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Evangel Tabernacle | December 6, 2021

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Precious Prayer Time

Precious Prayer Time
[table-of-content]

Scripture Reading: Genesis 19:27-29

A minister was asked what the secret of his success is. His reply was this:

“If you ask me, for the secret of my success, I would ascribe it to my Precious Prayer time. Right from my college days, every day I spend time in God’s Presence. I can boldly declare that if you maintain a devotion time you shall see as much difference as there is between day and night. Learn to sit in the presence of God during your personal prayer time.

Even if your thoughts wander here and there, don’t leave your prayer closet till the set time is over (that means if your set time is one hour, don’t leave the prayer closet until the one hour is over). Within months you shall see a tremendous change in your life. If you come before God daily, God will speak to you daily’. Actually I dare to say that if you do this within a month, you will already begin to see something different in your life.”

Pastor Dag was a medical doctor by profession. But he gave up his profession to be a minister. His father-in-law was so disappointed with him. But today he has planted over 1000 churches all over the world. And he ministers to all the provinces in Ghana and Africa. His crusade’s attendance is usually a few hundred thousands per night meetings. He is definitely a very successful man. He said this, I quote: ‘The greatest secret of my life and ministry is my quiet time.’

Pastor Lily preached a very powerful message last Tuesday. She talked about people who are rich in many other things. They accumulate riches for themselves. What matters most for their life is to harvest large crop, build bigger barns, achieve financial security, eat, drink, and be merry, and don’t die. But they are not rich towards God. And they have to die. She gave the illustration of a husband and a wife. They have been busy for weeks: heavier than usual travel commitments, out of town guests staying with them, and some unscheduled complications. So the wife sat him down and said, ‘I want to spend one day with you. Just the two of us. The husband felt it strange. There’s no one the husband enjoyed being with more than his wife. But because the husband felt so busy, he made a counteroffer. ‘How about if we spend the morning each working on our own tasks and then are together from lunch on’. At first she agreed. Then she returned and put her foot (also known as the hammer) down. ‘No working. No meetings. We’re spending the whole day together, having a great time, or there’s going to be trouble.’ So they spent the whole day together. They didn’t do anything fancy. They did the things they usually do. They went for a drive, they took a walk, they had lunch, and they talked about stuff. It was an ordinary day. And that was just what she wanted to do.’ That is the same thing that God wants with us – Just to spend time with us. No distraction, no phone calls, no TV, no interruption, just between God and us.

We can never be rich in God without precious prayer time. Today we are rich in so many things. We are so rich with our computers, so rich in our careers, so rich in our business, so rich in our studies, so rich with the world but are so poor in God.

I know that many of you as Christian probably cannot identify with the example of a minister because you felt that that is the responsibility of a Minister: to have precious prayer time. And you are just an ordinary Christian. And God don’t expect you to do that. But I strongly believe that anyone, a businessman, a housewife, a professional in the corporate world, especially when you are a Christian, if you really want to have success, the secret lies in your precious prayer time. The best example is Daniel. He was not a minister. He was the Prime Minister of a country; the highest, elite job in the world, handling the affairs not of a corporation but a country. But Daniel had such a disciplined prayer life.

The Bible says in Daniel 6:10 that Daniel ‘went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, He kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime(as was his custom, as he has always been doing).’ Let’s not be overzealous and pray three times a day like Daniel. Let’s just pray one solid half an hour or one hour a day. He was determined to the extent that he would rather lose his head than his prayer time. That was the secret of his success.

I remember many years ago, probably more than 20 years ago, I had to go to the office of a lawyer who was the head of the legal department of China Banking Corporation in Manila. When we visited him, in his office, it was a little bit awkward, because he was having his personal prayer time with God in the office of this high- rise building. I can remember that the office was not opened yet and thus we went too early. His reason for going early to his office was because he wanted to have his precious prayer time with God. But we interrupted his schedule that day. Honestly I sensed a little irritation on his part because it was like I intruded into his precious time. And he was not wrong to be irritated. He needed that Precious Prayer time in the corporate world. Today he is the head of the legal department of China Banking Corporation. He is so sought after that even though it is already his retirement age, China Banking Corporation refuses to let him go because they need him so much. Here is a man that is so successful in his career life because of his precious prayer time.

I read to you the confession of a Christian businessman. He says, ‘I have been immersed in this experience of serving Christ through business for thirty years, first as an experiment but then, as a conviction and call. And during that time, I have made just about every mistake that can be made and watched others make the ones that I hadn’t thought of. But along that bumpy road, I’ve learned a thing or two and I am blessed to share it with you here. It entails first getting to know God through His Word. It is impossible to live a successful life in the marketplace apart from God’s written revelation of His Truth. Seventeen years ago a trusted friend said to me:

I don’t see how a man can say that God is first in his life and not give Him the first part of his day.

I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but I knew that it was for me. So on that day, I committed to spend the first hour of every day with my Father, and I have very seldom missed our appointment. I talk to God about every area of my life, listening for direction as I do. Moreover, I journal and keep record of what I ask Him and what I think He tells me. Using this morning time for genuine, uninterrupted prayer, I can personally attest to the power of this practice. Since that day, my morning time with God has been the platform on which every good thing in my life has been built. On countless mornings, God has shown me areas of my life and specific actions that were either sinful or would lead to compromise. And at least as often He has given me wonderful direction, counsel that I doubt would have ever occurred to me apart from this discipline. So to sum it up, if I’ve learned nothing else in three decades (30 years) of devoting my work life to God, I’ve learned this: the real secret to business “success” is intimate relationship with God. No one achieves true success as a Christian without building on the solid foundation of divine relationship. Further, I believe that in the frantic pace of the twenty-first century, scheduling non-negotiable time with God each day is the only way that any of us will make the relationship a reality’.

One day the Korean President’s wife rang up to Pastor Cho. Since Pastor Cho was in his prayer closet, his secretary said, “Pastor is praying. Kindly call after sometime!” The dignitary got furious and said, “Do you know who I am? How dare you….” No wonder God has honored this man of God with the biggest church in this world because of his disciplined prayer time. Let’s study the Precious Prayer Time of Abraham.

1 Abraham got up early in the morning

Genesis 19:27 says ‘And Abraham gat up early in the morning (of the catastrophe, where God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah) to the place (i.e. he went to a place) where he stood before the Lord.’ Gen.19:27 was a new revelation to me because before this I have never really seen this part of Abraham. We see that Abraham had a custom of meeting God at a set-time and at a set place every day. Hearing God’s voice speaking to him was a daily experience for him.

Do you desire to see God and hear God’s voice? Then determine to set a regular prayer time with him. According to the Masorites, the text originally read, ‘the Lord stood before Abraham’. It is implying not we stood before God, like as the text says ‘Abraham stood before the Lord) but God stood before us in our Precious Prayer Time. The reason for this interchanging of position is to inform us that in our precious prayer time not only we stand before the Lord, but the Lord also stands before us. The word ‘stood’ gives the implication of facing, appearing, encountering a person. To stand before a person gives the impression that some important, serious conversation is taking place. It gives the idea of God appearing before us and we appearing before God; we encountering God and God facing us. Never underestimate the power of that one hour meeting with God.

I remember in the early years, when Pastor Marion came to the Philippines and stayed with us. In the morning, she heard us praying quite loudly in tongues and then she commented that we must never stop this routine of our lives. It is needful, important and will be responsible for the future success of our lives.

It was said in the book of Daniel, at one time, Daniel was watching a vision and trying to understand its meaning, there stood before him, an angel who looked like a man. The angel appeared before Daniel; and Daniel had an encounter with God. And some future events were revealed to Daniel. So that is what will happen to us in our Precious Prayer Time. We appear before God and God appear before us.

What was Abraham’s attitude regarding this event; this precious prayer time. It was a careful expectation of the meeting. The Bible says ‘he went to a place’. It was a planned meeting. It was a carefully calculated event. It was set aside. It was prepared. The bible says he got up early in the morning. Just imagine how powerful, how important our Precious Prayer time with God is.

2 Abraham had an expectation concerning his prayer

It is in Precious Prayer time that we pour out our full souls for ourselves and for others. Also there was an expectation concerning his prayer. Abraham wants to know what has become of his prayer. He had prayed for Lot and Sodom and he was expecting some answer to that prayer. When we have prayed we must look after our prayers, and observe the success of them (take note when it is answered). We must direct our prayer as a letter, and then look up for an answer, direct our prayer as an arrow, and then look up to see whether it reaches the mark. You will be surprised how much of your prayers have been answered. You will be surprised at how much of our Tuesday Prayer’s requests have been answered.

Recently, during every of my prayer time, I have been writing down in my notebook my sins, my requests, my struggle, my pain and my pleadings. I also make a point to thank God for every little prayer that He has answered. As I went back to read all my prayer journal recorded in the recent past, I was literally amazed at how much God has answered those prayers. Little things like for the rain, for my financial needs, for my children, even for my relationship with people, I was amazed at how much God took note of my prayer and make a point to answer them. I learned from this experience that God amazingly answered a lot of my prayers. There was an expectation concerning my prayer. If I learned anything, it is that God is interested to answer my prayer.

Here we see God’s favorable regard to Abraham. As before when Abraham prayed for Ishmael, God heard him for Isaac, so now, when he prayed for Sodom, he heard him for Lot. He remembered Abraham, and, for his sake, sent Lot out before the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We must take conscious note that God will certainly give an answer of peace to the prayer of faith, in his own way and time; though, for a while, it seem to be forgotten, yet, sooner or later, it will appear to be remembered. It was out of respect to Abraham that Lot was rescued.

3 God shares secrets with us in Precious Prayer Time

Something was about to happen to Sodom and Gomorrah. Deuteronomy 29:29 says ‘The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ Before God wants to do something major, whether it is judgment or miracles, he informs those that have Precious Prayer Time with Him. Genesis 18:17 says, ‘And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do.” Something earth changing and life changing is about to take place, and God informs those that are close to him.

The day and night before the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001, God woke up Jim Cymbala in the middle of the night to pray for New York and David Wilkerson felt led to gather the church to pray for New York City. It is here that Abraham interceded with the Covenant Angel for Lot and Sodom. It was during that time that Abraham saw the miseries and punishments of those who do not fear God. It was then Abraham began secretly to understand the mystery of God’s will and his dealings with man; it was here that Lot was saved.

4 It is your Precious Prayer time that will save your loved ones

Abraham’s daily prayer led him to supernatural prayer. He started interceding for Lot, which saved his life. Similarly, when you pray with a burden when you are inspired by the Holy Spirit you may save some one from crisis. To excel in this inspirational prayer one has to have a regular prayer time. Only Abraham could see because He saw God and heard God’s voice. Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Lot was Abraham’s brother’s son. Lot represents your relatives; your family members, your father, your mothers, your children, your in-laws, your siblings.

Lot represents your loved ones. The Bible says ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy household.’ It is in Precious Prayer Time that we can save our loved ones. Please remember that Lot was saved in spite of his worldliness, backslidden state. The fact of the matter is that Lot is saved. It is only in Precious Prayer time that your loved ones can be saved. When the first-born of Egypt were destroyed, the first born of Israel were spared because God remembered Moses. When Jericho was leveled to the ground, Rahab was delivered because God remembered Joshua.

When God destroyed the cities of the plain, He saved Lot because He remembered Abraham. Can you see how powerful your precious prayer time is? Genesis 19:29 says

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Lot was saved not on his own merits but through grace effected by Abraham’s intercession. Frankly Lot doesn’t deserve to be saved. But God remains just and the justifier of all those who come to him in Precious Prayer time. Isaiah said ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them have light shined.’ It is only in Precious Prayer time that people in darkness will see the light of Christ exuding through us.

5 The urgency of Precious Prayer Time because of the Sin of the City

If there is any time in history where Christians really need to have precious prayer time, it is our present day. The days we are living in are extraordinary days. They are trying days, difficult days, and affliction days. Sodom represents the world and its sin. The gradual erosion of Lot’s life (your loved ones life) appears to be directly related to his time in Sodom. The city appeared to influence him more than he was able to influence the city.

Only Abraham could save Lot. When Abraham looked down toward Sodom, I think his heart was sad. He saw a microcosm of hell when Sodom and Gomorrah was consumed by fire. He probably was sad for Lot’s sake. While we could argue from our text that Sodom corrupted Lot, we would also argue that Lot could have challenged Sodom. But Lot could never have challenged Sodom because he never had precious prayer time. Make a determination today to pray for at least half an hour to an hour daily. Show to God that your priority or preference in life is only for Him. Don’t lose your Prayer time even if you have to lose your head (like Daniel). Why don’t you make this prayer: Father! I take a strong determination to pray for every day.

In this quiet time I will praise you through songs, meditate on the word, make a soul search, speak in tongues, make faith confessions, bind the demons by using authority and possess your blessing, I understand that if my personal prayer time and my life are brought to order, my church, my family, my life and my nation shall also be brought to order. I dedicate myself for this life of daily disciplined prayer. Help me to be faithful in this till your coming. Your precious prayer time will make you very rich in God.

When we look at Sodom in the eyes of Lot, we sure had a wrong view of it. But for Abraham he sees Sodom as God sees it. It is too bad that the church today is not looking at the sin of Sodom as God looks at it. Sodom represents the world and its sin. Abraham wanted God to demonstrate his justice by delivering Lot and sparing the city. But God chooses to demonstrate justice by delivering Lot and destroying the city. I want to say that as I was preparing this message, God told me that many of the sins of cities of the world has reached Sodom and Gomorrah’s level. Singapore is a World Class City. But the abbreviation for Singapore is “SIN”. Singapore is a Sin City. Recently it has opened up two major Casinos in Singapore. It sees an influx of prostitution and gambling. Recently the Government persecuted the biggest church in Singapore.

God told me that he would judge Singapore by allowing the death of one of its founder. Jesus said in Matthew 10:15 ‘I tell you the truth, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Judgment than for that city. Billy Graham said that if God did not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. The sin of the cities of the World has reached Sodom and Gomorrah’s level. Half of the world’s more than 6 billion people now live in cities. I mean just this small city like Iloilo has 500,000 people. This worldwide trend will continue throughout the foreseeable future. Most of the increase will occur in the world’s poor countries, but industrialized and developed nations have already seen the pressures of urbanization. By 2050 an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

This could challenge the space and resources of those areas and lead to social disintegration and urban poverty. In 1900 the world’s most populous cities were all in North America or Europe. At the end of the twentieth century, Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles were the only industrialized cities in the top ten lists. By 2020 demographers predict, New York and Lose Angeles will drop off the list – bumped by Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan and Jakarta, Indonesia. Tokyo will lose its number one spot to Bombay (Mumbai), India, as the most highly populated city in the world. We all understand why people choose to live in cities – convenience, job opportunities, higher salaries and standard of living, and a wide variety of entertainment.

Quite possibly all of these appealed to Lot when he made his choice of Sodom. But nearly every city in America also struggles with horrific traffic problem, high crime rates and infamous slums that breed everything from typhoid to HIV. IN 2001 the most popular programs was Sex and the City. Pastor Lily was telling me that in the Sex and the City series, all the main actresses cannot live without New York City. They love the night life, the vibes, the A plus life. They loved the glitz, the fashion and materialism. Lot was a city dweller. He liked the prosperity, the comforts, the culture and the prestige of the city life. They will die if there is no New York City. I believe that is what is wrong with Lot’s wife. She couldn’t leave Sodom. She had to turn back because she is so in love with Sodom. Sodom represents the cities of the World. And the cities of the world is about to be judged. I believe God really need people who has maintained Precious Prayer Time to share with them to deliver people from judgment.

6 God’s covenant with His Precious Prayer time Saints

A few things happen to Abraham and likewise will happen to you when you enter into this precious prayer time. Amidst all the pressure of living, the testing and corruptions of the world we are living in, God will enter into a covenant with you when you go into a commitment of Precious Prayer Time. Our relationship with God has always been one of covenant. The covenant with Abraham is unconditional, depending solely upon God who obligates Himself in grace, indicated by the unconditional declaration, ‘I will’ to bring to pass the promised blessings.

Likewise, our covenant with God has been unconditional, depending solely upon God who obligates Himself in grace, letting Christ die on the Cross of Calvary, and declaring to bring to pass promised riches of Christ’s blessings. It is in Precious Prayer Time, that we are reminded of who we are, where we stand before God, and His great precious promises for us. I want you to picture Abraham. I mean he is literally nothing compared to the 5 cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham didn’t even live in that city. If he goes to the Sodom he will be such a small fry in the midst of all the grandeur and hype found in those 5 cities. But Abraham was more powerful, more important to God than anyone living in that city. He holds the key to the salvation of the people in Sodom and Sodom itself. Just imagine how powerful our lives if when we have precious prayer time.

Then God revealed himself to Abraham as God Almighty. God has never revealed himself to anyone this attributes of God until he enters into a relationship with Abraham. He is the God Almighty before Abraham. This name God Almighty was first made known to Abraham. It comes from the Hebrew Word ‘El Shaddai’. Shaddai seems to be derived from another word meaning breast, which implies that Shaddai signifies one who nourishes, supplies, and satisfies. El Shaddai is the many breasted God. It is God as El who helps, but it is God as Shaddai who abundantly blesses with all manner of blessings. When you have precious prayer time with you, you will be very rich in God. Your concept of God, attitude towards life will be God is able and willing. It is to be noted that in connection with this relationship of Himself as the ‘Almighty’, the Lord God made a composite promise in which seven times He said ‘I will’. ‘And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. This seven ‘I will’ should be compared to the seven ‘I wills’ of Exodus 6:6-8, ‘Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians (Egypt is another sin city), and I will rid you of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm. And with great judgments: and I will take you to be a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did sware to give it to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am the Lord.’

My purpose in calling attention to this passage is that in Genesis the Lord revealed Himself to Abraham, but in Exodus 6 He revealed himself to the children of God, and that is you and me.

If you really want to be successful in life, you need the precious prayer time. You will be overcomer and never be defeated by life and in life. It was in my Precious Prayer time that I wrote this about God. It says, ‘Too long we have been limiting Him. Victorious living is the right living. Prayer power is the greatest power. God loves to answer prayer, show His power and manifest His miracles. The early church witnessed a succession of mighty miracles. The book of Acts is called by that name because it is Acts of Miracles. It is a rapid succession of mighty miracles. They experienced divine deliverance. The people that do know their God will do exploits. Let us dare to believe that God answers believing prayer. We don’t have to fight a losing battle. May we let God demonstrates what He can do. The only boundary that God puts on His blessings is ‘according to your faith’. He meets our needs, not our greeds. Our faith, plus His power, is what we need today. We can believe God too little, but not too much. We can never see God in the right perspective when we don’t have precious prayer time.

End of Sermon

Scripture Reading: Genesis 19:27-29

A minister was asked what the secret of his success is. His reply was this:

“If you ask me, for the secret of my success, I would ascribe it to my Precious Prayer time. Right from my college days, every day I spend time in God’s Presence. I can boldly declare that if you maintain a devotion time you shall see as much difference as there is between day and night. Learn to sit in the presence of God during your personal prayer time.

Even if your thoughts wander here and there, don’t leave your prayer closet till the set time is over (that means if your set time is one hour, don’t leave the prayer closet until the one hour is over). Within months you shall see a tremendous change in your life. If you come before God daily, God will speak to you daily’. Actually I dare to say that if you do this within a month, you will already begin to see something different in your life.”

Pastor Dag was a medical doctor by profession. But he gave up his profession to be a minister. His father-in-law was so disappointed with him. But today he has planted over 1000 churches all over the world. And he ministers to all the provinces in Ghana and Africa. His crusade’s attendance is usually a few hundred thousands per night meetings. He is definitely a very successful man. He said this, I quote: ‘The greatest secret of my life and ministry is my quiet time.’

Pastor Lily preached a very powerful message last Tuesday. She talked about people who are rich in many other things. They accumulate riches for themselves. What matters most for their life is to harvest large crop, build bigger barns, achieve financial security, eat, drink, and be merry, and don’t die. But they are not rich towards God. And they have to die. She gave the illustration of a husband and a wife. They have been busy for weeks: heavier than usual travel commitments, out of town guests staying with them, and some unscheduled complications. So the wife sat him down and said, ‘I want to spend one day with you. Just the two of us. The husband felt it strange. There’s no one the husband enjoyed being with more than his wife. But because the husband felt so busy, he made a counteroffer. ‘How about if we spend the morning each working on our own tasks and then are together from lunch on’. At first she agreed. Then she returned and put her foot (also known as the hammer) down. ‘No working. No meetings. We’re spending the whole day together, having a great time, or there’s going to be trouble.’ So they spent the whole day together. They didn’t do anything fancy. They did the things they usually do. They went for a drive, they took a walk, they had lunch, and they talked about stuff. It was an ordinary day. And that was just what she wanted to do.’ That is the same thing that God wants with us – Just to spend time with us. No distraction, no phone calls, no TV, no interruption, just between God and us.

We can never be rich in God without precious prayer time. Today we are rich in so many things. We are so rich with our computers, so rich in our careers, so rich in our business, so rich in our studies, so rich with the world but are so poor in God.

I know that many of you as Christian probably cannot identify with the example of a minister because you felt that that is the responsibility of a Minister: to have precious prayer time. And you are just an ordinary Christian. And God don’t expect you to do that. But I strongly believe that anyone, a businessman, a housewife, a professional in the corporate world, especially when you are a Christian, if you really want to have success, the secret lies in your precious prayer time. The best example is Daniel. He was not a minister. He was the Prime Minister of a country; the highest, elite job in the world, handling the affairs not of a corporation but a country. But Daniel had such a disciplined prayer life.

The Bible says in Daniel 6:10 that Daniel ‘went into his house, and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, He kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime(as was his custom, as he has always been doing).’ Let’s not be overzealous and pray three times a day like Daniel. Let’s just pray one solid half an hour or one hour a day. He was determined to the extent that he would rather lose his head than his prayer time. That was the secret of his success.

I remember many years ago, probably more than 20 years ago, I had to go to the office of a lawyer who was the head of the legal department of China Banking Corporation in Manila. When we visited him, in his office, it was a little bit awkward, because he was having his personal prayer time with God in the office of this high- rise building. I can remember that the office was not opened yet and thus we went too early. His reason for going early to his office was because he wanted to have his precious prayer time with God. But we interrupted his schedule that day. Honestly I sensed a little irritation on his part because it was like I intruded into his precious time. And he was not wrong to be irritated. He needed that Precious Prayer time in the corporate world. Today he is the head of the legal department of China Banking Corporation. He is so sought after that even though it is already his retirement age, China Banking Corporation refuses to let him go because they need him so much. Here is a man that is so successful in his career life because of his precious prayer time.

I read to you the confession of a Christian businessman. He says, ‘I have been immersed in this experience of serving Christ through business for thirty years, first as an experiment but then, as a conviction and call. And during that time, I have made just about every mistake that can be made and watched others make the ones that I hadn’t thought of. But along that bumpy road, I’ve learned a thing or two and I am blessed to share it with you here. It entails first getting to know God through His Word. It is impossible to live a successful life in the marketplace apart from God’s written revelation of His Truth. Seventeen years ago a trusted friend said to me:

I don’t see how a man can say that God is first in his life and not give Him the first part of his day.

I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but I knew that it was for me. So on that day, I committed to spend the first hour of every day with my Father, and I have very seldom missed our appointment. I talk to God about every area of my life, listening for direction as I do. Moreover, I journal and keep record of what I ask Him and what I think He tells me. Using this morning time for genuine, uninterrupted prayer, I can personally attest to the power of this practice. Since that day, my morning time with God has been the platform on which every good thing in my life has been built. On countless mornings, God has shown me areas of my life and specific actions that were either sinful or would lead to compromise. And at least as often He has given me wonderful direction, counsel that I doubt would have ever occurred to me apart from this discipline. So to sum it up, if I’ve learned nothing else in three decades (30 years) of devoting my work life to God, I’ve learned this: the real secret to business “success” is intimate relationship with God. No one achieves true success as a Christian without building on the solid foundation of divine relationship. Further, I believe that in the frantic pace of the twenty-first century, scheduling non-negotiable time with God each day is the only way that any of us will make the relationship a reality’.

One day the Korean President’s wife rang up to Pastor Cho. Since Pastor Cho was in his prayer closet, his secretary said, “Pastor is praying. Kindly call after sometime!” The dignitary got furious and said, “Do you know who I am? How dare you….” No wonder God has honored this man of God with the biggest church in this world because of his disciplined prayer time. Let’s study the Precious Prayer Time of Abraham.

1 Abraham got up early in the morning

Genesis 19:27 says ‘And Abraham gat up early in the morning (of the catastrophe, where God rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah) to the place (i.e. he went to a place) where he stood before the Lord.’ Gen.19:27 was a new revelation to me because before this I have never really seen this part of Abraham. We see that Abraham had a custom of meeting God at a set-time and at a set place every day. Hearing God’s voice speaking to him was a daily experience for him.

Do you desire to see God and hear God’s voice? Then determine to set a regular prayer time with him. According to the Masorites, the text originally read, ‘the Lord stood before Abraham’. It is implying not we stood before God, like as the text says ‘Abraham stood before the Lord) but God stood before us in our Precious Prayer Time. The reason for this interchanging of position is to inform us that in our precious prayer time not only we stand before the Lord, but the Lord also stands before us. The word ‘stood’ gives the implication of facing, appearing, encountering a person. To stand before a person gives the impression that some important, serious conversation is taking place. It gives the idea of God appearing before us and we appearing before God; we encountering God and God facing us. Never underestimate the power of that one hour meeting with God.

I remember in the early years, when Pastor Marion came to the Philippines and stayed with us. In the morning, she heard us praying quite loudly in tongues and then she commented that we must never stop this routine of our lives. It is needful, important and will be responsible for the future success of our lives.

It was said in the book of Daniel, at one time, Daniel was watching a vision and trying to understand its meaning, there stood before him, an angel who looked like a man. The angel appeared before Daniel; and Daniel had an encounter with God. And some future events were revealed to Daniel. So that is what will happen to us in our Precious Prayer Time. We appear before God and God appear before us.

What was Abraham’s attitude regarding this event; this precious prayer time. It was a careful expectation of the meeting. The Bible says ‘he went to a place’. It was a planned meeting. It was a carefully calculated event. It was set aside. It was prepared. The bible says he got up early in the morning. Just imagine how powerful, how important our Precious Prayer time with God is.

2 Abraham had an expectation concerning his prayer

It is in Precious Prayer time that we pour out our full souls for ourselves and for others. Also there was an expectation concerning his prayer. Abraham wants to know what has become of his prayer. He had prayed for Lot and Sodom and he was expecting some answer to that prayer. When we have prayed we must look after our prayers, and observe the success of them (take note when it is answered). We must direct our prayer as a letter, and then look up for an answer, direct our prayer as an arrow, and then look up to see whether it reaches the mark. You will be surprised how much of your prayers have been answered. You will be surprised at how much of our Tuesday Prayer’s requests have been answered.

Recently, during every of my prayer time, I have been writing down in my notebook my sins, my requests, my struggle, my pain and my pleadings. I also make a point to thank God for every little prayer that He has answered. As I went back to read all my prayer journal recorded in the recent past, I was literally amazed at how much God has answered those prayers. Little things like for the rain, for my financial needs, for my children, even for my relationship with people, I was amazed at how much God took note of my prayer and make a point to answer them. I learned from this experience that God amazingly answered a lot of my prayers. There was an expectation concerning my prayer. If I learned anything, it is that God is interested to answer my prayer.

Here we see God’s favorable regard to Abraham. As before when Abraham prayed for Ishmael, God heard him for Isaac, so now, when he prayed for Sodom, he heard him for Lot. He remembered Abraham, and, for his sake, sent Lot out before the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We must take conscious note that God will certainly give an answer of peace to the prayer of faith, in his own way and time; though, for a while, it seem to be forgotten, yet, sooner or later, it will appear to be remembered. It was out of respect to Abraham that Lot was rescued.

3 God shares secrets with us in Precious Prayer Time

Something was about to happen to Sodom and Gomorrah. Deuteronomy 29:29 says ‘The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ Before God wants to do something major, whether it is judgment or miracles, he informs those that have Precious Prayer Time with Him. Genesis 18:17 says, ‘And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do.” Something earth changing and life changing is about to take place, and God informs those that are close to him.

The day and night before the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001, God woke up Jim Cymbala in the middle of the night to pray for New York and David Wilkerson felt led to gather the church to pray for New York City. It is here that Abraham interceded with the Covenant Angel for Lot and Sodom. It was during that time that Abraham saw the miseries and punishments of those who do not fear God. It was then Abraham began secretly to understand the mystery of God’s will and his dealings with man; it was here that Lot was saved.

4 It is your Precious Prayer time that will save your loved ones

Abraham’s daily prayer led him to supernatural prayer. He started interceding for Lot, which saved his life. Similarly, when you pray with a burden when you are inspired by the Holy Spirit you may save some one from crisis. To excel in this inspirational prayer one has to have a regular prayer time. Only Abraham could see because He saw God and heard God’s voice. Lot was Abraham’s nephew. Lot was Abraham’s brother’s son. Lot represents your relatives; your family members, your father, your mothers, your children, your in-laws, your siblings.

Lot represents your loved ones. The Bible says ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved and thy household.’ It is in Precious Prayer Time that we can save our loved ones. Please remember that Lot was saved in spite of his worldliness, backslidden state. The fact of the matter is that Lot is saved. It is only in Precious Prayer time that your loved ones can be saved. When the first-born of Egypt were destroyed, the first born of Israel were spared because God remembered Moses. When Jericho was leveled to the ground, Rahab was delivered because God remembered Joshua.

When God destroyed the cities of the plain, He saved Lot because He remembered Abraham. Can you see how powerful your precious prayer time is? Genesis 19:29 says

So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

Lot was saved not on his own merits but through grace effected by Abraham’s intercession. Frankly Lot doesn’t deserve to be saved. But God remains just and the justifier of all those who come to him in Precious Prayer time. Isaiah said ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them have light shined.’ It is only in Precious Prayer time that people in darkness will see the light of Christ exuding through us.

5 The urgency of Precious Prayer Time because of the Sin of the City

If there is any time in history where Christians really need to have precious prayer time, it is our present day. The days we are living in are extraordinary days. They are trying days, difficult days, and affliction days. Sodom represents the world and its sin. The gradual erosion of Lot’s life (your loved ones life) appears to be directly related to his time in Sodom. The city appeared to influence him more than he was able to influence the city.

Only Abraham could save Lot. When Abraham looked down toward Sodom, I think his heart was sad. He saw a microcosm of hell when Sodom and Gomorrah was consumed by fire. He probably was sad for Lot’s sake. While we could argue from our text that Sodom corrupted Lot, we would also argue that Lot could have challenged Sodom. But Lot could never have challenged Sodom because he never had precious prayer time. Make a determination today to pray for at least half an hour to an hour daily. Show to God that your priority or preference in life is only for Him. Don’t lose your Prayer time even if you have to lose your head (like Daniel). Why don’t you make this prayer: Father! I take a strong determination to pray for every day.

In this quiet time I will praise you through songs, meditate on the word, make a soul search, speak in tongues, make faith confessions, bind the demons by using authority and possess your blessing, I understand that if my personal prayer time and my life are brought to order, my church, my family, my life and my nation shall also be brought to order. I dedicate myself for this life of daily disciplined prayer. Help me to be faithful in this till your coming. Your precious prayer time will make you very rich in God.

When we look at Sodom in the eyes of Lot, we sure had a wrong view of it. But for Abraham he sees Sodom as God sees it. It is too bad that the church today is not looking at the sin of Sodom as God looks at it. Sodom represents the world and its sin. Abraham wanted God to demonstrate his justice by delivering Lot and sparing the city. But God chooses to demonstrate justice by delivering Lot and destroying the city. I want to say that as I was preparing this message, God told me that many of the sins of cities of the world has reached Sodom and Gomorrah’s level. Singapore is a World Class City. But the abbreviation for Singapore is “SIN”. Singapore is a Sin City. Recently it has opened up two major Casinos in Singapore. It sees an influx of prostitution and gambling. Recently the Government persecuted the biggest church in Singapore.

God told me that he would judge Singapore by allowing the death of one of its founder. Jesus said in Matthew 10:15 ‘I tell you the truth, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Judgment than for that city. Billy Graham said that if God did not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. The sin of the cities of the World has reached Sodom and Gomorrah’s level. Half of the world’s more than 6 billion people now live in cities. I mean just this small city like Iloilo has 500,000 people. This worldwide trend will continue throughout the foreseeable future. Most of the increase will occur in the world’s poor countries, but industrialized and developed nations have already seen the pressures of urbanization. By 2050 an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas.

This could challenge the space and resources of those areas and lead to social disintegration and urban poverty. In 1900 the world’s most populous cities were all in North America or Europe. At the end of the twentieth century, Tokyo, New York, and Los Angeles were the only industrialized cities in the top ten lists. By 2020 demographers predict, New York and Lose Angeles will drop off the list – bumped by Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan and Jakarta, Indonesia. Tokyo will lose its number one spot to Bombay (Mumbai), India, as the most highly populated city in the world. We all understand why people choose to live in cities – convenience, job opportunities, higher salaries and standard of living, and a wide variety of entertainment.

Quite possibly all of these appealed to Lot when he made his choice of Sodom. But nearly every city in America also struggles with horrific traffic problem, high crime rates and infamous slums that breed everything from typhoid to HIV. IN 2001 the most popular programs was Sex and the City. Pastor Lily was telling me that in the Sex and the City series, all the main actresses cannot live without New York City. They love the night life, the vibes, the A plus life. They loved the glitz, the fashion and materialism. Lot was a city dweller. He liked the prosperity, the comforts, the culture and the prestige of the city life. They will die if there is no New York City. I believe that is what is wrong with Lot’s wife. She couldn’t leave Sodom. She had to turn back because she is so in love with Sodom. Sodom represents the cities of the World. And the cities of the world is about to be judged. I believe God really need people who has maintained Precious Prayer Time to share with them to deliver people from judgment.

6 God’s covenant with His Precious Prayer time Saints

A few things happen to Abraham and likewise will happen to you when you enter into this precious prayer time. Amidst all the pressure of living, the testing and corruptions of the world we are living in, God will enter into a covenant with you when you go into a commitment of Precious Prayer Time. Our relationship with God has always been one of covenant. The covenant with Abraham is unconditional, depending solely upon God who obligates Himself in grace, indicated by the unconditional declaration, ‘I will’ to bring to pass the promised blessings.

Likewise, our covenant with God has been unconditional, depending solely upon God who obligates Himself in grace, letting Christ die on the Cross of Calvary, and declaring to bring to pass promised riches of Christ’s blessings. It is in Precious Prayer Time, that we are reminded of who we are, where we stand before God, and His great precious promises for us. I want you to picture Abraham. I mean he is literally nothing compared to the 5 cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham didn’t even live in that city. If he goes to the Sodom he will be such a small fry in the midst of all the grandeur and hype found in those 5 cities. But Abraham was more powerful, more important to God than anyone living in that city. He holds the key to the salvation of the people in Sodom and Sodom itself. Just imagine how powerful our lives if when we have precious prayer time.

Then God revealed himself to Abraham as God Almighty. God has never revealed himself to anyone this attributes of God until he enters into a relationship with Abraham. He is the God Almighty before Abraham. This name God Almighty was first made known to Abraham. It comes from the Hebrew Word ‘El Shaddai’. Shaddai seems to be derived from another word meaning breast, which implies that Shaddai signifies one who nourishes, supplies, and satisfies. El Shaddai is the many breasted God. It is God as El who helps, but it is God as Shaddai who abundantly blesses with all manner of blessings. When you have precious prayer time with you, you will be very rich in God. Your concept of God, attitude towards life will be God is able and willing. It is to be noted that in connection with this relationship of Himself as the ‘Almighty’, the Lord God made a composite promise in which seven times He said ‘I will’. ‘And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. This seven ‘I will’ should be compared to the seven ‘I wills’ of Exodus 6:6-8, ‘Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians (Egypt is another sin city), and I will rid you of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm. And with great judgments: and I will take you to be a people, and I will be to you a God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did sware to give it to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am the Lord.’

My purpose in calling attention to this passage is that in Genesis the Lord revealed Himself to Abraham, but in Exodus 6 He revealed himself to the children of God, and that is you and me.

If you really want to be successful in life, you need the precious prayer time. You will be overcomer and never be defeated by life and in life. It was in my Precious Prayer time that I wrote this about God. It says, ‘Too long we have been limiting Him. Victorious living is the right living. Prayer power is the greatest power. God loves to answer prayer, show His power and manifest His miracles. The early church witnessed a succession of mighty miracles. The book of Acts is called by that name because it is Acts of Miracles. It is a rapid succession of mighty miracles. They experienced divine deliverance. The people that do know their God will do exploits. Let us dare to believe that God answers believing prayer. We don’t have to fight a losing battle. May we let God demonstrates what He can do. The only boundary that God puts on His blessings is ‘according to your faith’. He meets our needs, not our greeds. Our faith, plus His power, is what we need today. We can believe God too little, but not too much. We can never see God in the right perspective when we don’t have precious prayer time.

End of Sermon
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