I grew up saying casual prayers. You know those “Oh God, bless my Mummy and Daddy” prayers that sound more like wishes and are very vague in nature.
If I wanted something, I’d simply ask my biological father for it. It was that easy.
But as I grew older, I began to realize the essence of communicating with my God by baring my mind and conversing with him like he was right beside me.
I’ll give an instance.
In 2012, I was given admission into the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after fulfilling JAMB and Post-UME requirements. Actually, I thought so.I had gotten to the final stage of registration when I was declared non-registrable after going through the month-long process.Let me break it down as this may confuse you.
I sat down for five (5) subjects in JAMB as an art student who wanted to study International Relations or Theatre Arts. Literature, English, CRS, Government and French. No Mathematics.
My father wouldn’t let me study Theatre Arts and UNILAG didn’t offer International Relations so I picked Industrial Relations and Personnel Management just because it sounded like International Relations. I didn’t check out the subject requirements and failed to note that Mathematics was a necessity all because of negligence.
So I went in to register like all the other students. Only for my papers to be cancelled and I be declared non-registrable.
Now, for many people, that would have been the end of UNILAG for that year but God has his ways and his ways are mysterious.
My dad called a friend of his who knows the then registrar and I was told a course would be chosen for me.
Some days later, after a panel had a round table to decide what courses non-registrable students like me would offer, I was asked to resume at the English department.
I was like English?
I didn’t even know people studied English in the university!
Someone told me English students usually ended up as teachers.
I didn’t want to be a teacher but I also didn’t want to stay at home either.
So I said a prayer and it sounded something like this:
“God, I have no clue what English is all about and I really don’t know if it’s for me. But I want you to take the wheel. My destiny is in your hands. You know much more than I do and you know what’s best for me. Guide me. I completely surrender to you at this point.
Bad as e bad, I can always write JAMB again next year. Just take control.
Handle it Lord.”
At that point, I was utterly disappointed and God was all I had.
This was 8 years ago.
Today I can’t imagine studying something else, not because it was easy but because I blended so well into at the right time.
Prayer is great. It gives you power and dominion over everything and every situation.
But sometimes, prayer can be tough.
Have you ever been in a situation where you know you are in big trouble but your mouth just seems too heavy to utter a word to God, yet it seems so easy to send longggg messages to your girlfriend or boyfriend on Whatsapp telling them all your problems?
Yes. I know how it feels.
I’m there right now.
But I’m trying.
I try as much as possible to say “God, help me”, “Jesus, take control”, “Father Lord, help me resolve this.”
I’ve just come to understand that no matter how much I talk about some of my issues with people, they never seem to go away. But when God is involved, the problem takes a good turn in an unexpected manner.
Try and try to pray to God as much as you can.
Talk to him. Thank him. Have a conversation with him. Tell him what you think of people around and ask him what he thinks.
I know it sounds crazy talking to someone who isn’t physically present but I bet you he’s there. He’s always with you.
You will know his voice when you hear it.
God is not only your friend and father.
He is everything.
Do nothing without him.
What the Bible says about prayer:
Philippians 4:6 ESV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
John 15:7 ESV
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Mark 11:24 ESV
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
Pray without ceasing …
Romans 8:26 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Luke 11:9 ESV
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Matthew 26:41 ESV
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
1 Timothy 2:5 ESV
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Matthew 6:5-8 ESV
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Matthew 6:9-13 ESV
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Luke 6:27-28 ESV
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
Colossians 4:2 ESV
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
James 5:13-18 ESV
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. …
1 Timothy 2:8 ESV
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;
James 1:6-7 ESV
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
Romans 12:1-2 ESV
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Hebrews 5:7 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.