WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T NULLIFY YOUR PRAYERS
BY T. O. BANSO
“If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26 New King James Version).
It is painful that some people spend so much time in prayers, sometimes with fasting, but go out to cancel their prayers. By cancelling their prayers, I don’t mean they don’t want any more what they have prayed for or cancel a wrong request. But they use their tongues to oppose themselves. They nullify their prayers. They continue to say exactly the opposite of what they have prayed for.
You cannot pray for success and be speaking failure, and think that you will get the success you have prayed for. Mark 11:24 says whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. When do you receive what you pray for? That scripture says when you pray for it. It is not when it manifests physically that you receive it. You must believe that you have received it when you prayed, and it will become a reality.
When you leave the place of prayer, what you have received is yet to manifest, so what do you do? Begin to complain? Speak words of doubts, failure, and complaints like others? No. You speak exactly what you believe you have received when you prayed, and continue to speak it till it manifests. This is what is called faith confession. This is as important as the prayers you have prayed.
This is where some people miss it. They forget who they are and begin to oppose their prayers by joining others to speak negative words. They cancel their prayers by speaking contrary words and words of unbelief, and then wonder why their prayers are not answered.
James 1:26 says, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (New King James Version). You may be a prayer warrior, but as long as your confession after your prayers nullifies what you prayed for, you may have wasted the time spent in prayers.
Don’t spend time in prayers and, thereafter, join people to be speaking words that are contrary to the answers you prayed for. Don’t speak the language of the world. Isaiah 8:12 says, “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled” (New King James Version). The time you have spent praying is not in vain. You should believe God to work in your favour, no matter the justifiable fears others are expressing. Your case is different.
For instance, if you have studied very well for an examination, and you have prayed for success, you have no business speaking about failure. Others may say that even many brilliant students have failed the examination in the past, but you must not join them. Why? You have studied well and prayed for success.
If you believed God has answered your prayers, you should tell those people that no matter how tough the examination is, you have passed because you received success when you prayed. You are not boasting of your intellectual ability but reaffirming your faith in God. You’re boasting in the Lord because you have prayed and believe He has answered your prayers. David said he would boast only in the LORD (Psalm 34:2).
The apostle John said, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15 New King James Version). Ensure that your request is according to the will of God and believe that you receive the answer when you pray. Don’t let what you do or say nullify your prayers.
I usually ask students I know, who have written examinations, “Did you pass?” Those who don’t understand the answer I expect would say, “The results are not out yet” or “We are still waiting for the results.” I expect an answer of faith: I passed or I have passed in Jesus’ name. Don’t wait till the results of the examinations are released before you pass! Receive your success before then. Study well and pray. Don’t pray only and neglect to study as some ignorant people do. Prayers will take care of things your efforts cannot handle. But don’t pray for success and be speaking failure.
Generally, be careful how you use your tongue. Don’t use your tongue to condemn yourself and be wondering later why things turned out the way they did. You have nobody to blame but yourself. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37 New King James Version). What is an idle word? – Useless, ineffective, or non-working words.
Don’t speak words that are not working for you but against you. Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21). Matthew 12:37 says by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.
In 1 Samuel 1:17-18, after Eli had told Hannah who was praying for a child to go in peace, and God had granted her petition, the Bible says that she thanked him, went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. Her actions were consistent with the answer she believed she had received.
Let your actions or speech agree with the answers to your prayers that you believe you have received. Keep your tongue from evil (Psalm 34:13b). 1 Peter 3:10 says He who would love life and see good days should refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.
In Luke 1, the angel told Zacharias, a priest of the division of Abijah, that God had heard his prayer and his barren wife, Elizabeth, would bear him a son who would be called John. However, Zacharias asked the angel how he would know this since he was old and his wife was well advanced in years. In other words, he didn’t believe the word of the angel. From Zacharias’ reaction, it was obvious that his words would not agree with the answer to his prayer. So what did God do?
Luke 1:19-20 says, “And the angel answered and said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” (New King James Version). Zacharias
remained in this condition until the day the baby was being circumcised and christened and his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed.
Cooperate with God. Don’t oppose yourself. Speak the answer, not the problem. Don’t nullify your prayers with your tongue.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and that you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, henceforth, I shall not use my tongue to oppose myself. I will not nullify my prayers with my words in Jesus’ name. I nullify every negative word I have spoken against myself in the past. I will not speak words that will condemn me but justify me in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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