In his sermon on Oh, Magnify The Lord, Pastor Mensa Otabil, General Overseer of International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) taught on the need for believers’ prayers to centre on magnifying the name of the Lord instead of the devil and our personal needs. From Psalm 34:1-3, he said God wants us to approach him in prayer by blessing Him, boasting in Him, magnifying Him, and exalt Him. God wants to be the focus in our prayer, then He will deal with all His enemies and our problems.
In my 10 years as a Christian, I have observed that people pray in one of two ways: one, magnifying the devil, his works and our needs, and two, magnifying the Lord and His works.
Let’s look at these two approaches in detail:
1. Magnifying the Devil
According to Pastor Otabil, people feel if they don’t deal with the devil in their prayers, they are not spiritual. I dare say, they even say you are not anointed and powerful. People have come to believe that a prayer is powerful when it focuses on just dealing with the devil and our needs. This is not in any way saying that prayer does not deal with the devil and our needs. Our first priority in prayer is not to deal with the devil and our needs. The Lord deals with the devil and our needs.
If whatever we dwell on magnifies, it means dwelling on the works of the devil and our needs make them magnify. In 2 Chronicles 20:1-3, when King Jehoshaphat was given the news of approaching enemy nations, he did not magnify the enemies and his needs. He did not focus on the enemy and his threats. We must learn to ground our prayers in biblical truths of not just dwelling on the devil and our needs.
2. Magnify The Lord
For Dr. Otabil, prayer must be grounded in the word of God to magnify the name of God. We must not pray because we have problems. We must pray because we have a dependable God who can deal with the devil and solve our personal needs.
Jesus admonished us to pray in His name, thus focusing on God (John 14:13-14). The name of Jesus is powerful. It is above every other name (Philippians 2:9). When the Lord is magnified, He does wonders in our midst. In the case of King Jehoshaphat, he consulted the Lord instead of focusing on his problems (2 Chronicles 20:5-6). It was an act of saying that he trusted in the Lord to deal with the enemies and his personal inadequacies. He magnified God in his prayers. Guess what God did, He caused the enemies to kill themselves with an unusual strategy of singing during battle (2 Chronicles 20:14-23). When God is magnified, He takes the front role and deals with complex issues we are confronted with.
Many times what may sound nice and look good may not be biblical. Scriptures are clear on how we are supposed to pray and trust God. It is not in our place to deal with the devil and our needs when we bring our case before God. When we trust Him, we must rest assured that He will do what He promises. May the Lord deal with our issues as we magnify Him in praises, worship and prayers.
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