by Pastor Mark Misomali
Foundation is the basis, origin or introduction. Usually it is strong, captivating. When an introduction is not understood a wrong conclusion can be made. Some people have abandoned to buy a book because the introduction was not captivating. Many problems faced by Christians do not completely go away even after prayer because the foundation is not shaken. You can cut a tree and it disappears for two months but may resurface if the root was not removed. We still see slabs/concrete floors of some houses that were demolished several years back. Some Christian life shows certain features of the “old” life because the foundation of the “old life” was not demolished. What is the foundation of your marriage, job, ministry, and calling?
How do you know the foundation?
The answer is simple, prayer. Most problems originate in the spiritual and are manifested in the physical. The bible says in John 12:31 that Satan is a god of this world. No wonder the world is infested with diseases, wars, enmity. Though we live here, as Christians, we are not of the world. Jesus chose us out of the world – John 15:19. It is God’s desire that His will be done on earth. This is to say that although Satan is a god of this world, God wants you and me to make him a non-factor. Prayer takes you from this world to the spirit realm. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray “your will be done…as in heaven” he knew that in heaven there are better and perfect things. These better things cannot be fulfilled if we do not pray. Prayer is an opportunity which has been underutilized. People waste time because they don’t know prayer. Paul and Silas did not waste time. They could have thought of climbing the walls but did something better, prayer. In a day man comes up with many ideas/thoughts. Most of the thoughts of God remain hidden until we pray.
I want to list three strategies which Paul and Silas used:-
1. They believed prayer was greater than chains as a result they ignored their feelings, circumstances, and tiredness. All they could sense was God. Many Christians are lazy and come up with many excuses for not praying.
2. They were determined. Other prisoners heard them but did not join them. If you only wait for church program to pray you mare missing a lot prayer can offer.
3. They understood their position in God. They knew they had no power but relied on God. When the problem is big for you it is not big for God – 1 John 4:4.
1. All doors opened. When you pray, other subsidiary problems also go; your neighbour may be saved. Other prisoners benefited although they did not pray
2. The will of God was established. Some Christians make conclusion without prayer. If Paul and Silas had not prayed, they could think their imprisonment was part of discipline by God. Certain things which happen in our nations are not the will of God. We don’t have to blame politicians or Government, the Lord left believers a duty … I send you (believer). You can make a difference when you pray.
3. There was a paradigm shift. From verse 30, Paul is now being referred to as “Lord”, what a mighty God we serve! From prisoner to Lord! In verses 33 to 34 prisoners wounds are washed, gave them food. It is about time your adversary start serving you! You who are divorced, your spouses will start looking for you, the despised, job losers, God is about to turn things around and your job will be chasing you. When you pray you touch into an anointing that cannot be denied. The prison was infested with the presence of God. It is high time to infest schools, market places, homes with His presence through prayer.
Prayer is the easiest, closet forum with God. It can be done anytime, anywhere by anyone. May be they could not allow Paul and Silas to bring bibles to the prison but one thing they could not restrict was prayer. You can not arrest prayer. May be your boss, your spouse does not allow you to practice Christianity, I have good news for you, while they do that engage in silent prayer and doors will open. You do not have to be literate in order to pray. Sermons can be heard from radio, TV etc but there is no substitute for prayer. Prayer is a command Luke 21: 36 and Paul emphasized it in 1 Thes 5:17. Disobedience to God’s command is sin. The devil knows the power of prayer, which is why he can assist you in finding excuses for not praying.
God bless you
Senior Pastor, Family Christian Church, Lilongwe, Malawi