When he was to be ordained a pastor of the same church he now leads in 1975, Enoch Adeboye, a university teacher, fasted and prayed to avoid it. But as Bishop TD Jakes recently explained, when God ties you up Himself for a purpose, murmuring, screaming, jumping, fasting and praying cannot change His plan. So, two years after baptism 1973, the teacher, whose dream was to be the youngest vice chancellor of a leading university in Africa, was ordained a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God by Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, the founder and first General Overseer of the church.
Still “tied up” some four years later, the founder of the church knew he was going to transit into another realm and had to announce his successor. When he broke the news in a hotel in Tulsa, US, where the leaders of the church travelled for a programme of Kenneth Hagin, they broke into prayers that shook the foundation of the hotel so violently that it had to be shut later for investigation.
Pastor Adeboye’s account of the day: “In 1979 when my Father-in-the-Lord, myself and four other pastors were in the United States to attend a Kenneth Hagin Camp meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma; we stayed in a Hotel called Mayor Hotel. That was where my Father-in- the-Lord announced that he would be going soon and I will be taking over from him. It was a frightening announcement! All of us were there in his room praying. We prayed like we had never prayed before.
“It was Revelation that was unexpected so it took us off-guard. I fell on my face and prayed. I was nearest to the door of the room. It was a prayer you pray when destiny is at stake – not just individual destiny now but the destiny of a whole mission. As we prayed a knock came on the door and when I opened it, I saw a staff member of the hotel, likely an engineer. ‘What are you people doing? What kind of Musical Instruments are you playing?’ he asked.
“We are not playing any musical instrument, we are praying,” I replied. He said: ‘No, you must be playing a very powerful musical instrument.’ I insisted we were only praying but he was not convinced.
“He came in, checked everywhere: he looked under the bed, looked in the wardrobe and was confused! “When he got back to the door on his way out, he turned to me and said: ‘What do you say you were doing?’ I said: ‘We are praying!’ He still didn’t believe me so I asked why. He said the hotel was shaking and they had traced the source of the shaking to this room.”
“After we left for Nigeria, they shut the hotel as a safety measure and dug round the foundation to be sure it wasn’t the cause of the shaking. When they couldn’t determine the cause they shut the hotel down for several years.”
In a sermon on the essentials of prayers at the last RCCG Holy Ghost Congress, transcribed by The Discovery Media Crew, Pastor Adeboye used the story to illustrate what he called a powerful prayer that brings God Himself down. There are other examples in the Bible. In one of them, Joshua prayed during a battle for the sun to stand still, not to set, and it did.
“If you feel that age is creeping up on you and you still have a long way to go, you haven’t achieved your purpose yet that is the kind of prayer you need,” he said. “It is a kind of prayer you pray when your medical condition is bad and you refuse to die; it is a prayer that can control the Heavens.”
He had explained the types of prayers from the most common to the most powerful as follows:
• There is a prayer you can call “usual,” for lack of a better word because I don’t want to call it casual prayers. For example, it is what we pray on waking in the morning, like the one in Psalms 103:1-5: “Bless the Lord Oh my Soul, bless His Holy Name.” Then you begin to think of all He has done for you. It is also the prayer during meals or when you want to travel.
• A higher level of prayers is the one that can bring to do your bidding. It is a prayer of urgency like Daniels’ prayer in the lions’ den. There are many of us who are living among lions: lions at the place of work; lions in the home where you live; lions and lionesses from your father’s house, from mother’s house. We need to call down Angels to shut the mouths of those lions so we can continue with our lives unhindered. It was the prayer of Saints in the Bible that brought an Angel down into the prison to Peter out, with the doors opening on their own.
• There is a prayer that can bring God Himself down; not just an Angel, the Almighty God Himself. And when He comes, everybody knows it because the location from where prayer is said will shake like in the example of the US hotel that shook, and there will be trembling. Also, when Nebuchadnezzar looked in the fiery furnace, he said he saw a fourth person with the three Hebrew men he had thrown in there to die. And even though he was an idol worshiper, he recognised the fourth person as the Son of God.
• There is another prayer that is, indeed, a decree for things to happen. The Bible says if you satisfy certain conditions, “You will decree a thing and it shall be established unto you.” When a king sent soldiers to arrest Elijah, he didn’t say any long prayer. He decreed for fire to descend from heaven to consume them. As a child of God, you should be able to pray that prayer for people who try to stop you from doing God’s work to leave you.
• The most important prayer is that kind of prayer that will make you fly over your problems. Jacob knew his powerful brother, Esau was on his way to meet him and he was afraid because of he had “stolen his birthright.” The night before their meeting, Jacob prayed until he found himself wrestling with an Angel. The following day when he met his brother, it was in peace. This kind of intense prayer can keep you flying over all manner of problems – physical, material, marital and spiritual. Jacob prayed and he flew from fear to peace; from death to life; from rejection to acceptance; from sorrow to joy; from storm to calm; and from hatred to love. He prayed the kind of prayer that will cause you to fly; the kind of Prayer that cannot wait till tomorrow. It takes one solid, unrelenting, tenacious prayer to solve all problems once and for all. But the word of God makes it abundantly clear that He can save us in all situations but sin of people won’t allow Him. There is need to surrender to Him for prayers to be answered.