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How Do We Pray?
 
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09-Jul-2011  
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Alongside this main article on prayers, two smaller ‘footnotes’, one concerning the NDC Congress currently going on at Sunyani and the other in respect of the preaching displays of some youngsters on TV3 which are showcased on Sunday evenings beginning from 8.30pm are published as matters of great interest. These two can be seen at the end of this main article.

Before we read, two relevant and beautiful quotations are cited. These are: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day….. I have so much business, I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer” – Martin Luther King. “Be much in retirement and prayer” – Richard Cecil

A RADIO preacher surprised me the other day when he said. “If you are a good Christian, spend at least 10 minutes in prayer even on the street.” What a fallacy! Praying in the street, like mad?

Is such a prayer not a type of the empty, boastful showmanship of the Pharisees which Jesus utterly condemned in Matthew 6 : 5, saying: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men…”

The result is – no reward, because as soon as you receive men’s attention and admiration or praises, the divine graces, blessings or rewards that should come to you are blocked.

Therefore, Jesus teaches in Matthew 6 : 6 that “when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (NIV Bible)

Unfortunately, we have many such “false prophets” in our midst who give wrong teachings’ such as ‘pray in the street, especially chant in tongues; pray in the open park; pray at the seashore; pray in the Achimota Forest (that den of armed robbers and several criminals!) etc. But the ‘God-is-worshipped everywhere’ argument does not apply here, because God is worshipped in sacred and secret places!

False prophets are in the system parading as big, sanctimonious pastors, so beware of their false unBiblical teachings! After all, has Jesus not said that getting to the end-times, many false prophets will appear and deceive many people? (Matthew 24: 11)

The issue of where to pray is simple. The Bible explicitly pinpoints a solitary place like your closed room (Matthew 6: 6); the crime-free sacred bush (Luke 9: 28 – 29); and riverside (Daniel 10 :4) but not the seaside which is often a cesspool of evil spirits! These places are usually for your secret private prayers.

A group or congregational prayer or worship is usually done in the church auditorium. This is based on the Bible text: “Everyday they (the Christian believers) continued to meet together in the temple courts… (Acts 2:46 – 47). ” Much controversy, however, rages on all-night prayer sessions in the church auditorium.

The question is: Should all-nights be held quietly to fit in with Christ’s Law of Secrecy in praying (Matthew 6:6) or be done noisily so as to keep the worshippers alive or awake?

It is my belief that the quiet all night could be the more ideal, but because the worshippers’ weak bodies may send them to sleep midway through the session, a bit of moderately loud music must be played at intervals to enliven their souls.

But what do we see? A kind of noisy, cacophonous yells of music, protuberantly led by shrilly, squeaky, microphone noises, oftentimes so boisterously loud that their decibels travel more than two kilometers away!

The question again is: Do we want to impress upon all the residents around and those in the far distance that we are piously holding all-night?

Aren’t we becoming the Biblical hypocrites who want to be seen worshipping? No doubt most all nights prayers conducted hypocritically are not answered by God. Thus most of us continue to disturb sleepy or sleeping neighbours for nothing!

Sheer empty all-nights! Even though a penteco-charismatic believer and practitioner of all-nights worship, I don’t hesitate to condemn such unnecessary noise-making that disturbs people around.

It is my conviction that the extreme noise some churches make at night has some element of hypocritical boastfulness behind it: Yes, just to show that, that particular church has got some heavy instruments, so people should come to dance! Bosh!

There is no gainsaying the fact that all-nights are necessary for the spiritual upliftment of the church and for the obtainment of some spiritual graces from the Lord.

All-night worship is Biblical, based on the scriptural text: “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour. Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation? (Matthew 26:40-41).

The other text revolves around Christ’s thematic text saying: “It will be good for these servants whose master finds them ready (praying) even if he comes in the second or third, watch of the night” (Luke 12 : 38).

That is, if all – nighters are found praying between the hours of 10.00 pm and 2.00 a.m (Jewish second watch) or 2.00 am and 6.00am (Jewish third watch), they will be rewarded accordingly.

Ideally, such periods are not for merry-making music, but for prayers – saturating prayers! At least, three-fifths of the time should be used for praying, one filth for preaching, while the rest could be used for dancing, testimony-giving, collection etc

The microphone and the jazz-band and the guitars and trumpets must be toned down considerably, tuned only to the far reaches of the church auditorium and not beyond it. We can do this, and we should do it!

In fact, it is most uncivilized to make nightly music at high decibels. You can’t see this in such civilized societies as Britain and America where noise-muffling machines are rigged in churches to contain shrill noises within the church auditorium. I think it’s high time some importers brought some of these mufflers into Ghana to be sold to all-night churches.

Now back to the midnight private prayer. It is to be explained that just as satanic spirits or demons (ghosts, gods and witches, etc) often make their physically unseen gadabout apparitions at their group meetings between the hours of 10pm and 3am for their destructive escapades, so it is that angels from heaven also become vigilant at this time and descend to the earth to perform their good works of salvation.

So prayers in the “second watch” in particular between 10.00 pm and 2.00 are highly efficacious, since they easily attract the attention of God’s angels and Jesus Himself

What about daylight prayers? Well, this is highly controversial. There are some who feel that Jesus never had time to pray during the daytime and therefore prayers during the day are not essential. But I am of the opposite opinion.

If Christ’s importunity teachings (Luke 18:1 – 8) are brought into close parallels with St Paul’s “pray continually” directive (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and if Daniel and David’s practices of praying three times a day are also compared to these doctrines, then an unmistakable conclusion can be drawn that praying twice or three times a day in addition to the midnight supplications is in the right direction.

But how long should one pray? Martin Luther King (quoted above) preferred to pray for three hours and felt bad if he prayed for two hours only. Bishop Andrews of the Anglican Church “spent five hours daily on his knees.” All these dismiss as non-event the 10 minutes prayer prescription of the false pastor. More anon later.

NDC CONGRESS
Since Thursday, Sunyani, the capital of the Brong – Ahafo region has buoyantly bristled with NDC candidates and visiting observers , the candidates going to cast votes for or against President Atta Mills and Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings both of whom are contesting to be the NDC flagbearer.

Last week, I made an analysis of the chances of the two contestants, and drew the conclusion that Atta Mills will be the winner.

Yes, I still stand by that. Today is the elections day; and right from the afternoon, the Sunyani Coronation Park will boisterously brim with the over thousand voters who will elect the flagbearer; and expectedly, by nightfall, the winner will have been announced.

And political logic will certainly go for Atta Mills as the winner, just as by a similar logic, I predicted the victory of my old-time comrade, Akufo Addo in the NPP flagbearership race, and it came true.

He is now joyfully the flagbearer of the NPP. The GAME group of President Atta Mills is expected to rejoice today, tomorrow and the days ahead, but I caution them not to tease the FONKAR of Nana Konadu, as this will cause troubles, resulting in bloodshed.

We are praying for peaceful elections, as peace is a prime social necessity that inevitably conduces to the richness of life on this earth. God bless Atta Mills and Nana Konadu for a peaceful electoral fight.

TV3 PULPIT
Whoever brought the idea of children (possibly JSS and SSS levels) to engage in preaching contest on Sundays (8:00pm – 10:00pm) is a great visionary who has a fertile mind. God bless him or her! To see these young boys and girls preaching with gusto, using faultless ideas and language, that surely impact on the mind with religious truths and Biblical fervour and Godly inspiration is overly exciting.

They all do well, but the one who preaches in Twi appears to be a ‘super- preacher’ with his vigorousness and candour, marvellous eloquence and seemingly Spirit–filled inspiration. He is exciting to watch. God bless all these young children who are exhibiting their preaching talents.

MUSIC: But as a musician and music teacher myself, I must say that the singing of the choir backing up the preaching programme leaves much to be desired. Discord, discord, discord continues to flash into their songs, thus destroying the beauty of their renditions.

The choirmaster must try to correct such mistakes. Last week’s song : “Jesu ei, waen na one wose” (Twi) entirely lost its melody in discordant notes. Choirmaster, correct all these.

CONDUCTOR: And the conductor must take note of the fact that we don’t dance when conducting. When you yourself are dancing, how can you control transmutational, l’allegro, flat or sharp notes? Choir conductor be simple: don’t dance!

By Apostle Kwamena Ahinful
 
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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