Jesus gave us the perfect example for our lives in every way in St. Luke 11:1 (“And it came to pass, that as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples to pray) when His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray. He impressed the disciples so much with His prayer that they wanted to pray like He prayed. He must have touched by their desire because He took time to teach them some very precious and important principles about prayer. In verses 1-13 of St. Luke, the eleventh chapter, this is what He taught them:
1. The first thing Jesus told them was the respect that must be in their hearts for God, His precious name, and His kingdom when we approach the throne of grace. His is the only one true God; His name is above every name and must be treated as such. Also, that His will must take precedence above our will. Performing His will in our daily lives here on this earth is as important as what the angels do in Heaven.
2. The second thing He taught them was the necessity of our daily devotions by bringing the fresh bread of Heaven into our lives. Our walk with Jesus is a daily walk that must be guided each and every day by the Word of God, prayer, and His will for each and every one of us. Our daily Christian walk will be determined by our talks with the Master.
3. He taught them how to pray and deal with the sin problem in their lives, by confessing their sins and asking His forgiveness. He taught them to obtain forgiveness for their sin debt they must be willing to express their forgiveness to those that had hurt them and were in debt to them. He stressed the importance of being guided through this life to where their own lives would not be influenced by the temptation of sin and evil.
4. He taught them to be consistent in their prayers and assured them that God would certainly answer them with the best that heaven had
to offer. He compared God’s love to that of an earthly father who loves his children and wants what is best for them. In like manner,
so does our Heavenly Father love us, only much, much more by giving to us His Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ earthly ministry came to a close when He was crucified, His body was taken from the cross, and prepared for burial. He was buried in the borrowed tomb of Joseph of Arirnathea. The Roman rulers and priests in Jerusalem thought this was the end of the Messiah. The church knew it was only the beginning, and on the third day He arose from the dead. He walked on the earth in His resurrected body, was seen by many, and made His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:10-11).
The instructions to His followers were to go to an upper room and wait for the Comforter that Jesus had promised to send. And that is exactly what they did in Acts 1:14. The 120 who were in the upper room made continuous prayer until the promise of the Spirit of God began to fall upon those that were gathered there. The second chapter of the book of Acts became a reality because the disciples remembered and obeyed the teaching and example that Jesus left them.
The ministry of the church to evangelize the world began, but not without opposition. The Apostles were beaten for filling Jerusalem with the teaching and preaching of the name of Jesus, but they prayed and shook the place where they were praying and God confirmed His word through them with great miracles and healings. It was said of the early church that they had this understanding: when they were not in trouble, they prayed, and when they were not in trouble, they prayed. They realized that whatever was facing them, they must pray. Peter was cast into prison by Herod, chained and guarded by two soldiers on each side of him, but the Bible says in Acts 12:5, But prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him”. Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison, but prayer and praise brought an earthquake that shook the jail and set them free. They kept their focus and practiced what Jesus taught them so much so that it was said of them in Acts 17:6, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also”.
The Apostles gave their lives for this gospel, but Satan could not stop the church of the living God. Persecuted, driven from their homes, and giving their lives, sa4nts continued to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:42, it says, “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”.
Today, the church faces new challenges, but we are neither helpless nor hopeless. Our Pastors. Evangelists, Missionaries, Teachers, and people from all walks of life continue to pray in the name of Jesus and the miraculous continues to happen.
Sister Tenneys burden for the World Network of Prayer is effectively being used today by the fellowship of the United Pentecostal Church to unite us in prayer for the desperate needs of our brethren and their precious families who are under the attack of Satan and hell itself.
Jesus gave us the key of prayer by His example. He taught His disciples how to pray effectively. The early church continued in prayer and passed the example that Jesus left them to the generations of men and women who have followed them. Today, the church continues using the key of prayer to unlock the windows of heaven. God can use you to change your world and bring revival in these last days. Prayer is the most powerful tool to change YOUR WORLD. Pray, believe, and let Jesus use YOU to see more souls brought into the Kingdom.
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