We are praying and seeking the Lord as to how these gatherings continue forward and what it looks like. Suffice to say that there will be alternating evenings of prayer and worship and time in the Word. For now, our focus will definitely be on prayer, and things related to prayer, to get us into a deeper place of revelation, as we begin engaging in active prayer. Part of our being Spirit-led is allowing the Spirit to guide us even in our format for meeting.
I do hope these meetings have had impact on your prayer life, on how you look at prayer and how you engage in prayer, and how you appreciate the “prayer opportunity”. More than the “charge” and the “instruction” and the “admonition” to pray, what is wonderful is when we get to a place of understanding that prayer is an opportunity for the Kingdom of heaven to come in and invade the kingdom of man – through our revelation of God’s will, through our anointing that is imparted to us, through our ability to take before the throne of the King the issues of life.
Quite importantly, in these most-shaking days, it’s also critical for us to understand the URGENT REQUIREMENT for the prayer of the saints.
It will be our survival and success, and in large part it could mean the survival of our society and our nation.
Each and every day is demonstrating the increase in intensity and frequency of wild events.
Man grows in his defiance of God.
I recently wrote something called: “THE EXALTATION OF WICKEDNESS”.
Ps 12 begins w the psalmist crying: “Help O Lord for the godly man ceases” and then concludes w the revelation as to why things are so awful, and getting worse all the time, until the return of the Lord.
The spiritual forces behind all this is not going to be withstood unless and until the church is praying as it called to pray.
Isa 28 offers a prophetic promise to the warriors of the Lord who understand the battle, and also the reward to those who would engage:
5 In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,
6 For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.
This is A season during which we should be prioritizing prayer, and in many way I believe it is THE season, prior to the Lord’s return, when we need to be prioritizing prayer in order to finish well.
AND SPEAKING OF GATES – points of entry – HERE IS THE HOPE:
Ps 24 (we touched on this earlier) – but this time the complete psalm – to reveal our qualifications to be receivers of His presence.
(The declaration of God’s sovereign ownership by virtue of it being His creation)
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.
(The question of ANY PERSON’S qualification)
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
(The qualifications for attendance)
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
(The reward for that “perfect person” who might possess those qualities – which in the natural would disqualify us all)
5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
(The miraculous revelation that there exists SOMETHING that can qualify even those whose fundamental spiritual DNA would disqualify them even from the womb – Jacob being referred to as “the deceiver” or “supplanter” – AND ALSO THE REVELATION as to what would over-ride that disqualification: DESPERATE HUNGER)
6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.
(NOW, with that revelation – here’s the invitation to those who recognize their sincere hunger qualifies them)
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
(THE ASSURANCE AND THE PROMISE)
And the King of glory shall come in.
(THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER: The One who reigns in sovereign authority)
8 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
Here’s what the Lord confirms in Isa 65 – after dealing w the majority of the ones who are NOT going after Him in spirit and in truth:
THE REVELATION OF THE REMNANT
8 Thus says the Lord:
“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it,
For a blessing is in it,’
So will I do for My servants’ sake,
That I may not destroy them all.
9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob,
And from Judah an heir of My mountains;
My elect shall inherit it,
And My servants shall dwell there.
THE CONFIRMATION OF REWARD FOR SEEKING HIM
10 Sharon shall be a fold of flocks,
And the Valley of Achor a place for herds to lie down,
For My people who have sought Me.
THE CHASE needs to be on.
That is our choice.
We choose to chase God.
In determining to CHASE GOD, we enter into the qualified group that is invited to lift up their heads, so the King of glory might come in.
And there is no better place for that, than the place of prayer – the intimate and personal place – even when we gather in groups – where time is spent on God and time spent with God.
To be effective, we should pray ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. There are assurances, when we pray accurately, w understanding.
A FAVORITE PLACE for me, in these days, as we see a society eroding because of its raging against God.
I KNOW Psalm 125 CONTAINS A PROMISE, AND I KNOW I AM NOT “STRETCHING IT” FOR MY PURPOSES – SO I CAN PRAY IT W CONFIDENCE OF ITS ACCURACY.
1 Those who trust in the Lord
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.
3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
On the land allotted to the righteous,
Lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.
It’s good to understand this Psalm, LIKE ANY PSALM, so it can be prayed effectively.
At first blush, it looks like it is ABOUT Mount Zion in Jerusalem – but it is not. The promise is way broader than that. It says THOSE – any people group, anywhere, who trust in the Lord will be LIKE (equivalent to, seen by God as) Mount Zion – and that becomes unmovable.
Then verse assures that IN LIKE MANNER AS HOW GOD SURROUNDS JERUSALEM – He will surround that group who trust in Him – and that is a “forevermore” promise.
Then verse 3 – which is pregnant w promise, tells us that a covenant land can gain access to a place of rescue and deliverance because – if we’re reading the Word – we know God is QANA over His people, all around the world – any place on earth.
THAT IS WHY we want the Word in us, and understood by us – so that our prayers can be most effective.
Look at these portions of Isa 55 – They are HHY – HAVEN’T HAPPENED YET. We know the nations have not yet flocked to the people of God.
In fact, it has very much been to the contrary. But we know this WILL HAPPEN. So we can wait w expectation for these things to occur, and for the fullness of these verses to happen – and I believe our prayers can activate these events to happen, as we fill those bowls in heaven.
Understanding these intended purposes, and praying in faith, we are literally partnering w God in His word not returning void, but instead, in His word being fulfilled.
LOOKING AT “THE WORD OF GOD NOT RETURNING VOID….” – often proclaimed, and then nothing happens. Let’s see how that is explained to us:
5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the Lord your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.” (HHY – so it sets the timing for fulfillment)
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
THAT is HOW you want to be praying – in ALIGNMENT and OBEDIENCE and LED by the Spirit of God, so that your prayers can truly be prayed in the faith that you are speaking and proclaiming the word of God – and can believe Him for success in your prayers – that your prayers do not return void.
If WE are praying simply what we are THINKING, we’re already told WHAT God is thinking is higher than what WE are thinking.
And God’s desire is to reveal to us what He is thinking:
1 Cor 2:11, 12
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
THERE is an ACTIVE AND ONGOING REVELATION OF THE SPIRIT that we are going after.
And the church without the Spirit is a dead church.
Remember when Jesus was responding to Satan’s lies, and told him this:
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8 (a favorite chapter of mine as it led me on an amazing journey of revelation, years ago, that continues to this day).
Deut 8:3 says:
3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
(YOU CAN READ THE FOLLOWING ON YOUR OWN – I don’t want to get hung up on this cool thing, for time-sake)
FIRST – The OT Hebrew word typically translated into “WORD” is DABAR. But that does not come up as the Hebrew word used in Deut 8 – because there is no word “WORD” in Deut 8:3.
What would more accurately be written would be:
“Man does not live by bread alone, but by EVERY (all things!) that proceed from the mouth of God”
GOD’S ENTIRE CREATION-WILL AND PLAN AND SUBSTANCE CAME FORTH – WHEN HE SPOKE. It is so much bigger than the word “WORD”.
FOR our prayer-focused purposes in this class – that is NOT what I want to focus on. I want us to consider THE TENSE of WHAT IS COMING OUT OF GOD’S MOUTH.
We would do well to understand that the PROCESSION of the revealed will of God CONTINUES, always.
Jesus did NOT recite Deut 8 and tell us “…every (word) that proceeded (in the past) from the mouth of God”.
The ongoing revelation of His will is revealed to us, oftentimes, as we pray.
There is a divine necessity to remain in continuous communication w God, in the Spirit.
This coordinates perfectly w Romans 8 – once again – so that we recognize the critical nature of Spirit-led, Spirit-infused LIFE and PRAYER:
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23-25 speak to a groaning work of waiting, w expectation, and then tells us this is God’s HELPER for us during this travailing period
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
(HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS AND GREAT RELIEF RE THE EFFECTIVENESS AND POTENTIAL OF HOLY-SPIRIT INFUSED PRAYER: We don’t really need to know all the things we specifically need to be praying for, nor HOW to pray for some of them – because the Holy Spirit, IN US, is in complete harmony with the purposes of heaven, and HE KNOWS how we ought to be praying. He wants to pray FOR YOU THROUGH YOU)
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
AND THEN WE GET THE “ALL THINGS….” PROMISE VERSE – within this context of Holy-Spirit infused, Spirit led life:
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
PAUL’S DISCOURSE ON TONGUES AND HOLY SPIRIT PRAYER, leading into PROPHECY
He starts by saying this:
1 Cor 12
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
Then he interrupts his 2-chapter instructional by telling us that unless we’re doing everything and anything out of true love, it is simply noise, and religion.
Then he goes back to finish up what is so critical to a Spirit-led, Spirit-infused life – which is one huge reason why our enemy has so campaigned against our walking in this authority – and his campaign has in many ways been most successful INSIDE the church.
I believe, in large part, that is why Jesus said the following – THIS IS CRITICAL FOR US TO UNDERSTAND AS THE CHALLENGE APPROACH US:
28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter;
29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”—
30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say.
12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
What we see, above, is Jesus assuring us of a Spirit-directed life in the most critical of times, and those times are being resisted EVEN by the ones who ought to be understanding the things of God.
The greater sin is calling the spirit-active components of God “unclean” or “demonic” or “not of God” – which actually takes place more IN church than OUT of church.
OUT of church, ignorant people typically bad-mouth Jesus.
IN church, it’s the ones w the charge to humbly know God and His ways, who have been raging against the Holy Spirit. Their accountability is greater. Hence, the warning above from the mouth of our Lord.
Preemptively, that is why Paul told us he did not want us ignorant of these things – because the church has blasphemously led many saints into that ignorance, speaking and teaching against these critical verses. And ignorance of the fullness of the Kingdom plan hamstrings saints.
EPH – “Having done all, to stand” becomes an impossibility.
ONE KEY to understanding these verses in Corinthians is to recognize when it says SPEAK and when it says PRAY/PRAYER.
SPEAKING is public speaking out.
PRAYING is to God – but individually as well as publicly.
It would clarify things to recognize where Paul is writing about SPEAKING in tongues and where is writing about PRAYING in tongues.
LALEO – g2980. λαλέω laleō; a prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. utter words: — preach, say, speak (after), talk, tell, utter.
PROSEUCHOMAI – g4336. προσεύχομαι; from 4314 and 2172; to pray to God,
1 Cor 14
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret.
14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?
17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all;
19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
Then Paul goes on to reveal to us that our obedience to opening our mouths, in the Spirit, and praying and speaking in tongues – although it does not EDIFY (build up) OTHERS, it will edify our own spirits, so that we might prophesy.
And he tells us that our obedience to this spiritual charge is a prophetic declaration to the unbelieving world that one kingdom has been called by God to invade and overtake another kingdom.
THE WORDING PAUL USED is from Isaiah 28 – and only Isaiah 28 – and refers to anointed Nebuchadnezzar who was being called to invade disobedient Israel.
That was a WICKED KINGDOM being used by God to invade and conquer.
PAUL is telling us that the Spirit led children of God, in this age, are being called to represent a way more holy invasion – of God’s kingdom into the world.
21 In the law it is written:
“With men of other tongues and other lips
I will speak to this people;
And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord.
22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe.
23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?
24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all.
25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.
So we would do well to be filled w the Spirit of God, and to walk in all the fullness of the provisions of God, to accomplish His purposes. THAT will open the door for our infilling.
This is why Jesus told His disciples:
49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
LET’S PRAY RIGHT NOW – for that infilling of the Spirit – be it your first time or your thousandth time.
BACK TO HAGGAI (which we read earlier) – the PROMISE OF GLORY around the time of the SHAKING-WORK:
God will fill His temple with glory – as we saw last week the Solomon-temple-dedication bunny trail – which we will get back to shortly, this evening.
There is a distinct correlation between PRAYER, THE PRESENCE OF GOD, AND THE FILLING WITH GLORY:
7 ‘and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.
8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.
9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Isaiah tells us the GLORY-FILLED FINAL TEMPLE is going to be a certain kind of place – accessible to Jew and Gentile alike – this is the temple that the Lord
A. Is Preparing FOR US; and
B. Is Preparing US FOR:
WE NEED TO GET A VISION OF THIS END-PLAN:
This is yet another reason why He is “divinely working us over” to get us to the place of Spirit-filled living, through Spirit-filled prayer.
(the promise extending beyond the sons of Abraham who come to the Lord):
6 “Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants– everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant–
7 Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
God’s great plan has ONE age coming to an end, and THE NEXT age immediately following, like DAY follows NIGHT.
That NEXT AGE is going to see a rebuilt temple, filled with people who:
KNOW TO PRAY; and also
KNOW HOW TO PRAY
I believe the season we are entering, and in fact have already entered, is a season of intensified conflict. GOD, knowing that, is allowing our prayers to WORK when they are in alignment w Him and His word, and also to NOT WORK when they are out of that alignment.
HE IS TRAINING US TO ENGAGE IN PRAYER WARFARE, EFFECTIVELY, NOW.
What we are seeing in these and many other prophetic verses is an IMAGE OF THE PURPOSES OF GOD at the END of THIS AGE, and then extending into the NEXT AGE.
Furthermore, and critical for our understanding of the PRIORITY OF PRAYER is this amazing fact that ought to ignite our understanding of:
our CALLING and
our PARTNERSHIP into the CREATION PLAN OF GOD.
CRITICAL NT REVELATION as to God’s prophetic plan – that WILL SURELY come to pass – is the BATTLE FOR OUR WORSHIP.
The scriptures make it clear that Satan’s ultimate goal was to get Jesus Himself to worship him.
(Luke 4:6-8). That is ongoing. Scriptures describing the end-of-age anti-Christ man illustrates someone so demonized that even world control will not satisfy him. He will demand worship.
THE RESISTANCE TO OUR PRAYERS, and our PRAYING:
So what we need to realize is that Satan (Hebrew: “Adversary”) rages against prayer and worship. It is his worst nightmare – a praying, worshipping saint.
Besides Satan’s promise to Jesus – that He’d get everything were He to worship Satan, it was and remains in complete opposition to the purpose of mankind.
We were meant for worship and prayer – only to God.
And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
This is why WE, as redeemed creatures, consistently encounter so much opposition to prayer – opposition to wanting to pray, to engage in prayer, to remain in prayer, to stay awake in prayer, and to surrender in prayer.
Some Biblical Promises – and we’re invited to remind the Lord of His promises:
A FAMOUS BIGGEE – couched in the CONTEXT of the prophetic paragraph – for clarity and emphasis:
(LAST WEEK we concluded with the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple – a doctrinally accurate and effective prayer that ushered in the presence of God.
WRAPPING UP TONIGHT and looking at the amazing response and promise BY GOD, after Solomon had so powerfully and so accurately prayed at the dedication of the temple:
2 Chr 7:1-2
1 When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.
2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house.
2 Chr 7:12-22
12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
13 “When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,
14 “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
….God’s dream-dialogue w Solomon continues to confirm the accuracy of Solomon’s earlier temple-dedication prayer, accurately describing the cause and effect of man’s sinfulness and God’s righteous judgment.
Meanwhile, for us, let’s close w a prayer that would move God and put a smile on Solomon’s face – praying for our nation.
All scriptures NKJV