THE BASICS OF PRAYER 1

From the Shepherd's Desk by Charles Magaiza

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:6 KJV)

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Prayer is one of the simple things to do but yet so complex. There are many reasons why it is complex for believers, it is the devil who fights a life of prayer! He knows a prayerful life leads to greater rewards on earth and in heaven. When we pray, we shift things around and put a dent on the enemy’s operations. What is prayer? It is communication with the Father in the name of Jesus. As you would understand, communication is two way so there must be room to listen to what He is saying too. This means you are guided through the day.

In the scripture above, the word says when you pray enter your closet and speak to the Father in secret. This does not do away with corporate prayer but one of the key components of salvation is a personal relationship with the Father. Personal prayer raises that level of intimacy with Him. You enter into communion with Him in the closet and you can pour your heart to Him in secret!

Our Father sees even secret things, the word says He will reward you openly. You might be asking, why does it sound so simple yet so complicated in real life. The key is to develop prayer as a habit. Set time aside to speak to the Father on a daily basis just as you would set time aside to study if you are a student. In the closet, there is less disruption. The modern day carries too many obstructions mainly the cellphone. It might be a good idea to switch it off in your chosen hour in the closet. You want as little disruption as possible.

The Father is so near but the word tells us here that ‘He is in secret’. If He is in secret, the way to find Him is to enter the secret place. There are tears you can shed to Him which are not possible when others are around. There are confessions you can make to Him which are not possible when you are around others. That is the importance of the closet!

God desires fellowship with us on an individual basis and that must begin in the closet. Are you ready for open rewards, commit yourself to the closet! This is the foundation of prayer and from there, you can build a level of intimacy with Him. You will be openly rewarded. Charles Finney one of the greatest revivalist that ever lived once wrote, “Effective prayer is prayer that attains what it seeks. It is prayer that moves God, effecting its end.” He also said, “Unless I had a spirit of prayer, I could do nothing.” This makes prayer a very important daily activity.

I pray for you today that you find strength to put away all distractions and create time for the closet. May your intimacy with God improve and increase you to the level of witnessing open rewards that the world can not ignore.

Declare this,
Father thank you for opening the door for intimacy with you through prayer. Help me to develop the discipline of entering the closet daily so I may find you in the secret place.

 

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FEAR IS THE BAIT OF THE ENEMY

From the Shepherd's Desk by Charles Magaiza

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10 KJV)

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Have you noticed that through the Bible the Lord urges His children not to fear. The reason is simple, fear is the bait of the enemy and where fear is present faith is absent and without faith it is impossible to please God! When Peter walked on water at the command of Jesus, he did it in faith. The moment he looked at the waves and the boisterous winds, fear crept in and he began to sink.

The Lord clearly says, “Fear not, I am with you.” It is important to know that you child of God are not walking alone, the Lord is with you! It might be a well lighted street or a dark alley, He is there with you! It might be a difficult moment like you have never gone through, He is there with you! He says do not be dismayed, I am your God! This is important to store in the heart, the Creator of the whole universe is saying I AM your God. He is not like some idols others worship that neither see nor hear. He is God, the One who made you and knows every part of your being.

Are you in a position of weakness, embrace His word today where He says I will strengthen you. Do you feel helpless? He says I will help you, it doesn’t matter which area you need help in. He says I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. His eye is closely watching each step you take. He does not sleep nor slumber. His love for you is so deep that’s why He gave His best gift, His only begotten son to die on that cross for you.

When you choose to fear, you render the hand of God helpless. He wants you to trust Him all the way. Remember He is the one who gave Moses and the children of Israel the direction to take and He readily split the Red Sea for them to pass through on dry ground. Even when the enemy was hot on their heels, God had a plan and the mighty Egyptians and their chariots drowned when they tried to pursue them.

Fear not, the enemy might be whispering words to bring fear in your mind, just declare God’s word. Tell him what is written about you! The grace of God will uphold you as you hold on to the word. Sometimes it does not seem easy but the more you continue speaking His word, the more you move from fear to faith.

I pray for you today that you rise up in your faith by trusting the Lord fully. I rebuke fear out of your life as you focus on God’s word. Thank God He is always ready to pick you up when you are about to sink as He did with Peter.

Declare this,
Today I refuse fear in my life and I take hold of the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. I stand on the Word and build my faith strong by declaring the word. I know God is with me all the way so I will not be dismayed.

 

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SPEAK IT

From the Shepherd's Desk by Charles Magaiza

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Mark 11:23 KJV)

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Faith is the blood that flows through Christianity. Without it one can not please God and can not access the many blessings and promises that God has given. I want you to understand today that faith isn’t for a select few but on salvation, one is given a measure of faith and it is your responsibility to grow that measure of faith. This should be done through the word, for faith comes by hearing the word of God.

Speak! Jesus teaching says ‘whosoever’ shall say unto this mountain. Notice the word whosoever. It means you are included as long as you have received Him as Lord. There are different types of mountains for different people; disease or sickness, barrenness, financial crisis, broken relationships etc, all these are from the devil and never from God. I want you to notice the word ‘say,’ it is mentioned four times in this verse and the word believe once. This shows us that believing should work hand in hand with your confession! Yes, your mouth! This is the biggest challenge because growing up you have learnt to speak a lot of negative words which are contrary to scripture. These words can easily cancel out any faith confession you make. Take for example a phrase like, “I am dying to see you.” It sounds simple right, but in the realm of the spirit it carries a lot of significance. Faith speaks the word of God!

Speak! Mountains hear the words of your mouth! Apostle James, the natural half brother to our Lord Jesus dedicates almost the whole book of James to the issue of the tongue. This is where many rise or fall! Satan would like permission from you to operate in your life and he gets it through your tongue. Any type of mountain can move for you but you have to hold a solid front in your confession! Don’t allow anything to briefly change your confession! You don’t have to agree with the world but with God’s word!

Speak! You must believe that the things you say shall come to pass. They will happen, don’t let doubt creep into your heart! Let your heart be in agreement with the word. That’s why Proverbs says ‘keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life’ (Proverbs 4:23). If you guard your heart using the word, healing virtue, prosperity virtue, love virtue will all flow and change your natural circumstances. You shall have whatsoever you say, glory! Nothing is out of your reach as long as you follow the word of God. It will start to displace fear and replace it with faith, it will clear your heart of all negativity that has built up in it due to your past experiences.

Speak! The Lord says in Isaiah 45:11 “concerning the works of my hands command ye me.” The Lord is waiting to hear you speak His promises and word back to Him so He can fulfill it. I pray for you that your heart be lifted up no matter the situation you are in. Take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God and begin to speak it. The enemy will flee from you as you resist him just as Jesus resisted him using the word.

Declare this,
Today I open my eyes and seek out the promises in the word that are relevant to my situation. I choose to begin to say these aloud in the morning, at noon and in the evening! I guard my heart against doubt and I refuse to observe the surrounding circumstances. I shall have whatsoever I say!

 

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THE BENEFITS OF ZION

From the Shepherd's Desk by Charles Magaiza

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. (Isaiah 33:24 KJV)

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Zion is referred to as the city of God through the word of God. We can safely say it is the presence of God where those that are born again must dwell in! It is important to meditate on that word ‘dwell’ it means to stay and not go in and out. This word is also used in Psalm 91:1.

It will be important to briefly look at the origin of sickness and disease. It is of the devil and not from God no matter the name it is given. When God created Adam and Eve, there was no sickness in Eden until the deception by the devil. This caused sin to enter the world and of course it came with its brothers and cousins and sickness and disease are part of it. God had a plan in place and that was to send the Messiah, His only begotten son, Jesus. From the time He begins His ministry He shows us what he came for! He healed the sick and cast out demons. Every case presented before Him, he healed and delivered them all.

When you come into the confines of the kingdom of God (the city of Zion), none of the inhabitants there should say I am sick! The people there shall be forgiven of their iniquity. I want you to notice these two benefits, it’s not just the forgiveness of sin but also the healing of disease. God wants you whole spirit, soul and body! It is never His desire for you to be in pain just as He does not want you to be carrying sin. Isaiah 53 shows us that Jesus bore our sin and our sickness on the cross. The price can not be paid twice. You should not accept disease. It is not from God! Resist the devil and he will flee.

John 10:10 shows us exactly how things are, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The thief is the devil, his mission is to kill, steal and destroy. He uses different means like accidents and diseases but look at the second part defining why Christ came. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Amplified version says, “to the full till it overflows.” There are many beliefs out there on this subject but I want you to know God wants you in perfect health physically just as he wants you in perfect health spiritually! Don’t give ear to contrary words or doctrines.

Today, you can claim your healing! God already gave it but the enemy has been using deception to keep that sickness on you. I pray for you that the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of your understanding to see the grace that has been made available for you. Christ carried your sin and your disease.

Declare this,
Satan I refuse to accept your strategies of deception and your sickness and disease on me. I loose myself from your bonds in the name of Jesus. The blood of Jesus that was presented in the Holy of holies got rid of my sin and my disease. When He was on the cross I was crucified with Him, when He was buried I was buried with Him, when He rose from the dead I was resurrected with Him. Today I am seated with Him in the heavenly places. I am an inhabitant of Zion, the city of God.

 

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