Sunday, May 10, 2009
Power In Prayer
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."1 Timothy 2:1-4
"Tremendous Power In a Praying Christian!"
In our rapidly changing times people are desperate to know the future. Barely do we adjust to the last changes, when totally new realities explode into our world.
In answer to the common fears spawned by change, society has seen a plethora of occult and demonic sources—fortunetellers, astrologers and psychic hotlines—all pretending to be able to peek into the mystery of tomorrow. Indeed, how many otherwise intelligent individuals glimpse, at least occasionally, at their "astrological signs" trying to get an edge on knowing the future!
Why anyone would consult someone who can't predict their own future is beyond me. These fortunetellers almost always live in abject poverty. Shouldn't their ability to predict the future at least work for themselves? They could invest in the stock market or pick the right lottery numbers. They can't even predict or better their own fortune, yet people go to them for discernment. For Christians, God condemns this demonic, fleshly probing into the unknown.
Indeed, as intercessors, He has called us not to wonder about the future, but to create it through the knowledge of His Living Word and prayer!
Our Father gives us access to the future right now. You ask, How do we know what to pray?
The Lord Jesus told us plainly,
"Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." Matthew 6:9-10
We can look at the conditions of the world and faint or look at the possibilities of God and take faith. To bring revival is to pray for the reality of God's Kingdom to manifest on earth. Jesus was not offering His disciples a millennial prayer focus, for that rule of God's Kingdom is coming whether we want it to or not! No, but Christ calls us to pray for God's Kingdom to manifest in our world today.
How will tomorrow look if God answers the prayer Christ gave us?
Read the Gospels. What we see in the life and power of Jesus Christ is a faith picture of God's Kingdom. Jesus said that we can have that same full manifestation. In fact, He actually commanded us to pray for Heaven's release!
The reality God has planned will always manifest first in the prayer life of His intercessors.
When you hear from God and then pray His Word, you are impacting the unformed essence of life with the Spirit of God Himself! Thus, God calls us, not only to know His Word, but to pray it. We must go from intellectualizing God's Word to being impregnated by it.
I know churches have special areas where intercessors can pray or people meditate. But maybe we ought to change the name from "prayer room" to "prayer womb."
For everything good and holy that we see manifested in people, in churches and in life is first conceived, and then birthed, in the womb of prayer.
We have answers to prayer all around us. The place you are living in is an answer to prayer. Your church is an answer to prayer, as well as are your pastors, teachers and youth workers. As a church member, your attendance and participation is an answer to the prayer of your pastors and intercessors. When you asked God to lead you to the church you should attend, your current church became God's answer to your prayer!
Paul wrote, "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might" (Ephesians 1:18-19).
If you are a Christian, there is a power accompanying your life that is greater than great—the "surpassing greatness of His power." It is not human power, but the actual "strength of His might."
Think About It: The Strength of God Almighty is Attached to Your Prayer Life!
The power of God's might is His resurrection power. What does resurrection mean? It means that things which look dead, smell dead, and act dead, can be touched by God and raised to life!
God demonstrated this "power toward us who believe" first "in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the Heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:19-20).
Right now, you have resurrection power attached to your prayer life!
You can look on things that are absolutely dead and pray forth eternal LIFE! The power in us is the same potency God demonstrated when He raised Jesus out of the grave; it is resurrection power. Our mission is to bring resurrection life to situations that are dead.
If the devil challenges your prayer, remind him that you are seated with Christ, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come" (Ephesians 1:21).
Christ's authority is final. But not only has the Father put "all things in subjection under His feet," but He "gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Notice the Lord uses anatomical metaphors to explain the downlink of authority:
Christ is the "Head" of a "Body" that has all things put under its "feet."
This is a most profound understanding of our role: What the Head, Christ, has attained, the feet of the Church walk out. In other words, God has positioned the Church as the living bridge between the terrible conditions on earth and the wonderful solutions from Heaven!
As we truly, passionately, and accurately submit to Christ in prayer, the Kingdom of Heaven steadily enters our now prayed-for world.
The key of course, is to know Christ's Word. We do not have authority; Christ has authority. What we have is revelation and submission. But as we submit to the Word, and persevere in prayer, we can see the future conformed to God's will.
Prayer Warriors Are Positioned By God
Jesus told a parable to show that men ought to pray at all times and not lose heart (see Luke 18:1-8). In other words, if you are not praying, you will lose heart. Most of the things I pray for I have to persevere and pray through to get the answer.
God desires to see something deeper come out of my prayer time than just answered prayers. He wants me to become like Jesus, so He arranges battles that are character-forming. Not only will they ultimately change the world around me, but they'll change me first. This is what all true prayer warriors have discovered.
When we picture a prayer warrior, we usually see a great-aunt or grandmother. I think that every family has one. You never find them looking into a crystal ball to know the future for little Johnny—they are at the throne of God creating Johnny's future in prayer. They are not wondering if Mary is going to make it; they are praying her through to victory. They do not have time to lament Harry's drinking problem; they are storming Heaven to see him delivered.
Prayer warriors are the most frightening, powerful, demon-chasing, world-moving beings on earth. In truth, they act like children of God!
If they were to gaze at a crystal ball, it would explode! They look at astrological predictions and rebuke them. They never wonder about the future because they are too busy creating it through their faith in God.
Prayer warriors are positioned by God to pray for their families.
I remember when my Dad came to the Lord. For ten years we would intellectually clash about God during our visits. Finally, on one trip he arrived at our home "armed" with an argument against God. He said, "If there really is a God, why doesn't He always answer prayer?" He was secure in his position, and I was tired of the argument. I went into another room for a few minutes and prayed, "Lord, You've got to give me an answer."
When I returned I could see my Dad felt he won this round. I love my dad very, very much, but I said, "Dad, forget all the people that you think didn't get answers to prayer—you yourself are an answer to prayer! You are alive today because our entire family daily prays for you." (He was very overweight and smoked a pack of cigarettes daily). Then I continued, "But let's experiment. You say God doesn't answer prayer; we say He does. So, for one week we won't pray for you, and we'll see what happens."
I can't remember ever seeing my dad turn so pale. He looked over at my Mom and said, "Hon, tell the boy not to do that." Then, with beads of sweat forming on his forehead, he said to me, "Okay. What do I have to do to keep you praying for me?"
In three minutes, he went from not believing in prayer to begging us to keep praying for him. I said, "Dad, the only way I'll keep praying for you is if you pray right now and give your life to Christ," and my dad at that moment received Christ. The Lord answered my prayer.
Prayer anchors us in God's strength for our battles. Each of us knows prayer works: we are saved because someone else prayed for us! Thus, looking at the miracle of our own conversion, we gain confidence in God's help to transform others.
You Are a Prayer Warrior!
Luke 21:36 tells us to be "praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." Every time the Bible talks about standing before God, it is speaking of a position of anointed authority and commissioning. Elijah stood before God as did Gabriel. It speaks of one who stands before God as an attendant to the Almighty. When they decree God's Word, it comes to pass.
Jesus said, "With God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
Under that banner, we pray and believe God. The Holy Spirit ever lives to make intercession. All we need to do is open our hearts to Him and prayer is going to come forth.
Look at the terrible issues of our world right now. Every need we see is where God wants us to release, through prayer, His future for that situation. God shows us what is wrong so we can pray for things to be made right. Why waste energy criticizing what's wrong when our prayers can change it!
The Lord our God in the midst of us is mighty. Our weapons are mighty to pulling down strongholds. Stop thinking of yourself as unable to pray. That's a lie out of hell. You are a prayer warrior!
There was a time when that great aunt or grandmother was a younger woman. She might have been just like you, and God showed her the needs around her. His grace came and she made a decision not to judge, but to pray. She didn't start off strong, but she became strong. Now it's your turn to make that decision to be the prayer warrior for your family, church or city!"
Let's pray: Lord Jesus, You said that the armies in Heaven follow You, and Your name is called "the Word of God." Help me to not only believe Your Word, but pray it in the power of the Holy Spirit! I accept that You have called me to be a prayer warrior. By Your grace, I receive a new anointing in intercession. Amen!
Author: Francis Frangipane - Ministries of Francis Frangipane