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Monthly Archives: October 2011
In this post I will continue the fundamental about prayer point 8 to 15. If you haven't read Part 1, you can do so here
8. The helper of prayer.
We surely need a supernatural helper to pray through, don’t we? After you have prayed for all things you know to pray, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes, what else to pray? People talk about praying in one hour, you wonder what are they praying? Thank God we have a helper.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26).
Sometimes when we are in a difficulty and our mind is just swirling around and we can’t get all the facts right, we are so confused. Do you know that praying in tongue will help a lot? Praying in tongue is to let the Holy Spirit pray in and through you. And here the Bible is saying that when you don’t know what to pray or how to pray, then you pray with this groaning which can’t be uttered, wordless prayer. If you have not been filled with the Spirit, sometimes you have this spirit to pray but you can’t put it in words because you don’t actually know what the situation is really like and your heart is so troubled and your mind so confused and you go like “Oh… Jesus…arhhh Jesus….” Do you know that that’s a prayer? So, instead of thinking it’s strange, it encourages you to go to some place and just groan it out. Just let yourself groan and in the process you could be filled with the Spirit of God and tongue could come and you could just pray. But if there’s no tongue and you just groaning, just calling the name of Jesus, I want you to know, the Spirit is taking hold of your spirit and you keep on praying and groaning until there’s a ring of victory! It’s prayer itself, it’s the Spirit of God. But if you are speaking in tongue, praise God! It’s a prayer booster!
So, the Bible says if you don’t know what to pray, and the situation is so critical, you begin to groan without words, unutterable groaning, and groan until the Spirit leads you and until there’s a ring of victory. It’s a helper of prayer.
9. The requirement of prayer.
What are the requirements for you to pray effectively? There are two. First is living by the word of God. We have to learn to live by the word of God.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7).
When you have the word of God deep in your heart, you are abiding in Jesus Christ. When you abide in the written word of God, you are abiding in the living word of God. To know the word of God is so important because if you don’t know, then you don’t have a basis to go about praying. You don’t even know what is right and what is wrong while you are praying. The word of God says, if you abide in Me and My words abide in you (your heart is full with the word of God), you shall ask what you wish and it shall be done unto you. People who have the word of God abide in them, they really need few things. As you are matured in the Lord, you’ll find that there are so many things that you covet before, you are not interested now. And that’s the truth. So, living by the word of God is so important.
The second requirement is living by faith. As you cultivate the word of God into your heart, you will automatically find faith rising.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6).
The moment you trust Christ, you please God. Why? Because you trust by faith. Can we see Jesus? No, right? That’s the moment you please God. And God expect you to grow in your faith by pleasing Him more. That means by believing and trusting Him more. For he that comes to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. When you please God by your faith, remember, He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. So, keep seeking Him in prayer!
10. The protocol of prayer.
In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 16:23).
Jesus was talking to his disciples. In that day it means “When I’m taken up, being crucified and ascended, you will ask me nothing because I won’t be around for you to ask me, I’ll be taken, but my Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name.” Although physically I’m not around but you ask the heavenly Father in My Name, He will give you. So, that’s the protocol.
By and large, when we ask God to do us a favour, it is always better to come to the heavenly Father and say, “Father God, your word told me that I should come to the Father and ask it in Jesus’ Name, You will give it to me.” That’s the protocol. That doesn’t mean that you should not talk to Jesus, but make it a habit when you have an emergency, you believing God for something, you’re coming to your heavenly Father, “Father I need this, I’m asking it in Jesus’ Name.”
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:13-14).
Every time you pray, say it in Jesus Name. Some people say, ”For Your sake, do it.” They pray for Jesus’ sake. But we don’t pray that way. It is in Jesus’ Name. If I pray for a job, it is for my sake, but in Jesus’ Name I ask. If I pray to be healed, it’s not for Jesus’ sake but it’s for my sake, in Jesus’ Name I pray. Nowhere in the Bible told us that we are to pray for Jesus’ sake.
This kind of thing could be traditionally passed down, but we have to look at the Bible. And the Bible says “in My Name”, not “for My sake” because Jesus needs nothing. So, always pray to God the Father and in Jesus’ Name. That’s the protocol.
11. The authority of prayer.
You are the child of God, you are a prince / princess of God, you have power with God and with men and have prevailed.
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:23-24).
We have the authority, this power is given to us to speak it out. If there's a rebellion in your home, you have the authority to say, ”You foul spirit of rebellion, I rebuke you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, out of my home!” Just do it. There’s power in that Name! And verse 24 says, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18).
Whatever you bind or don’t allow and whatever you loose or allow, Heaven will respond accordingly. In other word, God in heaven will allow what you allow and disallow what you disallow. It’s under your jurisdiction. We should be able to take control. If you see unruly people, you don’t have to fuss with them because sometimes people are instigated by the evil one, but you have the power to say, “You foul spirit of disobedient, in the name of Jesus, I rebuke you. Depart from my…(loved ones or friends or whoever you are dealing with)” because you have the authority of God.
12. Confidence of prayer.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. (1 John 3:21-23).
It’s all about clear conscience. There are two things to have a clear conscience. Firstly, in every circumstance to always believe that Jesus will carry us through. Secondly, practice love towards one another. You will have a clear conscience when you practice love even when people come against you, and you are not going to revenge or put them in trouble. But, you will pray for them and even bless them the way you want God to bless you. So, when you practice love towards others, you will always have a clear conscience, and when you have a clear conscience, you will have confidence towards God that when you pray, something will happen.
13. The reach of prayer.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. (Psalm 2:8).
How far could your prayer go? Psalm 2:8 must be the prayer of missionaries for God to give them the utmost part of the earth to receive the good news (Gospel). And I believe that they kept praying and praying. We understand that in 1800s Gospel came from the western part of the word to the eastern countries which in those days are the utmost part of the earth to the western missionaries. And today, if you look at a country like Singapore, charismatic (church) has become fashionable.
The point is this, how far reaching the prayer of those missionaries were? Most of them have already with the Lord, but look at today, how people from different kind of background are coming to Jesus.
2000 years ago when the disciples saw how the Lord’s prayer life was so powerful, they yearn for that same prayer life. They ask the Lord to teach them how to pray. Recorded in Matthew 6 :
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Matthew 6 : 9-14).
This is the model of prayer God gave us. Now there are three things we ought to know.
1. When we pray we have to recognize that God has the highest authority, His name is holy, above all, His kingdom is higher than any other kingdoms. He is a creator God.
2. Ask Him to fulfil both our spiritual and physical needs.
Spiritual need is important. We need to be forgiven because none of us live a perfect life, no matter how a good Christian you are, we still need forgiveness. There are times we think of things that are not righteous, speak unrighteously. There are times we feel this volcanic anger rising although nobody sees it, it is still not righteous in the sight of God. Therefore, we need God’s forgiveness, and it’s daily as Jesus said. We are not to pray only for our physical need like daily provision but we have to ask for forgiveness. That is our spiritual need in order to have a clear conscience before God and men. We have to ask for forgiveness and we have to forgive others. Many people have difficulty in forgiving. It takes practice sometimes. How do you practice? When you got hurt, just forgive and don’t think about it and walk away. Don’t harbour a grudge against the person because we need to be forgiven ourselves. If we know much God has forgiven us, it will be easier to forgive.
3. Ask for His total protection from evil.
In this world our enemy (the devil) is always trying to trap us. But, the Bible tells us that God will command his angels concerning us to guard us in all of our ways. So, let’s plead the blood of Jesus to protect us.
Whenever we pray with the clear conscience and with the confidence in God, we bring foretaste of heaven to earth. That’s why we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” What do you think exist in Heaven? Peace, tranquillity, joy, happiness, love, understanding…so, bring that to your home by prayer. And when you learn to obey God’s word, you live by faith and by the word of God, then you are able to bring a little of heaven down to earth wherever you are, wherever you go.
14. The triumph / victory of prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7).
The word “everything” is important. Whatever you are worrying about, as long as you bring it to God, you can rest. Always thank the Lord even before the answer come, because He is doing something about it, your naked eyes cannot see. You should live by faith and not by sight, something is going to happen. And when you do that, what will happen? The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. It surpasses all understanding. Why? Because when the problem is still there, not yet solved, the natural tendency is to worry even more. But, because we know that God is faithful and His word is true, and we’ve already brought our concern to Him, we refuse to be anxious because we know something good is going to happen. And that conviction will bring His peace into your heart. Now, think of thing that worrying you the most, tell the Lord “I’m going to obey you word (Philippians 4:6-7), help me, give me Your wisdom and strength, I just do whatever is right, live normally, whatever positive things I could do towards bringing that problem to a resolution, I will do it. After I’ve done all, I’ll leave the rest to You. And I thank You because something wonderful is going to happen.” Very simple actually, then you just wait, go on with your life as usual, thanking God and see the prayer answered one by one in due time.
15. The journey of prayer.
I encourage you to have a prayer journal. What is prayer journal? When you start to pray all your concern, write it down in a book, put the date on. After you brought your concern to the Lord, begin to thank Him. Every time you think about it, you just thank Him, “Lord, the answer is on the way, and whatever I can do to resolve that problem or to move towards that goal, Lord let me know, speak to my heart. And if I can’t do anything else, I would just wait and rest in You.” That should be the attitude of prayer. So, you keep your prayer journey. Guaranteed, at the end of the year when you look at it again, you’ll be amazed. Out of 10 items for instance, there’ll be numbers of items and the event will happen in such a way that you’ll know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God has brought you out against all odds. There was no way out but God provided a way.
How important is a prayer journal? It is so important that whenever you face a crisis, you look back again and you could tell the Lord, “Lord, you did it before.” Just like King Jehoshaphat when he was surrounded by a coalition of a very aggressive and powerful nations which conspired to bring down his nation. He was at his wits’ end. But because he was a godly king, immediately he returned to the Lord (2 Chronicles 20). And in verse 6-7 you see the beautiful prayer of King Jehoshaphat. In front of the whole congregation of his army and the population of his nation, this great king knelt down and began to remind God of what He had done in history.
O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no-one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.'
But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.
O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. (2 Chronicles 20:6-12).
At the battle when the priests began to sing and praise the Lord for the splendour of His holiness, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies, and they were defeated.
Now, think of the prospect of prayer victory in your life. Just think about it. Doesn’t it encourage your heart to pray? You can start right away. Just tell the Lord what is in your heart, commune with Him naturally as you breathe air. You can do it anywhere. Besides asking God, we do our part, we have to know our limitation, cooperate with Him, so that the Lord can answer our prayer. Keep talking to the Lord anytime, anywhere. We have to breathe prayer, then we will see the reality of Jesus Christ. People may laugh at you but you are having a good time with Jesus Christ! Be a prayer warrior, you are not afraid of the devil, whatever may happen at your home, at your work place, or anywhere, you know how to take authority because you are a prayer warrior for Jesus Christ!