THE KNEELING MINISTER | Dr. Francis Akin-John

There is no way you can make positive, major and durable impact in life and ministry without being a kneeling minister.

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Modern ministers give little attention to prayer, the more reason our ministries only create fleeting impressions and not durable impact. Today, we emphasize education, academic degrees, oratory power, management skills,communication abilities and technological savvy as criteria for ministers, but little or no regard is given to personal prayer and devotion to God. The more reason we are seeingthe good, the bad and ugly in ministry like never before.

It is only the kneeling ministry that will shake this generation for God.

“He that can kneel before God can stand before any man” – Unknown.

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A.​Scriptural Foundation – Lam. 3:56; Mark 1:35; Gen. 32:24-29 Prayer is the Christians native air, the breath of the minister.

The Bible commands and implores Christians and ministers to pray, seek God, call upon God and make requests in faith unto the Lord. (Gen. 4:26; 1 Chron. 16:11; Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 56:7; Luke 18:1; Matt. 26:41; 1 Thess. 5:17; James 5:13).

✓ Ministers are first and foremost to spend time in God’s presence.

✓ Ministers must be men and women of serious intercession.

✓ Jesus prayed personally and lives to intercede for the church – Heb. 7:25.

✓ The Apostles prayed corporately and individually – Acts 2:1-4; 3:1; 6:4.

✓ Apostle Paul prayed and interceded for his Christians – Gal. 4:19; Eph. 1:15-23.

✓ Ministers must regularly kneel before God for themselves and others.

✓ Failure to pray and intercede for your people is sin – 1 Samuel 12:23.All those who walked with God and made mighty impact knew how to kneel before God in private, regular and persistent prayers.

They had a thriving prayer life: Enoch – Gen. 5:22-24; Noah – Gen. 8:20-21; Abraham – Gen. 12:8; Isaac – Gen. 25:20-21; Daniel – Dan. 9:10; Jesus – Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 5:15-16; 6:12. The greatest sin against God, yourself, ministry and nation is not to pray.

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B.​Why Most Ministers Don’t PrayThe report about ministerial praying is alarming. In America, ministers only pray 23 minutes a day. In Africa, it is 30 minutes a day. Samuel Chadwick said; “The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from genuine praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, work, and Christian activities. He laughs at our toil, mocks our wisdom, but trembles when we pray sincerely”.

❖ Modern ministers have never learned to pray.

❖ We hid our prayerlessness behind activities.

❖ We don’t really believe that prayer works.

❖ We become too busy and worried to pray.

❖ We imbibe wrong teachings about prayer.

❖ We fail to develop a strong prayer life.

❖ Prayer is much more a ritual than relationship with God.

❖ We habour sins and evils that hinder our prayers.“Not all praying men are prophets, but all prophets are praying men” – Ravenhill.

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If you don’t have a praying minister, forget growth, increase, expansion and impact. Richard Newton said, “The principal cause of my spiritual leanness and unfruitfulness is owing to an unaccountable backwardness to pray.”

We can safely conclude then that he that flees from prayer flees from all that is good in life and ministry.

C.​The Necessity And Benefits of Praying Ministers – Acts 6:4; Prov. 8:17; Psalm 63:1Having a prayer life is very important to a minister. Without a strong prayer life there will be no growth and fruitfulness in ministry. The progress and development of our personal and ministerial life is hinged on our prayer life.“Prayer has the salutary effect of purifying, refining and enabling our heart. It banishes evil thoughts and thus saves us much pain and sorrow”. To be prayerless is to be without God – without Christ – without grace – without hope – and without heaven. It is to be on the road to hell” – J.C. Ryle

The benefits of prayer to a minister are as follows:-

➢ Fresh and daily infusion of grace, mercy, power and blessings.

➢ Guidance and direction from the Holy Spirit.

➢ Growth, fruitfulness and expansion of the work.

➢ Personal growth and maturity in the Lord.

➢ Strong bulwark against temptation and compromise.

➢ Shield of protection against the various attacks of the enemy.

➢ Deeper insight and revelations of God and His ways.

➢ Being on fire for the Lord as a sacrifice on His altar.

➢ Refreshing presence and manifestation of the Lord.“Prayer is a powerful thing, for God has bound and tied himself thereto. None can believe how powerful prayer is, and what it is able to effect, but those who have learned it by experience” – Martin Luther.“

God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow his gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer. To be much alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of influence with Him” – E. M. BoundsD.​Back Up For Kneeling Ministry – Exod. 17:8-13

Every minister that desires success in ministry must be a kneeling minister, but this cannot be achieved by one man’s effort. Behind every kneeling minister there must be those who kneel on his behalf; those who stand in the gap, those who are raising the hand of Moses up for Joshua to be victorious at the battle field.Scriptural Truths From This Passage

1. Every minister must be a kneeling minister who stands at the mountain with God’s staff in his hand on behalf of his congregation.

2. The victory of any congregation is hinged on the strength of intercession that’s constantly and consistently offer on her behalf.

3. Just as the hand of Moses went weary and tired, the prayer life of a minister alone will not be sufficient. Weariness will come, tiredness will come. What will help at this time are intercessors.

4. For every Moses there must be an “Aaron” and a “Hur”. That’s intercessory ratio 1:2.5. For every Joshua at the battle field there must be a “Moses”, an “Aaron” and a “Hur”. That is intercessory ratio 3:16. The persistency of intercession for minister is what secured his ultimate ministry.

7. Every minister no matter how strong in his personal prayer life needs prayer supporters, prayer helpers and good intercessors.

Biblical Examples of Intercession1. Abraham for Lot – Gen. 18:23-322. David for Solomon – 1 Chronicles 29:193. Stephen for his persecutors Acts 7:604. Paul for Timothy – 2 Timothy 1:35.

The church for Peter – Acts 12:5,126. The church for Missionaries – Acts 13:3; Heb. 13:187. The church for Paul – Romans 15:31-32; Eph. 6:19-208. Jesus for the church – John 17:6-26E.​Securing Your Prayer Life – Isaiah 40:28-30

This would demand serious efforts on our part. The devil would contest for each step of the way. Men of God in history have realized the importance of the prayer life that they consider it as the number one battle ground to conquer.

They lay so much importance to it that every other thing takes secondary position. Securing your prayer life from becoming casual, monotonous, weak, shallow and powerless would require you take the following steps:a. Constant watchfulness.b. Special day of fasting and waiting upon the Lord.

c. Seasons of waiting upon the Lord.d. Seeking renewal and restoration each time there is failure.e. Balance it out with study and Christian literature.

f. Guard against pride and self confidence.Finally, brethren, I have read the lives of many eminent Christians who have been on earth since the Bible days. Some of them, I see, were rich and some poor. Some were learned, some unlearned. Some of them were Presbyterians, and some Catholic. Some have loved to use a liturgy, and some choose to use none. But one thing I see, they all had in common – they all have been men of prayer

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