Pastor Austen Ukachi
Passages: Acts 13:1-3;
“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.”
We pray that this year, God will transform our worship, on an individual level, and on a corporate level.
Luke 3: 21-22 says
“When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
There are three things to note in this passage;
1. The necessity of prayer
2. What happened when Jesus prayed?
3. What happened when the heavens opened?
1. The Necessity of Prayer
You may think that Jesus, being God did not need to pray.
- Jesus prayed to teach his people how to pray. It is impossible for a follower,minister, or worker of God to attain potential without prayer.
- Jesus prayed to have intimacy with the Father (John 5).
- Jesus prayed to have communion (share fellowship) with God.
- Jesus prayed because he needed power and strength for the ministry. Where else can we get power, except for prayer, fasting and reading the word of God. If Jesus prayed to have intimacy with the Father, you and I should do the same.
- Jesus prayed to be effective in ministry. He started and concluded with prayer.
- Jesus prayed to resist the forces of darkness. In Luke 4, we see how prayer helped Jesus resist the devil.
- Jesus made prayer a pattern of his life on earth. The book of Luke shows us the prayer life of Jesus.
Why do people belittle prayer today? May God give us the spirit of prayer, and teach us how to pray. In the life of Jesus we have an example, which we should follow. To access the things God has in store for us, to connect with us, to open heavens, we need to pray. If the heavens above you are not open, you will not have access to certain levels of blessings. Our blessings are tied to the heavens. In Genesis 28: 12;
“Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.”
There is traffic and communication between heaven and earth. Our destinies are linked to the heavens
Deuteronomy 28: 12-13 says;” The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.
Deuteronomy 28: 23 says: “And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.”
2. What Happened When Jesus Prayed?
When Jesus prayed, the Heavens opened! May the heavens open to us in 2014! May we not labour under closed heavens!
In Mark 8: 22-26 says: “Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him.23 So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town. And when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything.”
Why did Jesus take him out of Bethsaida? Maybe the heavens over Bethsaida were closed. Sometimes you minister in places where the spiritual atmosphere is tense. It takes a while to penetrate.
3. What Happened when the Heavens Opened?
The Holy Spirit came down. We see what happened after the Apostles prayed in Acts 2: 1-4;
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Do not take lightly what you do for God.
We have not yet attained our fullest potential, as individuals, within our church activity groups, and as a church.
Joshua 10:12-14 says
Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon;
And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
And the moon stopped,
Till the people had revenge
Upon their enemies.
Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.”
Brethren, the best is yet to come. When you serve God, you will reap the benefit. Give God your best, and be ready to receive your reward.
1 Peter 4: 10: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”