In whose name are we praying?

I believe that we can only approach God’s throne through the blood and in the name of JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”

In Christ alone we can confidently come before God’s throne.

Hebrews 4:14 – Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus also said: “but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father, in My name, he may give you” John 15:16

What does the name of Jesus Christ mean in terms of authority and power:

a) The name JESUS CHRIST means literally JESUS “THE ANOINTED ONE”.

The word Christ comes from “Christos” and “Christos” translates the Hebrew “Mashiyach” i.e. “Messiah”.  Jesus was the anointed one of God – The Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.

We have lost a little in translation and can think Jesus Christ was his full name – a surname. The name Jesus Christ the anointed one denotes a TITLE and POSITION. In the Old Testament when someone was anointed it meant “to consecrate by applying Holy Oil to an individual”.   Jesus was the one anointed by God. The Old Testament pictures the Messiah as one who will put an end to sin and war and usher in universal righteousness and through his death will make vicarious atonement for the salvation of sinful people. Jesus is the Messiah; he claimed to be the Messiah (Matthew 23:63-64; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:67-70; Jn 4:25-26) and the claim was acknowledged by his disciples (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20; Acts 4:27; 10:38).

b) There is authority in His Name.

We need to understand the authority in Jesus’ Name when we pray – particularly in the spiritual realm when dealing with demonic influences.  We can bring all situations under the name of Jesus because He is superior.

The Bible says:  “Therefore God has highly exalted him (i.e. lifted him up, an exaltation to the highest position, a super exalted position of honour and glory) and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 2: 9

Jesus said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth –” Matt 28 v 18

“when He (God) raised Him (Christ) from the dead and seated Him (Christ) at His (God’s) right hand in the heavenly places FAR ABOVE all principality (rule) and power (authority) and might (power) and dominion and every name that is named not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He (God) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”. Ephesians Ch 1 20-23

There is authority and power in the name of Jesus Christ.   If we recognise this when we pray then we will pray with more authority, understanding,  faith and boldness.   Satan has tried to demote the name of Jesus and it is now used by many people in a blasphemous way. We need to use His name in the correct way when we pray.    We will see results and situations change as prayers are answered.

 In Revelation 19 v11-16 we get a further revelation of Christ and the authority and power which is his:

“Now I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called FAITHFUL and TRUE and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like flames of fire and on His Head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called THE WORD OF GOD

v 16 And He had on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

c) There is power in His name:

Smith Wigglesworth used to say that all things were possible through the name of Jesus Christ.   He had a testimony of the power in Jesus’ name when it came to raising a sick man called Lazarus.   Lazarus was an old miner in Wales.   Smith Wigglesworth had been told by God to go and raise Lazarus up.  He sent a postcard to him telling him he was coming to do it.   What faith.  However, when Smith arrived he was told by people not to bother and that the moment he saw Lazarus he would be ready to give up and go home because Lazarus was just a mass of bones with skin stretched over them with no life hardly left in him.   Instead of giving up and going home (like most of us would have done I’m sure) that night Smith went and found seven more men and women of faith to fast with him and pray for Lazarus and then they all went to the house the next day. This is what Smith says in his book happened when they circled the bed and kept repeating the name of Jesus:

“We all knelt down and whispered that one word, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” The power of God fell and then it lifted. Five times the power of God fell and then it remained. But Lazarus on the bed was unmoved. Two years previously someone had tried to raise him up and the devil had used his lack of success as a means of discouraging Lazarus.  I said “I don’t care what the devil says; if God says he will raise you up it must be so. Forget everything else except what God says about Jesus.

The sixth time the power fell and the sick man’s lips began moving and the tears began to fall.  I said to him “The power of God is here, it is yours to accept it”. He said “I have been bitter in my heart and I know I have grieved the Spirit of God. Here I am helpless. I cannot lift my hands, nor even a spoon to my mouth”. I said “Repent, and God will hear you”. He repented and cried out “Oh God, let this be to Thy glory”. As he said this the virtue of the Lord went right through him. I have asked the Lord to never let me tell this story except at it was for I realise that God can never bless exaggerations. As we again said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, the bed shook, and the man shook…. I sat and watched that man get up and dress himself. The news soon went abroad that Lazarus had been raised up and many came to hear his testimony. God brought salvation to many. All this came through the name of Jesus, through faith in His name, the faith that is by Him gave this sick man perfect soundness in the presence of them all”

Peter said to the crippled man “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength, and he went into the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.     Acts 3 1-16

When we pray let us ask the Holy Spirit for more revelation of the authority and power that there is in the name of Jesus Christ and teach us how to use His name in prayer effectively. The name of Jesus is a weapon of spiritual warfare and evil/unclean spirits recognise and have to submit to the authority of the name of Jesus.

Let us read portions of scripture which uplift the name of Jesus and meditate/memorise them.  Revelation ch 19, Ephesians ch1 or Colossians 1 & 2 which are on the pre-eminence of Christ.

Let us lift up the name of Jesus as we pray and in our worship – Singing songs which exalt the name of Jesus.

Let us not be afraid to speak out the name of Jesus and bring the problem or whatever it is you are praying about under and in subjection to Jesus and His name.  Prayer – Is God hearing my prayers?

Beware the backlash

We have experienced a backlash from the enemy on a few occasions when pushing forward in prayer and engaged in spiritual warfare.    The enemy hates to lose ground and will try and re-establish himself/his stronghold and it is important to be aware of this and stand firm when the assaults come.   Recognising them and their origin is key to dealing with them.   Attacks can come in all forms & guises -doubt, fear, jealousy, arguments, strife, lies – the fiery darts, the barbed words – even from family and friends – and other Christians.   These attacks always seems worse when our guard is down, we are tired or feeling a bit low and discouraged.    They can knock us back and cause us to retreat, but I hope you will feel encouraged by our testimony not to give up but press forward into what God is calling you to do.    Submit to God, resist the enemy and he will flee from you.   Quench his fiery darts with the shield of faith, rebuke the barbs and forgive those who deliver them.

Fear seems to be a weapon of choice of the enemy.  If the enemy can instil fear in us then we can be overcome.   Faith and trust in God are essential when faced with these types of attacks.    The word of our testimony and the blood of Christ are keys to overcoming.   I have a few examples from my own experience which I feel led to share.    Early in our prayer ministry my friend and I had just finished a deliverance session and were praying to cast out other demons when she felt a scratch on her throat.  She didn’t think much about it at the time but the next day her throat had swelled and she was admitted to hospital with trouble breathing.   She said it felt like a vice around her throat.  She couldn’t speak.    I can’t tell you how much this frightened me but I also knew that this was the work of the enemy.   All sorts of thoughts were going around my head though.  I felt fearful that my friend was going to die and guilty that she was in hospital because of me.   I was really struggling and wanted to give up and not carry on with any future deliverance ministry or spiritual warfare.    This was all a strategy of the enemy to bring fear into my life and stop the prayer ministry.   These were lies of the enemy but I was taking it all on board.     Thankfully, we cried out and prayed to God about the whole situation.  We gave it to Him and the Lord told us to trust him, not to fear but to go and anoint our friend with oil and she would be healed.    We duly went to the hospital to do this, but God in his faithfulness had already gone before us to prepare the way.    One of the elderly gentlemen at our church was in the hospital visiting someone else, had seen my friend and prayed and taken communion with her.   She had felt a lot better after communion and once we had anointed her with oil, her throat immediately felt better.   She could speak properly and the restriction and swelling in her throat went.     Later in the day though after we left, my friend took some medicine which the doctor in the hospital prescribed and immediately her throat got worse again.    She recognised the cause -when the medicine was prescribed she felt in her spirit that she didn’t need it but instead of declining it she took it.   Immediately she felt ill again and so she repented of taking the medicine and her throat was healed.    This taught us that the enemy is always looking for a way back in and to cause us to doubt our healing- he just wants to kill, steal and destroy.

On another occasion, after another time of intense prayer for our area a witch came into our church to presumably try and place a curse on me or cause me some sort of harm.    On the morning, the Lord had warned me that a witch was going to come into the church but not to be fearful.   I had not mentioned this to anyone in my fellowship group as we generally all sat together.   On the morning, one of the stewards came towards us with a woman who we had never seen before.  He explained that she was new and she had asked if she could she sit with us.   I immediately recognised that this was the witch that the Lord had warned me about.   I did not say anything and we all welcomed her.   I don’t think anyone else knew that she was a witch at that time.   She took a seat directly behind me and next to some of my other friends.    During the time of worship, I noticed that she had her hands pointed out towards me – at the small of my back.    A friend who was sitting next to me suddenly turned to me and said that the Lord had told her to tell me that I was standing in His circle of protection and that no harm would come to me.    She had seen a picture of me and it looked as though a glass shield was all around me.    I was encouraged by this and took no notice of the woman behind me although, I could tell she was getting very agitated by this time and more agitated as the worship went on.   Whatever she was trying to do with her spells or curses clearly wasn’t working.    The Lord told me to turn around and tell her that He loved her – He really loved her and had died for her.   She just nodded and smiled at me and then at the earliest opportunity left and we never saw her again.  I hope she remembers those words though and if she hasn’t already, finds Jesus as her saviour.   Jesus died for everyone even those who oppose him.    Jesus’ heart was love for that woman and we are commanded to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us.

God is faithful and He is our defender and protector.   I love the words of Psalm 91 – “I will say of the Lord “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him will I trust.  Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.  He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.  You shall not be afraid of the terror by night.  Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.  A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.”.     Thank you Lord.

 

 

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God’s banqueting table

We were taking communion on Sunday and I was reminded of God’s banqueting table and that His banner over us there is love.    The words are from the Song of Solomon but we also sing a worship song about God bringing us to His banqueting table.    It is only through that act of selfless love when Christ died on the cross that we have the ability to come to that banqueting table and to the place prepared for us there.    Christ issued the invitation and I accepted.    Christ’s banner of love is over me and all around me when I am there.    I have a place at the banqueting table and so I have access to the full provision of God.   I am dressed appropriately for the banquet with the garments of salvation and the robes of righteousness because I have accepted Christ as my saviour, so there is no chance that I will be refused entry,  but how often I can neglect to go there and take hold of and enjoy all that Christ has obtained for me at the Cross.    Thankfully, the invitation from God is always open to come at any time – 24/7.   There is always a welcome and my place will never be filled by anyone else so there is always a guarantee that I will have a place at the banqueting table.    God can do exceedingly above all that I ask or imagine there because he is a God of abundance.    The banquet is a picture of abundance and plenty for everyone.   The best food and drink are laid on at the banquet for the guests.  Let’s not neglect to ask God for the things that we need and to trust Him to provide for us and sustain us.     It might be physical or spiritual sustenance that we need and we can be sure that whatever it is,  He will be faithful to meet our needs.    Allow Him to fill us there with His love there so that we can be changed and overflow that love to others.      There was a time a few years ago when we were away on retreat and the leader encouraged us all to take up the invitation to come to God’s banqueting table.   He pulled up a physical chair and invited us to take our seat at the table.   We did so and as we did that physical act we saw and imagined ourselves seated at the table feasting on all the provision of God that Christ had obtained for us.   It had a profound effect on me.   I encourage you to take up your place at God’s banqueting table today.  Don’t leave it empty.

white and pink floral freestanding letter decor
Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

 

 

Prayers for Stourbridge – Rivers of living Water -Part 2

We were led to go and pray at the bridge over the river Stour just off the Ring Road leading up to Amblecote and also at the canal which is nearby.    We felt led by the Holy Spirit to take a red banner down with us to wave as we sang and worshipped and also to take communion when praying for the town.    We pleaded the blood of Christ over our town and declared the power in the blood of Christ to bring cleansing and redemption and break the power of sin.   Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins.   We dropped one drop of the communion wine into the river and canal.    There is more power in one drop of Christ’s blood that was spilt for us than in all the power of evil influencing our town.    The declaration which the Lord gave us to proclaim over Stourbridge was from Ezekiel 47 – the waters rushing in and flooding our area- particularly verses 1-12 -rivers of living waters which get deeper and deeper flowing from the throne of God and which bring healing.  v 8 “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley and enters the sea.  When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.  And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live.  There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed and everything will live wherever the river goes.  It shall be that fishermen will stand by it ; there will be places for spreading their nets.  Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceeding many.  But its swamps and marshes will not be healed and will be given over to salt.  Along the bank of the river on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail.  They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary.  Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine”.    A picture of salvation, healing & fruitfulness for our area.  Let us be rooted in Christ who is the living water. Amen.  Stourbridge – Wells of Living Water Part 1