PRAYING AND LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS
WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY (14/11/19; 21/11/19)
Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement
Exhortation: PRAYING AND LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS
Texts: Lk. 18:1-8; 1Tim. 2:8
INTRODUCTION: For sometime now, we have been dwelling on CHRIST’S SERMON ON THE MOUNT. We had study 16 last week titled: WHEN THOU PRAYEST. we shall veer off this series to take this exhortation titled PRAYING AND LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS. It is brought under two sub-headings: (1) The Fact That We Must Pray Always And Why and (2) The Fruit Of Effective Prayer And The Way To It.
(1) The Fact That We Must Pray Always And Why (Lk. 18:1-8; Eph. 6:18; Gal. 4:2; 1Thess. 5:17; 1Tim. 2:8)
It is reiterated that prayer is the divinely ordained channel for granting, releasing or bringing to pass God’s will / purpose (cons. Gen. 20:6, 7, 17, 18; Job 42:7, 8; Ezk. 36:33-37). Our God is the God that answers prayers which are made according to His will. (cp. Ps. 65:2; 1Jn. 5:14).
In view of this strategic role of prayer in man’s relationship with God, we are commanded not to neglect to pray always (Lk. 18:1; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2; 1Thess. 5:17). Was it not for this that Moses went to the top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand after commanding Joshua to go to war with Amalek? (cons. Ex. 17:8-11) Was it not also for this reason that Aaron and Hur needed to support Moses’ hand so as to remain raised throughout the period of the battle? (Ex. 17:12, 13).
Nehemiah knew this and so did not joke with incessant prayers while prosecuting the project of rebuilding the broken walls (Neh. 1:1-4, 11). How else could David (the Psalmist) have been delivered from his enemies and protracted tortuous times that he found himself in? (cons. Ps. 5:1-4; 18:3-6; 55:1-5, 16, 17; 109:4). Jesus the Master also taught by practice that it cannot be but by regular effectual prayers (Mk. 1:35; Lk. 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; 11:1; 22:39-44). He equally taught us by precept that we should pray always if we want to hold out to the end (cons. Matt. 26:41).
(2) The Fruit Of Effective Prayer And The Way To It
From the foregoing, the fruit of effective prayer is obvious. Through it the Amalekites were discomfited (Ex. 17:12, 13). Prayers enabled Nehemiah and his men to build and finish the broken walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 4:3-6). Through prayer the Psalmist survived his tortuous time (Ps. 18:3-6). Through prayer, the Master Jesus overcame His tribulations (Lk. 22:39-44). Indeed, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (Jas. 5:16, 17).
And if our prayers must yield result like those stated above, it must be made in:-
Righteousness (1Jn. 2:8; Jas. 5:16). We should pray everywhere and every time as already commanded us. But not only that, we must make the prayers, lifting holy hands, not soiled, defiled or polluted hands (cons. Ps. 15:1-5; 24:3-5; 1Tim. 2:8; Jas. 5:16). It should be noted that while God hears prayer, the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination in His sight (Jn. 9:31; Prov. 15:8, 9).
Faith And Fervency Of Spirit (Jas. 1:5-8; 5:16). He that has faith and fervency of Spirit is importunate in prayer (cp. Lk. 11:5-13; 18:1-8). And where there is faith, there is also patience (Isa. 28:16). If we ask anything according to His will, in righteousness and faith, we are sure to receive it (Matt. 7:7, 8).
Considering this fact that we should pray always and the reasons for it, who is there among the Watchmen who will keep quiet at such a crucial moment of fierce spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-12, 18, 19). It is very clear that the devils are determined for the worst in order to weakened the Watchmen from continuing in the purpose of the Lord.
It is therefore time for anybody who considers himself a true Watchman to rise up to resist them with continual fervent praying. Thanks be to God we have been given authority to resist them and if we do, they cannot stand; they cannot perform their designs (Job 5:12; Matt. 16:18; Lk. 10:19; Jas. 4:7).
Let us pray:-
NB: Teacher should raise various prayer points to enable the people bear the mind of effective prayer. Also urge them to continue the prayer at home on their own and among prayer partners.
(HSCF 242 & 251)