We have begun with a new Prayer Series this week. I truly believe that the season of prayer is going to change our outlook towards how we see the spiritual realm. Remember, we need two things for spiritual growth: The Attitude- Christ’s character, which is Christ’s purity The Aptitude- the knowledge of Christ, which is […]
July 4, 2022
We have begun with a new Prayer Series this week. I truly believe that the season of prayer is going to change our outlook towards how we see the spiritual realm.
Remember, we need two things for spiritual growth:
The Attitude- Christ’s character, which is Christ’s purity
The Aptitude- the knowledge of Christ, which is Christ’s power
Our spiritual growth is impacted by the ministry of the Word, i.e., meditating the Word and the ministry of the Spirit, i.e., Prayer.
It is understandable that people born into Christian families understand the value of prayer. Or, at the very least, they believe they do.
Luke 18: 1 (ESV) – And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
If you are human, you ought to pray. I recently came across a quote that said, ‘A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian.’ We all know this, but we don’t invest our time in prayer. We always make time to eat, no matter how busy we are. We don’t have any excuses then. We either enjoy eating or know that if we don’t eat, we won’t have enough energy to get through the day. Prayer is to our spirit is what food is to our body.
Then why don’t we pray?
Because we don’t see the results of our prayers, we believe they are ineffective.
James 4: 3 (ESV) – You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Prayer can be learnt:
The disciples of Jesus knew how to pray, but they noticed that Jesus did not pray in the same way they did. They witnessed Jesus heal the sick, feed the hungry, and cast out demons, but they did not witness Him praying because He prayed in secret. And they were willing to humble themselves in order to unlearn and relearn in order to move beyond religious self-righteous prayers to effective ones. What You Should Be Praying For Ps Samuel Thomas, Lighthouse
The good news is that we can learn to pray correctly. Jesus showed the disciples how to pray. And I’d like to teach you how to pray so that your prayers will be effective. Any investment you make in prayer must yield results. If your faith does not produce results, it is phoney. Your faith should bear fruit. ‘Perhaps it will happen or maybe not,’ this is not a prayer. Then we blame God and His will for it. When you pray, you should know whether you have hit your target or not. Why? Because there is a proper way to pray. Our prayers are ineffective because we do not know how to pray. Furthermore, we lack the humility to request someone to teach us how to pray.
James 5: 16 (ESV) – The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Prayers are powerful and effective because they work. How do we measure the effectiveness of prayers? Effective prayers are not those that are eloquent or loud, but rather those that produce results. We can shout our prayers all we want, but what good are they if they don’t produce results? The impact of prayer is measured by the results we experience after praying, not by how well we deliver it.
Why does prayer seem hard?
Matthew 26: 41 (ESV) – Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The reason why prayer is hard is because the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing. The spirit wants to pray, but the flesh does not.
Example of an Airplane:
The most power that a plane needs is when it has to take off. Because it is being dragged down by the force of gravity, in order to soar, the plane must overcome the force of gravity.
Similarly, prayer is difficult because you must overcome the power of flesh that is trying to hold you back. Flesh is opposed to prayer. You will never be tempted to pray by a demon. In fact, when you pray, the flesh comes out even more. When you pray, you will become the most enraged. You become frustrated. Because it is painful for the flesh. But as long as you didn’t pray, you were perfectly calm. When you pray, your suppressed emotions will surface. Things you have suppressed will come to light. And whenever you come across such things, give thanks to the Lord. Because you are not judged in the flesh at the moment, but God sees you as righteous and holy in the spirit.
Prayer will appear difficult only in the beginning. You will soar smoothly once the takeoff occurs. The flesh will do everything in its power to keep you down. That is why Paul says, “I kill the members of my flesh, and I subdue them.” How do you subdue your flesh? By prayer. You keep on praying. You should pray the most when you don’t like praying the most.
Some Bible passages provide examples of prayers. John 17 is an example of Jesus’ prayer. Paul’s prayer is illustrated in Ephesians 1: 15-21. You must find these examples and use them as models for your own life. The best way to model a Christian life is through scriptures.
Prayer is not about receiving something from God; rather, it is about God changing us. There are 3 things which should be the focus of your prayer:
1. To know God
Ephesians 1: 16-17 (ESV) – I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him
The primary goal of your prayer should be to know God. You cannot approach God in proximity, but you can approach Him in knowledge. How much closer can He be when He is already present in you? You can increase your knowledge of Him. It is in the revelation of knowing God that you will find the answer.
In the Old Testament we see the names of God:
Yahweh Yireh- God my Provider
Yahweh Rafa- God my Healer
Yahweh Nissi- God my Victory
You come to God for provision, healing, and victory. However, in prayer, your focus shifts from knowing God as your provider to knowing God as your provision. God will become the very thing you require. When does this happen? When you know God.
We’re talking about an intimate relationship between two people who know each other well. Your solution to every problem for which you are praying is hidden in God’s knowledge.
God and Abraham:
God appears to Abraham and tells him not to be concerned because He will be his reward and inheritance. On the mountain where Abraham was taking Issac, he has a revelation of Yahweh Yireh, which means “God is my Provision.” You don’t need God to provide for you; you need God to become your provision. It’s a paradigm shift. We don’t come to God for something in return; we come to God for God. And He completes us by becoming exactly what we need.
John 17: 3 (ESV) – And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
The first time I read this verse, it blew my mind. I always thought eternal life began when you died. But knowing God is eternal life. It means that the moment you begin a personal relationship with Jesus, you have entered eternal life. You begin to walk in eternal life. Enoch is my personal Bible hero. Because the Bible says Enoch walked with God. What a blessing it is to walk with God. Imagine Enoch walking in time with God. When God walked slowly, he walked slowly, and when God walked quickly, he walked quickly. When God stops, you can stop, and when God accelerates, you can accelerate.
2. To increase your capacity
Ephesians 1: 17 (ESV) – that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him
Your priority should be to know God. But how do you approach Him? Through the spirit of revelation and wisdom. You cannot know God if you lack wisdom. It simply means to expand your capacity. We pray to know Him, but we forget to ask Him to expand our capacity to know Him. What you learned ten years ago may be the same thing you know today. Why? Because your capacity have not been tested.
Did you know that walking is common sense? Many people walk, but only a few run. However, the one who is flying does so alone. You can go based on your capacity. You can walk in prayer, very few can run in prayer, and even fewer can fly in prayer. You don’t require any additional anointing. You require more capacity. Every child of God is born with the capacity of a seed, and that capacity, like a seed, has the ability to grow. It is up to you, not God, how much you grow. If you are not growing in your capacity, it is because you have not prayed to increase your capacity.
If this is your current capacity, you have the potential to expand. The depth of the foundation determines the height of the building. Alternatively, the tree is only as strong as its roots. The strength of what is visible is proportional to the strength of what is hidden. Simply asking for more is not enough; you must ask for wisdom and revelation to increase your capacity for more. As your capacity grows, so will the manifestation of God’s anointing in you. We all have the same anointing because we are all filled with the same Holy Spirit. However, our abilities to express Him differ. The expression of how much the Holy Spirit can work in and through you increases as you pray and ask God to increase your capacity. The vast majority of believers are dissatisfied because they do not see immediate results.
Example of a plant in a pot:
How much growth can a plant have in a small pot? You must expand its capacity.
We are not in the days of Moses, who desired to see God. Moses did not have the capacity or the potential to see God back then. Because if he saw God, he would die. In spite of his limited potential, Moses increased his capacity to the point where he was in the presence of God, which transfigured his body. Because we are new creations in Christ, you and I have more potential than Moses.
2 Corinthians 3: 18 (ESV) – And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
We have Christ’s potential. The saints are celebrating you and are envious of what you have today. They are not a new creation, they do not have the Holy Spirit’s dwelling, and they do not have the Holy Spirit’s seal.
Ephesians 3: 20 (ESV) – Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
God can do so much for you, but it is limited to the power working within you. He is limited to the power that your capacity has defined.
Ephesians 3: 14-19 (ESV) – For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Paul is saying, the power of God that you experience in your life is the power that you can receive. It is defined by the capacity of how much you can carry. But you can ask for more- according to the riches of His glory. You need an increased capacity to comprehend how deep, how wide, how broad is God’s love. So don’t be content with how much you know God right now. God’s power is not just for healing, but for you to understand God’s love. It takes certain amount of power to be in God’s presence and not be burnt.
Matthew 6: 6 (ESV) – But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
You are increasing your inner man’s capacity by praying in tongues. Unfortunately, we use tongues as a seasoning on rice. When you pray in public, pray in your native language so that others can understand you. However, when praying in private, pray in tongues. With this you are demonstrating your faith in the Holy Spirit, who is interceding for you.
How much time should you pray?
-In a day, atleast for an hour. Speak in tongues in your secret room without being disturbed or distracted. You should strengthen your inner man. Only a spiritual man can comprehend spiritual things.
I grew up reading the Bible, but the New Testament never made sense to me. But I embraced the gift of tongues the day I received it. And then I learned wealth after wealth that no one else had taught me, only the Holy Spirit. When you speak in tongues, you increase the capacity of the Holy Spirit to deposit wisdom and understanding in your heart. You are no longer attempting to decipher the Bible; instead, the Spirit will teach you.
3. A renewed mind
Colossians 1: 9 (ESV) – And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
We need to know God’s will because we are such selfish beings that we can only look at His face after seeing what His hands do. Knowing God’s will is knowing God’s heart and who He is.
How do you know God’s will?
Romans 12: 2 (ESV) – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Only a renewed mind can bear witness to and approve of God’s will as good, acceptable, and perfect. You will not be able to testify to God’s will unless your mind is renewed. You can say it, but it won’t convince you. You need Christ’s mind to testify that, regardless of your circumstances, God’s will for you is good, acceptable, and perfect.
Example of Asaph:
Let me give you an example from Asaph’s life. Asaph is a worship leader in King David’s court. And he writes Psalm 73. I want you to read this as if it was written by you.
Psalms 73: 1-3 (ESV) – Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
Don’t we get discouraged when we see everyone else prospering and growing? Similarly, Asaph appears to be complaining and going on a rant in the first verses of Psalms. He has reached the conclusion that God is good to everyone except himself. When he sees wicked people making money at the expense of the poor, needy, and helpless, he no longer understands what God is doing. He is completely perplexed by what is going on around him. However, if you compare the final verse of this Psalm to the first, you will notice a significant difference in Asaph’s voice tone.
Psalms 73: 28 (ESV) – But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.
He begins the Psalm by complaining but ends it in praise. What changed the tone of his prayer?
Psalms 73: 16-17 (ESV) – But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.
Asaph explains that he became exhausted while attempting to make sense of what was going on around him. He was angry, afraid, and perplexed until he entered God’s presence. Asaph’s heart and mind were changed by God’s presence. The presence of God opened his eyes to the invisible realm, allowing him to see what God was doing. As a result, prayer changed Asaph’s heart.
Proverbs 25: 2 (ESV) – It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.