‘Can prayer override good character?’ Quite recently I heard the story of a young man who desperately sought work. He had submitted his CV to a company and waited for the interview date to be scheduled. But he was unaware that he was a preferred candidate because someone in that company had recommended him.
One Day he got a phone call that was to change his life for good. Guess what? He was rude and very impolite to the person at the other end. And so he was by-passed for the position even though he was qualified and with good recommendations.
Anyways, he later got to know about how he messed up big time. Even though he was full of remorse, it was already too late.
So he went to his pastor for prayer and Deliverance.
Can prayer override good character?
According to the pastor, even though he prayed for him, he told him that no matter how much we pray our character must line up with God’s Word in order to get good results.
It is true according to the Scriptures that we should pray about all things and at all times. But we still have the responsibility to develop Christ-like character as well.
A characterless person is like salt that has lost its saltiness. Salt that has lost saltiness is worthless
This is the truth that we as Christians need to understand. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Just as salt adds value and preserves, the Christian is to preserve and add value to lives.
As light shines and illuminate darkness, the Christian is to be that burning and shining light in the dark world.
The born again Christian is a participant in divinity. We are possessors of the Divine nature.
We don’t just pray and hope things change. There is a God part and the human part. We are participants in the Gospel and not just bystanders.
Our communication must effectively point others to who we believe in. Our participation in the Gospel must be operative and produce results for us.
The Christian should increase in intensity and in glory.
Therefore your participantion in Divinity should be operative and productive.
Prayer will never take the place of godliness. Both are relevant in the life of a Christian.
Prayer and Godliness shows faith in God.
In an earlier post on my Facebook page where I first posted this content, my friend Joseph Dilly commented thus: “Prayer without good character is akin to faith without work/deed. The scripture enjoins us to “pursue/follow peace with all men and godliness without which no man will see God“. In conclusion, he asked: “So, to whom will the person without godly character be praying?”
Prayer shows who you believe in, while Godly character points to whose child/follower or disciple you are.
The Apostle Peter stated in his epistle that by His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. There is really no excuses for exhibition of ungodliness.
Christians are disciples of Christ and have received the new nature fashioned after God. That new nature influences godliness. That is the defining factor.
People often pray for miracles to happen. But Christ-like living causes miracles to happen because it involves living daily in the supernatural.
When you add praying all manner of prayers and speaking in tongues to Godliness, you will experience miracles daily.
God is Spirit. And in His infinite wisdom, He chose to come into the realm of human existence through the God-Man Jesus Christ.
The precedent is already set.
Your blessings will come through human beings. You may argue that he sent ravens to feed Elijah in the wilderness. And I too posit the following:
- You are not Elijah.
- You have not exhibited extraordinary faith like Elijah.
- You are not on the run from Jezebel;
- And most importantly, Jesus Christ had not opened the way for humanity into the Holy of Holies in the days of Elijah.
The Son of Man has come and dominion has been restored to Man! God will use humans to bless you. You need to work on developing good relationships with fellow humans.
God works through relationships.
Unlike other religions of the world whereby people are seeking relationship with a god: Christianity is God seeking a relationship with you!
GOD desires fellowship with you. He wants to communicate and relate with you. Hence humans got created in His image and likeness.
My definition of Christianity is this:
“Christianity is a relationship with God through a daily faith walk with Christ Jesus”.
Examples of how a good relationship/Godly characteristics release blessings:
- The Shunnamite woman:
The Shunnamite woman had everything. But she lacked the joy of parenting. Even though she was wealthy and well connected, she couldn’t buy a child even if she so desired
But favor became her portion through having a good relationship with Elisha, a man of God. She was respectful, hospitable and kind. Her Godly upbringing showed up. She displayed excellent character! Her Godliness placed a demand on the anointing and there was a release. Elisha the prophet spoke to her situation and her condition changed. She became a mother as prophesied.
Can you even imagine what would have happened if she had been impolite, aggressive, inhospitable and unkind? She would have attracted a curse. And she would then have had the displeasure of doing the circuit of prayer requests and the seeking of Deliverance ministrations.
She would have suffered greatly in going from one prayer house to the other and seeking seers/prophets for insight. And they in turn, would have recommended praying and fasting, binding and casting out of the demons which got activated by her bad character.
Sometimes, we unwittingly open doors for high powered demon activity against us.
Jesus Christ made a statement to His disciples, which we tend to overlook. He said:
“The Prince of the world is coming and he has nothing to use against me.”(John 14:30; Aramaic Bible in plain English)
There is ongoing spiritual warfare. The devil is going to and fro like a roaring lion seeking for whom to prey on.
Bad character releases a scent that attracts the devil and his hordes of evil spirit.
Bad character magnetizes evil. It is a potent weapon the forces of evil will use against erring Christians .
Bad character is counterproductive. It frustrates the grace of God, short-circuits the anointing that destroys yokes and hinders/terminates progress. You really don’t need to go there.
Some of us have insulted people that were divinely placed to help us. And we may even not be on speaking terms with our destiny helpers because of some assumed slight.
Deal with your identity issues by finding your identity in Christ.
The Bible states in Philippians 2:7 that Christ Jesus;
“…made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (KJV)
Another translation says “He emptied Himself”. Can you even begin to imagine what that means? The King of glory Himself became nobody in order to make somebody of us humans. So, what are you so full of?
Some of us are still suffering, not because we lack talents or do not pray enough: But because we lack good manners or Godly character.
Good talents may attract attention but bad character will negate it.
Even if you are talented, but have bad character traits, your talents will be unprofitable. Because no person wants to associate with a disrespectful, insensitive, egoistic and uncontrollable person no matter how talented he or she is..
Good character is required to sustain the attention talent attracts.
Bible tells us that “… evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Corinthians 15:33; Darby Translation). And we are not to “… befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people” (Proverbs 22:24; NLT)
There are Good things in you. Let us hear about your love for all people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.
Christian living is a partnership with God in faith. And for it to be effective in your world, you have to deepen your understanding of every good thing. And to share it also with others for the sake of Christ.
God has high standards. And being Omniscient, He is aware that we cannot attain His standards without help. Hence He gave us the Holy Spirit to come alongside and help us
But then, He also expects us to work at it: – to press to reach those goals like a runner strains to reach the finish line.
We are not to rest on our oars and say “God will do it” and keep blasting in tongues. But rather, we should work with the Holy Spirit as He is molding us into persons who are characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23; NLT)
Self-control is a Godly virtue. At the head of it is love. Love for God and for others is a choice and a heart attitude. A person who loves will be kind, tolerant, humble and gracious.
Good character attracts favor.
- Mary, the birth mother of Jesus Christ.
Although Mary was a Virgin, there were lots of virgins in Israel at that time. You can be sure they were busy praying and fasting and doing all other religious stuff to make them fit for God’s use. But Mary’s Godly character traits singled her out for the favour of birthing the Saviour of the world!
God has high standards. He expects exemplary conduct from His children.
The goal of every Christian should be to become like Jesus Christ in worship, character and service.
As an act of worship, we are to offer our bodies daily “as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1, 2; NLT)
We are also to no longer conform to the pattern of the world because we are no longer of this world. Our attitudes and behaviour should evidence the characteristics of God which the Holy Spirit is producing in us: known as the Fruit of the Spirit. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23; NLT)
In humility, we should serve others, do good deeds and believe in God’s timing.
Reset your mind. Upgrade your attitude. Start by placing value on human beings. Be appreciative. Respect people. Put value on relationships. Do not despise people. Be courteous. Be kind. Be humble.
The only time you can look down on another person should be when you want to help them up.
I conclude this section with Paul’s prayer for Philemon:
I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. (Philemon 6,NLT)
Even though Naaman was a general, he had leprosy. GOD used his maid to point him to his healing miracle.
Although Naaman was a great man, he had great needs.
Who would have thought that his maid could proffer him solution? If he had allowed his pride get in the way, he would have died a leper. But he listened to the counsel of a mere servant girl. He did his part and the grace of God accomplished his healing.
The blessings of God come wrapped up, just like we package our gifts. Until the gift-package is carefully unwrapped, you won’t know what is inside the package. Likewise, the solutions of our problems come packaged.
God can use anyone or anything to help us. But without good character we might miss the solution because of its packaging.
As in the case of Naaman, humility and respect for the views of others yielded dividends.
Moses faced a life threatening crisis. The Red Sea was before him, the wilderness, the angry and fearful people surrounded him and Pharaoh and his military might were right behind them in hot pursuit.
Moses cried out in prayer to God. But God was like – ‘guy, why are you crying out to me, man up to the situation- do the needful. You got power right there in your hands, use it man! ‘
What did Moses do? He stretched out his hands over the Red Sea and God’s Omnipotence came into play. The Sea parted for the people to walk through.
As I said earlier, there is a God part and your part in solving a problem.
Faith in God must be accompanied by corresponding action.
In conclusion, I make bold to say: Prayer has its place. Prayer and faith-action are conjoined twins. Faith is seen by what is done in faith.
Development of Godly character has its place also. Work at it. Shine forth. Radiate God’s glory. Let people see that good in you and be comforted and hopeful.
Let your participation in Divinity be productive for you.
Prayer cannot override godly character but rather it should enhance it.
Therefore, pray always. Then yield completely to the in-working of the Holy Spirit as He divinely controls and directs. Then press towards the goal by applying to your reality, the Biblical Principles He teaches you.
Only then can you develop Christlikeness in worship, character and service to attain the Divine Ideal.
Build good relationships with people.
Human beings are very relevant in God’s plan of salvation.
Learn to respect and appreciate people. Change your attitude. Show forth the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.
Let your character point people to God and not alienate them from God.
I need to hear your own view point.
So what do you think? Can prayer override good character?
Post your comments below. Shalom.
LET US PRAY
ABBA we thank YOU for the entrance of your Word has brought light and understanding to us. We apologise for how we treated people in the past and cast aspersions on YOUR Holiness. We receive forgiveness and cleansing from all unrighteousness.
We ask that your enabling grace help us to receive the lessons in character building from the Holy Spirit.
We declare that the prince of the world will no longer have a claim over us.
We affirm that as YOUR righteousness the communication of our faith is effectual and operative. We produce fruits worthy of repentance and of righteousness.
Our lives glorify you. We replicate Divinity in our world.
We order all blockades to be removed now, for we are overcomers in this life.
We receive more grace and grow in knowledge and understanding.
We receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit that brings upliftment, progress, success and economic prosperity. And declare it is at work in ud now.
Our lives must bring praise to YOUR Holy name, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amein