Open the gate for the King

Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in.  The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle.   Gates are important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions. Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them. We all have gateways in our lives and minds.  Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad . There are gateways in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil.  Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.    I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be.  Trust him to help you overcome and strengthen you and bring freedom.

I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town.    At one prayer meeting we stood on a bridge over the river which flows into and through our town.   As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24 and then the two people in the middle break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord.   As we did this and moved apart we looked down and a wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge.    We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time.    The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God.  He had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened.   We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus so that we can bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation.    I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.

Watching and Praying

woman in blue denim jacket holding a gray steel tower viewer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Paul said – 2 Cor 6: 5  “in watchings, in fastings”; 2 Cor 11: 27 “in watchings often,”

 Eph 6: 13 “and watching” thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”

Paul encouraged the church to watch and pray.

The expression “Watchman” comes from the word “Tsaphah” which means “to look out, peer into the distance, spy, keep watch, to scope something out: especially in order to see approaching danger and to warn those who are endangered”

The amplified Bible says “Keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance interceding on behalf of all the saints”

In the Old Testament the watchmen referred to were “soldiers” or “prophets and intercessors”.   The soldiers stood on the walls of the city and watched out for the enemy so that they wouldn’t be taken by surprise – they were there for protection and to raise the alarm.   The prophets/intercessors watched out for the things of God.  They brought revelation of God’s plans and purposes, His warnings & corrections to the people just as prophets & intercessors do today.   Habakkuk 2: 1 says ” I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected”.

Isaiah 62: 6 “I have set watchmen upon your walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: you that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, 7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

Ezekiel 3:17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 

The Watchmen who guarded the walls in Nehemiah had swords in their hands. When we watch in prayer we need to be prepared with the sword of the Spirit at our side.

Have you ever woken you up in the night and been burdened to pray for someone?  I think God wakes us at night or prompts us to pray at night because that is when the enemy is mostly at work  -in darkness.    The enemy has a strategy against us.    In watchings, we can receive revelation and pray against the strategies and work of the enemy.   This is why there is a great need for watchmen in the Church.  People who will be alert and watch out and pray into what God reveals.

Jesus told us that we need to watch & pray in connection with His return and when in the last days so that we are not deceived.

Mark 13:33 “Take heed, watch and pray: for you know not when the time is”.

37 “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

Luke 21:36  “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”.

There are hindrances to watching.  One is our flesh– Jesus said to His Disciples

Matt 26:40 And he came to the disciples, and found them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I pray that there will be a rising up of the watchmen in these days who will take up their places on the watchtowers and ramparts and watch & pray at all times of the day and night.

Prevailing Prayer – Don’t give up

Sometimes we have to just keep going.   If our prayers have not been answered then we can persist in praying until either the answer comes or we have a peace and assurance that God has heard & will provide the answer in His perfect timing:

Jesus said:  LK 11:5 “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ “Then the one inside answers, `Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

LK 11:9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

LK 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?

Prevailing Prayer:

It requires discipline – It will often be the last thing that you will want to do.  If you know that you need to prevail in prayer about a certain situation then try to set aside a time when you can devote yourself to it and will not be distracted.

Expect Opposition – In the first example Jesus gave of the friend who kept knocking. Everything seemed against him – The door had been bolted, the friend did not want to be bothered, he made excuses to put him off.  You will face opposition so don’t be disappointed if things seem against you – don’t be put off. There are times when we have to keep pressing through in prayer until the breakthrough is achieved.

 It is hard work – It can be physically and emotionally draining to prevail in prayer.   In the example Jesus gave the need had arisen at Midnight – The darkest & loneliest hour.   Don’t forget to rest at such times and allow the Holy Spirit to refresh you.

 It requires boldness – In both examples Jesus gave the friend & the widow were bold and this was part of the reason they received their answers. Be bold. Scripture tells us that we can “boldly” approach God’s throne in time of need.

 and KEEP GOING because:

 Prevailing Prayer can mobilise angels – Daniel Ch 10:12

Then he (the angel) continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”

The angel came on the first day that Daniel’s prayer was heard in response but he was then detained by an evil power until Michael came to help him. The enemy was trying to stop the angel getting through to bring revelation to Daniel.  As Daniel prayed he was unaware of the struggle going on in the heavenly realm but I believe his continued prayers were helping the angel in the fight and a reason why Michael was sent to help.

Perseverance  – the continual knocking can be one of the pre-conditions to our answer arriving.   Daniel prayed for 21 days before he got the breakthrough and the angel arrived with the answer – What would have happened if he stopped praying on day 15 or day 20? Your answer may be on the way – Don’t stop until you know in your spirit and have peace that your prayer has been heard and answered.  Delay does not necessarily mean No.

Does this mean that we receive the answers to all our prayers if we pray long enough? – I don’t think so no – because some of the things we ask for are wrongly motivated.  James 4:3 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

Or it could be that it is just not God’s Will for us that the prayer is answered.    We have to trust God in such situations.   He sees the bigger picture.    We may not know until He reveals it in the fullness of time.

The difficulty for us is discerning when God is saying NO to our prayer request or when we have to persist in prayer for the answer.     Thankfully,  we have the Holy Spirit to help and guide us at such times.

 

All kinds of prayers

Ephesians 6: 13 says ”And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints”. NIV

Paul is encouraging his readers to pray with all kinds of prayer and to keep on praying.      After all,  we are all kinds of people – all different and each one unique, who make up the body of Christ.   You are unique – you have a personality that is you.  Some types of prayer will come easier to you than others because they are a natural expression of you.   God doesn’t want you to pretend to be someone you’re not when you pray.

If you are currently struggling in your prayer life then one reason may be because you are trying to be like someone else and model their prayer life.   Whilst it is vital to have good spiritual role models and understand the biblical principles of prayer, you might find yourself struggling because what suits others just may be doesn’t suit you.    It can mean you end up feeling guilty when you don’t pray and a failure when you can’t pray like you feel you ought to.     You feel you don’t measure up when you compare yourself to other believers so why even bother – you question what difference your prayers actually make.    Eventually, you can end up feeling discouraged and worn out and your prayer life suffers and fizzles out.    The body of Christ loses out.

Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate your prayer life.    When you find your natural prayer rhythm it will inspire you, show results and lead you deeper into the things of God.   You will start to thrive.   Scripture says Jesus rose early in the morning whilst it was still dark to go off to a private place to pray  (Mark 1:35)- if you are an early riser with time in the morning then great, but if not you’ll exhaust yourself trying to do this every day,  feel stressed, guilty if you miss a day,  rush it, get distracted by the million and one other things vying for your attention, get frustrated and then eventually you may give up all together.  Instead of trying to force it, find another time of the day to spend that quiet quality time with God.

Intercessory Prayer

Intercession “Hyperentynchano” means simply to “ask God on behalf of others”

We do this when we pray for each other.   It is scriptural that fellow believes should pray for one another.

Ephesians 6:18 “and always keep on praying for all the saints”   James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

Jesus interceded often for his disciples. He told Peter that he had interceded on his behalf:   But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail” Luke 22:32

In Jesus’ prayer in John Ch 17 we see that Jesus prayed not just for himself but for his disciples: 9 “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me”

and then for all who would follow Him: 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message” – that’s us Hallelujah.

Paul interceded and prayed often for the early church so that they would grow in Christ and be strengthened.

Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

1 Thess 3: 12 “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones”

Galatians 1:3 “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”

Philippians 1:9 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God”.

Colossians 1:9 “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light”.

Paul also recognised that he needed prayer and asked the believers to pray for him:

Ephesians 6:19 “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should”.

Romans 15:30 “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed”.

The lessons for us are:

1.We need to pray for one another so that we can be strengthened in faith and grow in Christ.   If you are not linked with anyone in prayer then I encourage you to seek a prayer partner or to become part of a prayer triplet.

2.We must not be too proud to acknowledge that we need support in prayer from each other. This is particularly true for those in leadership in the church. You need prayer support.

II  Intercession – also means to “plead on behalf of another” to“mediate” or “intercede” or be the go-between for others with God in prayer who are not in a position to represent themselves.

i.e when we pray to God on behalf of someone who is not saved or someone who knows God but has broken fellowship through sin, a community, a town, a nation etc.   We come before God’s throne on their behalf to pray that God’s love, mercy & His plans & purposes will be established in their lives

i.e“Your kingdom come, Your Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matt 6:10

Paul said:  1Timothy 2:1 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

It is scriptural to pray for those in our nations who are in power and the political leaders whether you agree with them or not.

B             WHY DOES GOD REQUIRE INTERCESSORS?

In previous posts I have said that in order for God to hear our prayers we need to be in right standing with God and praying through the person of Jesus Christ. We have also seen that the Holy Spirit guides and helps us in our prayers and makes intercession “according to the will of God”.

We are therefore called to stand on behalf of those who are currently through their sin and disobedience removed from God and to repent on their behalf and pray for God’s mercy to be poured out upon them.

In prayer we want to break down spiritual strongholds to help people come to a place of repentance and reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ. Our nations will be judged for their sin one day before the throne of God and also those who have not received Christ Jesus and his redemption. We can intercede in prayer for people, the nations etc for God’s mercy to be poured out and people’s hearts to be softened towards God.

This type of prayer is sometimes referred to as “standing in the gap”. i.e. in prayer we “stand in the gap” before God on the person, group, communities’, nation’s behalf. They are not in relationship with God because of sin/disobedience but we “bridge the gap” because of our position in Christ to God and can in prayer appear on their behalf before God’s throne.

Imagine a courtroom – the judge is God, the prisoner (sinner) is in the dock, his lawyer (representative) on his behalf (us) speaks to the judge and pleads in mitigation for the mercy of the judge.

God said: Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.

God was actively looking for an intercessor for the people. God is actively looking for intercessors today to stand in the gap for the unsaved & the godless nations.

In Scripture there are many examples of the ministry of intercession:

1.ABRAHAM

Abraham interceded with God for the people of Sodom & Gomorrah. Genesis 18 23-32.

God revealed His plan to Abraham to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah because of the great wickedness carried out there. Abraham started to intercede on the people’s behalf – first asking God whether he intended to destroy the righteous along with the wicked or whether the Lord would save the city if there were 50 righteous people. He then went on to keep pressing his case until he got God to agree to show mercy if there were 10 righteous people. If there had been 10 righteous people then God would not have destroyed the city. Unfortunately, there were not even 10 righteous people in the place.

Abraham did not manipulate or twist God’s arm but in fact the passage shows that God wants to be merciful and He is a merciful God.   Abraham showed his compassion for the people and was prepared to intercede on their behalf even when in reality they were so wicked we would have said they deserved destruction. However, God is looking for that same compassionate heart in us when we intercede for others.

We have all been saved “by grace” God does not want us to be self-righteous but to be compassionate in intercession.

2.MOSES was a great intercessor for the people of Israel when they sinned and God’s anger was stirred up against them to destroy them. Moses interceded when they had made the golden calf (EX 32 11-14).

Psalm 106:23 “So he said he would destroy them had not Moses, his chosen one,stood in the breach before him to keep his wrath from destroying them”.

Moses also interceded on behalf of Pharaoh for the various plagues to be ended (Exodus ch 8-10) for the Israelites, during the battle with the Amalekites (Ex 17:11-14), after the Israelites had made the golden calf (Ex 32:11-14, 31-34; Dt 9:18-29; 10:10; Ps 106:23), after the murmuring of the people (Ex 33:15-17), when the fire of the Lord consumed the people (Nu 11:1-2), when the people murmured on account of the report of the spies (Nu 14:11-20), that the poisonous snakes might be taken away (Nu 21:4-9); that Miriam’s leprosy might be healed (Nu 12:13); on behalf of Aaron, on account of his sin in making the golden calf (Dt 9:20).

3.SAMUEL – Samuel was also raised up as an intercessor for the people of Israel to lead them back to God.

Psalm 99:6 “Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD, and he answered them”

Jeremiah 15:1 Then the LORD said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!”

4. JESUS

Jesus’ greatest act of intercession for us was when he went to the Cross for us. He reconciled us to God. Jesus is now seated in heaven and is our high priest who constantly makes intercession for us.

Heb 7:25 “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them”.

Romans 8:34 “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us”

5.  CHRISTIANS – I believe intercession is for every believer.

1 Peter 2:5 “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.

“intercessory prayer” fulfills “spiritual sacrifices” You make a sacrifice to stand in the gap for someone.

Matthew 5: 44 ” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.

I pray that God will reveal His heart for intercession for others and for His love & compassion for the lost & nations to be revealed to you.

Interceding for others.

 i) Be prepared – As in previous posts allow the Holy Spirit to search you and confess any sin in your life. It is the prayers of a “righteous” man which avail much.

ii) Put on your spiritual armour (Ephesians ch 6) – The belt of truth, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, feet shod with the gospel of peace, shield of faith, sword of the spirit and then the garment of praise & worship and cloak of humility. See end notes for “The Warrior’s Prayer”

iii)   Know God’s heart for sinners and the nation – God wants to pour out His love & mercy on people but He abhors sin itself and wants people to turn to righteousness.

iv) Allow the Holy Spirit to make intercession through you

Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps us 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. 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”

Ask God to reveal His heart to you about the state of your nation. God is a compassionate and loving God and so be prepared that you might cry, groan, labour in effort and have to keep pushing through etc in prayer when God reveals His heart to you.   These prayers are especially powerful and they birth breakthroughs in the spiritual realm.

v) Pray with faith – Prayerful intercession can turn a nation back to God!!!! Do we believe it?

vi) In prayerful intercession the Holy Spirit may lead you to address the work of satan directly and to take up the authority and victory which Christ secured at the Cross.

vii)          Be prepared to spend periods of time in this type of intercessory prayer. The Holy Spirit may burden you for a season to pray for a particular situation e.g. the church, local schools, government,  towns, nations etc . It may be weeks, months, years etc.

Interceding for an unsaved relation, friend, loved one etc.

What to know before you pray:  2 Corinthians 4:4 “The god of this age (satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”.

But

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

So, in prayer we take up the authority we have in Christ to bind up and release the person from satan’s influence over their mind and release them to come to knowledge of Christ.

Example Prayer:

[ name person[s] you are praying for], We call you forth into the Kingdom of God.  Satan, we bind your influence over the mind of [name person[s]] now and everything which sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we release[ name person[s]] in Jesus’ name to come to revelation and knowledge of Jesus Christ as Saviour.

We bind you spirits [name specific strongholds which Holy Spirit reveals e.g. pride, strife, unbelief, rebellion, idolatory, fear etc] which are blinding [name person[s]]’s mind to the truth of the gospel and their need of salvation.   We bind you now in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the blood of Jesus and the authority of His name and We speak release to [name person[s]] mind now.

We release [name person] from Satan’s influence and his bondage now in the name of Jesus.   Holy Spirit we ask you to bring revelation of Jesus Christ to [name person[s]] mind, to soften their heart and to open their eyes to the truth. Amen.

In prayer we have authority over spirits and not people. We are speaking to the spirits blinding their mind (the barriers to the person hearing & receiving the gospel) so that they have the free will to choose Christ as saviour. We are not seeking to manipulate them into accepting Christ but rather to bind up the opposition so that they are free to make a choice.

A PRAYER FOR THE NATION taken from KINGDOM FAITH MINISTERIES

WE DECLARE that Jesus has defeated the devil by the Cross, having disarmed all principalities and powers. He was raised from the dead and is now seated in heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers, might & dominion and every name that is named.

WE BELIEVE we have been raised up with Him and are seated together with Him now in the heavenly places, far above all influence and power of the enemy, in his freedom and victory. We are united with Him.   His life has become our life. His peace: our peace. His righteousness: our righteousness. His victory: our victory. As He is so are we in this world.

AS HIS BODY together in this place we have God given authority.   The right to exercise power, to rule over all the power of the enemy. Representing the will of the Lord Jesus Christ we now act upon this right. We command every spirit of fear, destruction, murder, hatred & rebellion to be bound in the name of Jesus. We resist you, your power and influence over our nation.

WE RAISE up the victory of the Cross and declare the power of the blood of Jesus to deliver this nation from evil. We loose this victory over the people of our nation by faith in the name of Jesus.

WE PRAY FOR:

-The peace of God to fill our cities, town, villages, streets & homes.

-That the Holy Spirit to minister healing and comfort those who mourn.

-the government, police & transport authorities, the doctors, nurses, & carers of sick, emergency services. We pray for God’s kingdom purposes to rule & reign through them, for there to be wisdom in ruling, morality, truth, no corruption in government, justice, truth, mercy, godliness, ethical responsibilities and a regard for the value of human life.

-Those who are investigating crimes – that God will lead them to those who are responsible and expose the deeds of darkness

WE UNITE together in His name and pray for the revelation of Jesus Christ to come to every people group in our nation for God is not willing that any man should perish, but all should come to repentance. WE BELIEVE as we stand together and act upon what Jesus has done on the Cross that the kingdom of heaven advances and will advance daily. God will grace us to continue to stand enforcing His victory until that final day when Christ returns.  Amen.Prayer – Let’s be inspired

 

 

 

 

Praying in the Spirit

 Is it scriptural?

 Ephesians 6:18 “praying always with all prayers and supplications in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”

Jude 7:20 “But you beloved building yourselves up on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit

1.What is praying “in the Spirit”?

I believe that we pray in the Spirit when:

a) We allow our prayers to be inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit within us i.e. we are willing to submit our agenda to God and let the Holy Spirit lead us. This is not stepping aside and abdicating responsibility in our prayer lives but being willing to be obedient to how the Holy Spirit wants to lead us and direct our prayers. It is working together with the Holy Spirit – our spirit and the Holy Spirit in communion.

b) using the gifts of the Holy Spirit; i.e. speaking/singing in tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom, knowledge, discernment etc.

BUT as the apostle Paul taught us we should always seek to pray with our understanding too so that we can interpret what the Holy Spirit is directing within us. i.e. we have revelation of the will of God as we pray.

1 Corinthians 14:13 “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind”.

c) Speaking in Tongues

Tongues is a spiritual language which is not learned but is inspired by the Holy Spirit within us – it can be a heavenly language or an earthly language previously unknown to the speaker.

Acts 2:4  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”.

I believe that Tongues is one of the gifts of the Spirit which can be a springboard to other gifts of the Spirit being released through us.

Paul spoke often of the gift of tongues and its proper use but he did not forbid the use of tongues.

1Corinthians  14:39 “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way”.

Speaking in Tongues will help you by building you up spiritually, inspiring your worship & praise of God.

1 Corinthians 14:4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself”

Acts 2:11 “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Interpretation of Tongues – When you pray in tongues ask the Holy Spirit to give you the interpretation of what you are praying. This is not a word for word literal interpretation but a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying and directing within you. When a public tongue is given it is my experience that the Holy Spirit gives you the first couple of words of the interpretation – you then have to step out in faith believing that you have received the gift of interpretation and allow the Holy Spirit to work through you to bring the whole interpretation. I can only describe it when I have exercised the gift of interpretation as an “unction” in your belly which wells up and has to be released.

2.  Why should we pray in the Spirit

 a) The Holy Spirit directs our prayers and reveals the will of God

Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps us 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. 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”

SO:

According to this Scripture -When we pray the Holy Spirit prays with us and makes our prayers effective because our prayers are then according to the will of God. This is why in prayer we should learn to:

WAIT ON GOD AND BE PATIENT TO ALLOW THE HOLY SPIRIT TO DIRECT OUR PRAYERS. WE SHOULD NEVER PRESUME THAT WE KNOW EXACTLY HOW TO PRAY ABOUT A SPECIFIC SITUATION.

Psalm 62:5 “My soul wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him”.

b) The Holy Spirit gives spiritual wisdom and revelation:

1CO 2:10. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. v 14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned”

i.e. the Holy Spirit brings revelation to our spirit man – Spirit communes with spirit. The Holy Spirit within us reveals things to our spirit man/woman.

You may have heard people ask God in prayer to give them “spiritual keys” to situations. God reveals the things which are hidden particularly, in the spiritual realm so that we can then pray directly into the situation using the keys which the Holy Spirit reveals.

c) How does the Holy Spirit bring revelation to us?

The Holy Spirit may bring revelation to you in dreams, pictures, visions, impressions on your spirit,  scripture verses which are brought to mind, the still small voice of God speaking to us, tongues & interpretations, prophetic words etc.

There are many ways in which the Holy Spirit speaks and many examples are given in scripture of dreams, visions, prophetic words.

d) The Holy Spirit also gives power to our prayers – particularly in spiritual warfare and when we fast and pray.

Jesus said:  “But you will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit comes on you” Acts 1:88

We need to pray to be continually filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus received the Holy Spirit when he was baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove.  The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where He fasted and prayed for 40 days then scripture says that Jesus:   “returned in the power of the Spirit and his fame went out abroad” Luke 14:4

We receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we become Christians but I believe we are to seek and receive the full baptism of the Holy Spirit as the early believers did in Acts.

c)How do we start to pray in the Spirit?

i) We need to receive the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit needs to be welcomed and received. Jesus says “Ask & you will receive”. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit can be received “by the laying on of hands” Acts 8:17 “and when Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” Acts 19:6.

Or there are instances in scripture of the Holy Spirit falling upon people as they waited and sought God.  e.g.  the early church waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room and later in Acts 11:15 Paul witnessed to the following “And as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning”.

ii) Actively seek and pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Ask God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be released through you:

 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy”.

It is important to seek the spiritual gifts for the right reasons. They are given to build up the church.   God is more interested in you developing your character (follow the way of love) first and foremost.

 iii) Test everything:

People often ask how they know it is the Holy Spirit bringing revelation and working in themIf the word testifies of and brings glory to Christ then it is of God.

1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God

1Co 14:29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

1Th 5:19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.

In my experience praying in the Spirit will always:

 GLORIFY THE FATHER THROUGH THE SON (John 14:13)

BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL (John 5 14:15)

BE BASED UPON GOD’S CHARACTER, WAYS & WORD (John 15:7)

The excitement of submitting to the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit may lead you into crying, fasting, silence before God, prophetic actions, clapping, marching, shouting etc. as you express yourself in prayer.  The Holy Spirit is creative – never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit.  Don’t quench the Spirit but allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.  Amen Prayer and The Holy Spirit

 

 

 

Prayer and The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity – The GodHead. God is revealed as Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

Jesus said “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  Matt 28:19

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

Fellowship = [Koinonia] which means 7 things: presence, sharing, company enjoyed, co-worker, intimacy, confidentiality, comradeship.

This is the relationship which God wants us to have with the Holy Spirit – It is to our disadvantage when we neglect or take the Holy Spirit for granted particularly in our prayer lives.

1.Who is & what is the role of the Holy Spirit?

In our prayer lives it is important to understand the role of the Holy Spirit and I believe the importance of being baptised in the Holy Spirit and praying in the Spirit.

a)The Holy Spirit is our Helper/Comforter.

John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Parakletos), that he may abide with you forever; “

The Holy Spirit is the friend who is always at your side to help you particularly in times of intercession and prayer.

b) The Holy Spirit is our Teacher.

John 14:26 ”But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Do you think you have a bad memory? – pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and remind you of scripture so that you can recall the word of God when needed in prayer.

c)  The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin.

John 16:8” When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”

d)  The Holy Spirit guides us into the truth & prophecy

John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

e)  The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus & brings revelation of Jesus

John 16:14 “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.”

John 15:26 “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me”.

Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

f) The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome temptation

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want”.

g) The Holy Spirit produces fruit in us to be more like Jesus

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control”

h) The Holy Spirit blesses us with the gifts of the Spirit

A spiritual gift is a special attribute/ability given by the Holy Spirit to every Christian according to God’s grace. The scriptures tell us the various spiritual gifts which God has for the believers in Christ. 1 Corinthians Ch 12, Ephesians Ch 4, Romans Ch 12.

The gifts include: prophecy, service to others, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, tongues, interpretation of tongues, apostle, evangelist, pastor

The gifts are for every believer in Christ. The scriptures tell us that every Christian has received at least one gift and can have more than one gift.   The gifts are given “to each one individually as He wills” So, if you are a Christian – be confident – the word says you have a spiritual gift so believe that you have one and find it. 1 Peter Ch 4 v 10. It is God’s intention that every Christian should find and exercise their gift. They are not earned, or rewards, you don’t have to be a Christian for so many years etc. before you get one – They are given by God’s grace to those who desire them with a pure heart.

1 Corinthians Ch 12 v 7 says “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” The gifts are given to edify others. They are for the glory of God and given so that as Christians we can mature and grow closer in our walk with God.   They should not be confused with natural talents and abilities. They are not given to us so that we can get proud or puffed up – to gloat or to be jealous of anyone’s gift. We must exercise the gifts with pure motives and with love. Paul clearly says this in 1 Corinthians Ch 13 when he talks of love.   The gifts are functional – They are there to equip God’s church.

It is such a help and a blessing to use the spiritual gifts in our private prayer time and when we pray for others – to give words of knowledge, encouragement & prophecy.

I find it helpful to use these scriptural truths about the Holy Spirit and his role to help me in times of prayer: e.g. If am praying for someone who is not saved then I can ask the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin, the need for salvation because of judgement and revelation of Jesus as being the only way to be reconciled to God.

If  I am,  or someone I know is struggling with temptation,  then I can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to draw alongside them to help them overcome temptation and for the fruit of self control to be produced in their lives.

If someone is grieving or in pain then for the Holy Spirit to draw alongside them to bring comfort at such times.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and leads us into all truth.  In times such as these when we can be led into error or deceived by false teachings, may we ask that the Holy Spirit leads us into truth and not error and keeps our feet on the right path.Prayer – Is God hearing my prayers?