Factors of Effective Prayer
In this video I talk about the importance of truth and expectations in relation to prayer.
Proverbs 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
In this video I talk about the importance of truth and expectations in relation to prayer.
Proverbs 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
Now, unlike any time before, is the time for God’s elect, those who are united to God in truth and spirit, to pray for the deliverance of the souls of others.
In Job 42, God had “accepted” Job because he saw his true self, and in that awareness he repented and turned to God. After coming through the refining trials and continuing to cling to God and the truth, Job finally saw God. He knew Him. Job 42:5-6 Because of the new spirit within Job, God told Job’s friends to go to Job and have him pray for them because He had “accepted” Job. Job 42:7-9 God would hear Job’s prayers.
Why have the elect pray on others’ behalves? They have traversed a journey like Job’s. Like Job, they have passed through the refining trials. As they’ve clung to the truth through them (very important element), they’ve come to a point of “seeing” themselves and God. This awareness has led to a deep repentance at their core, which has affected every area of their lives. As a result, their will is submitted to God’s, and they hold the Spirit of God, the spirit of truth, in them as a new creation. Their lives are a testimony to them of God’s spirit in them. 2 Corinthians 5:5
In being united to God, they abide in God’s truth and are constantly going deeper into it. They put it above all else. Psalm 138:2 They abide in it daily. They desire to obey the truth and be completely consumed by God. That truth in them has sanctified them and prepared them to be powerfully used by God. And because they hold God’s truth, they pray in unison with it.
Connection Between God’s Word and Prayer
Often people dismiss the connection between abiding in the Word of God (truth) and prayer. But the two go hand in hand. If you turn from God’s truth then your prayers lack power. In Proverbs 28:9 it says they not only lack power, but they are an abomination. One, truth reveals who you truly are and who God is. Only when you honestly know both can you repent of one and turn to the other. Two, if you don’t seek and abide in truth then you don’t know God for He is truth. So if you don’t truly know God, who are you praying to? 1 John 5:19
Once through the refining trials and filled with God’s spirit of truth, a person’s prayers have tremendous power. In Revelation 19, Christ, called the Word of God, comes with His saints to conquer. His method of conquering? The sword that comes out of His mouth; His Word, truth. God’s words have power. By them He creates and destroys. Those filled with His Word, hold its power. May we not underestimate the power of it and neglect the Word and the significance of prayers spoken in line with it.
Now God is very merciful. Truth and mercy go hand in hand – thank goodness. Someone who is seeking God in truth, but immature in their understanding of the God and His ways as they progress through the refining trials, probably aren’t praying in line with God’s will. They are unknowingly praying against God’s will, and they don’t really know what is good. But their heart is to know God and their seeking testifies to that fact. Graciously, the Holy Spirit prays on their behalf as they don’t know what to pray. This is why at times they feel their prayers aren’t answered. God isn’t answering them as they expect because of His love. If He did ramifications would be harmful. This is what Satan does, he gives someone what he superficially wants yet it’s to his destruction. God gives you what is best for you, and as you learn in time it’s what you truly desire.
As a young believer continues to abide in the Word and the instruction of the Holy Spirit, they come to better understand God’s will and pray more in line with it, though the Holy Spirit is always interceding to some degree for God’s people because there is always more to learn.
Conversely, for those who have willingly NOT abided in the Word, their prayers lack power. They’ve been misled by false teachers and religious doctrine that abiding in the Word and diligently seeking God by feasting on His truth daily isn’t that important. As a result their prayers are without strength no matter how good they may appear. Matthew 7:22-23 (Though God still shows them mercy in their lives.)
Powerful prayer comes from knowing God and being united to Him in truth and Spirit. It’s then that your heart, mind and spirit are truly united to Him.
John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Call To The Elect
In Revelation 11, the two witnesses (the two groups of believers, the two lampstands whose light wasn’t removed, who aren’t bound by local institutions, denominations, or titles) stand before God. Their words have tremendous power. Revelation 11:5-6 They intimately know God. They know His truth. They walk in it. They’ve been purified by it. John 17:17. They’ve honored God’s command by doing what He has instructed; know Him, seek Him, abide and mediate on His pure Word that comes from Him. Revelation 2-3 Thus their words and prayers have tremendous power.
God is calling these elect to pray on others’ behalves. They are able to pray in a power and a manner that those consumed in darkness (lies and deception) cannot. God is using them to deliver many because of His great love for ALL His children. God is longsuffering, patient, and waiting for people to truly repent from following self and turn to Him. He doesn’t want any to perish. Because it’s God who saves, prayers are needed by those accepted by Him to pray to have mercy upon souls bound in darkness. Revelation 6:10-11
Do you see the difference of the power of those who are truly of God, who have His Word abiding in them, and who pray in line with His will? In God’s holiness, God’s elect need to pray to an extent that others cannot. Now is the time to pray; to pray for God’s truth to penetrate others’ lives, for their souls to be united to God’s in truth and Spirit, and for God to have mercy.
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another (and forsake them), and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Continued from previous post, How to Become a Superhero (PART I)
What does working in God’s strength mean?
In 2006, God called me to write. At the time, I didn’t like writing. I didn’t think I could write. I had nightmares of writing from the months of writing my masters thesis in graduate school and a corresponding chapter for a scientific book. (sounds exciting, hey?) It was probably one of my least favorite activities. So the fact that I felt compelled to write, I knew it wasn’t my idea, but God’s – especially because I’d be writing about a relationship with Him. After a painstaking week of making the decision to leave the familiar waters of my career behind and plunge into unknown depths, I committed to it. The next day, I sat down, prayed and started writing and … the words flowed. Every morning as I sat down at the computer I prayed – God help me, I can’t do this alone. He always did. I was and still am totally dependent on Him to put words on a page for others to read.
Once committed, God gave me the desire. I enjoy writing. It’s fulfilling and challenging. It’s surprisingly rewarding. It’s been an incredible experience of acting in and depending on God’s strength.
However, though God has shown His faithfulness in this venture every day for five years, I still get a little anxious each time. I am still completely dependent on Him because it has always been about His strength and not mine. However, though it’s “uncomfortable” and I feel “out of control” it’s glorious at the same time as I see His working in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The Role of Prayer
One of the most powerful ways of embracing God’s strength is through prayer. When we are in God’s will, what we pray will be done. John 15:7 Prayer of a believer who is seeking God’s will is extremely powerful.
In prayer we are reminded God is in control. It’s His power and not ours that makes a difference. In prayer, we humble ourselves to His will. We shift our confidence from us to God. We sync up our lives with His will. We are asking God to do the best for all effected by a situation. We are aligning our minds with truth. We look to God’s strength not ours. We admit our need for help and call upon God to help. Prayer stirs things up. It changes the situation. When we are in line with God’s will, our prayers are powerful.
Dealing with Difficult People
An example I’m sure many can relate to of working in God’s strength where prayer has proven powerful is dealing with difficult family members. Ones who have treated us or those we love poorly. Who have taken advantage. Who have abused the privileges of being part of a family.
On one occasion, as I was seeking God’s counsel with a family member, He told me to establish healthy boundaries but to love that person. (The boundaries would help me to love.) On our own truly loving someone like this can be a difficult task. The resentment, pain or anger may be too much to get past. We can try to fake love and care, but it’s not only hypocritical but a waste of time because our true feeling come out.
However being God’s will that we love him/her, He will provide what we need to truly love. I’ve seen Him do it time and time again. Our part is to be willing to walk in God’s will and submit to it and pray. (It’s easy for our pride to interfere with a willing heart to be humble and love.) With a willing heart, we pray for a heart to love that difficult person. Before each interaction with him/her, we pray for God to give us the right heart and mind. We ask other believers to pray for us.
When we are operating in God’s strength, instead of trusting ourselves to accomplish a project, grow a business, repair a relationship, provide for our family, or protect our family, we can look to God to do those things through us. His strength gives us the ability to do what we do with resolve, persistence and passion. We can approach each day with the attitude of doing what is in front of us, leaving the outcome is in His hands. We are obedient to Him, and leave the results up to Him. Not only does this provide a tremendous peace, but what He’ll do through you will surprise you.
One warning … be prepared to only receive what you need today. God will provide what we need, when we need it. Philippians 4:19. The problem is we want strength not just for today but the rest of the year. We want to feel superhuman. However, God gives what we need today. That daily provision keeps us dependent on Him and not ourselves so that we don’t make an idol of ourselves, or anything else. It is for our own protection and freedom. Matthew 6:34.
If God has put a passion or purpose on your heart don’t give up. Don’t trust in you or your strength, trust in His. Pray and move forward and see how He brings it to pass. You were never meant to accomplish anything alone. Purposes created by God whether our vocation or to truly love another can only be accomplished by the union of you and Him. Yes, it can be uncomfortable living beyond yourself and yet it’s glorious at the same time because you constantly see God at work in and through your life. It creates an intimacy with God that is rich because of the level of dependency and connection you have to have to live and work in His strength.
What will your life story tell? What do you want it to tell? Let it be a powerful story because you trusted in God’s strength that took you to places beyond yourself.
The event I describe below occurred at the beginning of last year. This experience radically altered my perspective of my prayer life. Since then, my belief continues to increase in the power of prayer. Prayer is indeed one of the most powerful things we can do.
Malcolm and Sophie are two of my cherished treasures. God uses these Ragdoll felines to teach me many lessons, but . . . I have to seek those lessons. About a month and a half after they moved in, Sophie started sneezing. When it continued to progress to mucus flying out her nose, I took her to the vet and discovered it was an upper respiratory infection. On antibiotics, she immediately started getting better. After being off them for a couple of days, it came back and continued to get worse. We went through another around of antibiotics. Again, she got better, but after a couple of days it returned. Poor thing! I hated putting all these antibiotics in her because I was sure it would have long term affects on her little immune system. Once more, back to the vet. He took some cultures so in a couple of days we would know exactly what bacteria was the culprit. The next day she was sneezing up a storm, which was common because getting the cultures irritated her little nose. But at that point I had enough! I’d been praying for God to heal her, but it dawned on me I hadn’t sought for the lesson in all this. God, what are you trying to teach me? Obviously it wasn’t a lesson for Sophie, it must be for me.
Thankfully, God quickly replied. It had to do with the power of prayer for others. Here’s what I learned. I love Sophie more than you would think a human could love a cat. God loves me and all that concerns me is His concern. He cares for Sophie but also because of my love for her. When we care deeply about someone, God not only desires to help that person for her sake but also because of His care for us. His concern is heightened because of our concern – that is the nature of love. Heart-felt prayer spoken in faith shows we believe in God’s love for us. It’s critical that we believe God loves us because it affects our prayers. This is another reason we need to understand our value, last week’s blog. We need to have a sense of value of ourselves to be able to accept and believe God’s love for us so we can pray with the conviction that our prayers matter.
God needed me to understand this truth so I would pray for those He laid on my heart with the confidence that my prayers made an impact. I needed to believe that my prayers influenced Him because of His love for me, which then could affect the lives of others. Otherwise, my lack of belief drained the power of my prayers. See, my belief in the power of prayer had started to wane. I had started to think my prayers didn’t have THAT much impact. This mindset crept in as I was seeking to understand His sovereignty. He is in control and His will prevails so how much impact do my prayers really have? Not much was my thought until this situation. I didn’t realize how strongly I was holding this false belief until this lesson. I knew prayer was important, but I didn’t understand how much of an impact it had, especially mine. Now I know that my concern and love enhances His concern because that is love. This is the power of prayer of God’s children in numbers. If you had one child concerned about a pet – how much that would affect your heart. What if you had five children concerned – how much more would that affect your heart?
But it isn’t just about numbers, but about the state of the heart. There is power manifested when we intercede for another out of love. This is why our love needs to be with sincerity. Love is an extremely powerful force in our lives. It changes others. It moves the heart of God. This is why it is important to seek the love of God to replace our corrupted version of it so that we can truly love others because if affects our prayers for them. If we are just saying the words and our hearts are distant, then the power of prayer is sapped. That’s why vain repetitions are a waste of time. Matthew 6:7 But if we pray with conviction because we truly care it has a considerable impact. This is why sometimes God “lays” someone on our heart. We have a strong pull to pray for them, because the heart matters.
When I realized this insight about the power of prayer wrapped in love and sincerity, Sophie stopped sneezing that night. The cultures came back revealing a certain bacterium, but she was better. Isn’t God good? Glad I asked. She was going through what she did to teach me. I never would have stopped and sought if she wasn’t sick. And my seeking brought me to a very important lesson about the significance of heart-felt prayer.
God loves His children beyond what we can imagine. His heart for us is mighty and what concerns us concerns Him. Prayer is to teach us many things and one is how much He loves us. Even if He doesn’t seem to be healing a child or delivering them from an unhealthy lifestyle or friendship – know that He cares more so for that child because He cares for their life and that is amplified because of your care for them and His care for you. We can’t see the big picture. We don’t know what they may need to go through to learn what they need to learn. But God is listening if you are rightly related to Him through Christ. Proverbs 15:29 We have certain expectations about how things should play out, but God holds everything in His hands. If I hadn’t gone through the tough times I did as a kid, ones I’m sure my mom wished I avoided, then perhaps I wouldn’t have drawn near to God like I have. From those experiences, I learned my need for Him and the extent of His love for me. In the end, her prayers were answered, but it wasn’t a path she expected, but that path I needed to travel. We need to be careful of our expectations and make sure they are in God. If we are God’s and praying with the right heart and motive about a matter, we need to trust that God is working things out as they should be. We have expectations about what the best path or answer to that prayer would be, but we haven’t a clue. We need to trust in His divine wisdom to work it out to everyone’s best.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
Needless to say, my prayer life totally changed. Our faith is everything. Our belief affects the power our prayer holds. John 14:12-13 I needed and am thankful for this lesson to increase my faith in the power of prayer. And I’m very glad Sophie is no longer sneezing!!
Other blog on Prayer Mountain Moving Prayer
Our soul is like a territory held in bondage by an enemy. When we are awakened to the state of our soul, then we realize our need for someone mightier (Jesus Christ) than ourselves and our enemy to deliver us from the entrapment. When we accept that Jesus is the One to deliver us, then He comes and claims the beachfront of our lives. So we are His, however, aspects of our soul are still untouched territory. As we abide in His Word and are willing and listening, bit by bit Jesus makes advances taking over the territory of our soul as King. Under His Kingship, we live free and as we were created to live. I want to explore some ways He makes those advances.
For years I experienced pain in my body in reoccurring areas. It wasn’t unbearable, but at my young age, it was far more than I should be experiencing. I knew something was way off. I tried many external remedies but nothing worked, but each “cure” presented a new hope. A friend told me about what a Cranial Sacral Therapist had done for her, so I found someone in my area. During the session, as she was working on my neck and head, she asked me if I had experienced any trauma in that area as a child. At first I thought no, but then as I laid there several experiences came to mind, but they weren’t of a physical nature but an emotional one. That thought process led me to see a deep trauma in my beliefs – that I lacked a sense of value for myself. Until that point, I never fully realized this debilitating belief. I went home knowing I had stumbled upon something significant. I realized I needed to stop looking outward for solutions and look inward.
As I brought this issue into my quiet time with God, He started unraveling it bit by bit. It ended up being a core issue that underscored many other issues (almost all of them, including my pain). I started to see the massive ripple affect of that ill-belief spreading to every area of my life. Eagerly, I prayed and listened to God’s instruction, and He started laying it all out. He showed me how most of my thoughts, actions, and decisions were tied to a lack of value for myself. He showed me where this idea started and was reinforced in childhood. As He took me back to painful memories, ones I feared to face or simply didn’t want to out of pride, I travelled with Him trusting His guidance and He covered them with His love, truth and forgiveness. As pain appeared in other areas in my body, I listened and He led me to other issues all related to my core one. He opened up each area of anger, pain, and fear, and brought in His truth. When He was done, I held an unchanging priceless value in myself as His child. However, many of my habitual ways of responding and acting were still reflective of that girl who had no value. Through awareness, abiding in His Word and prayer, those actions started to fade and were replaced by ones based on who I truly am as His unique creation and this transition is in progress today.
I share this story, because 1) it demonstrates a type of progression in how the territory of our soul is conquered by God, and 2) many people have this core issue of a lack of value (from childhood rejection, abuse, neglect, modeling of parents, and so on). Some know it and many deny it, but I see it in many people. When we lack value we spend our lives trying to prove and earn our worthiness and most of what we do is a result of this lack of value, therefore, we aren’t able to be completely surrendered to God’s will. We are more driven to prove or earn our worthiness. God calls us to be surrendered completely to Him and that surrender is a journey. For many facing core issues is a significant part of that journey. But we have to stop the madness of trying to prove and earn and abide in God’s presence and seek His deliverance. God wants us out of that bondage and will allow or do what it takes in our lives to bring us to this understanding, to healing and freedom.
The Progression of Conquering Our Soul
First, an uncomfortable situation arises in our life to get us seeking, like a physical aliment (as I had), intense trial, or difficult relationship. We live in blindness to our own soul and something has to wake us up. When all is fine, we don’t seek. But when things aren’t, it’s to push us to search from the depth of our soul. Often what starts us seeking is something that gets our full attention, and it is different for different people. How better to get our attention than with something we really care about?
Second, from seeking we get a word of truth about the state of our soul that comes to us through a dream, person, the Spirit, or God’s Word. When that word or insight resonates strongly with us, like the issue of value did for me, this is our first awareness of seeing Christ on the edge of this section of our soul ready to take it over and deliver us.
Third, through spiritual weaponry (like faith, prayer, meditating on His Word, the Bible, and /or fasting) the anchor of that stronghold is uprooted. For me the stronghold was the lie I had no value, God uprooted that ill-belief and replaced it with the truth that I have infinite unchanging value. One point on fasting, it is a tool that when God calls us to use it (He decision not ours), it can be extremely powerful. It’s an act of faith that we are completely reliant on His Word for life. Matthew 17:19-21
Fourth, once the anchor is uprooted then there is a time (usually much longer) of restructuring and rebuilding, like when a land is taken over by a new regime it has to be established on their rules. As the rebuilding occurs in this certain area, many issues may spring up that are related to that area like anger, modeling (what we learned from our parents), and unforgiveness. Each one of these has to be addressed and replaced with truth and love. This work of rebuilding is God’s. Our part is to seek His deliverance, listen to and obey His instruction, abide in His Word that cuts through our soul healing and restoring, pray, and hold onto His truth as it’s established in us.
After believing lies for so long it sometimes takes awhile for the truth to truly be ours. Because of the strong connections in our brain established from acting certain ways for so long, it sometimes takes awhile for us to act according to the deliverance that is happening in our soul. But once the anchor is uprooted, then we should see progress forward however slow. Building a new way of behaving requires great patience, trust and perseverance. It requires that we trust God who begun a good work in us will complete it (Philippians 1:6). As this area is rebuilt, God moves onto the next one to conquer. If we are diligent to heed His instruction, follow and trust in Him to do what He promises to do, we will experience true freedom in our soul. The good news is that once our core issue is addressed it resolves many other issues that came from it. Though, it may be a longer process initially, it is delivering us from many problems in our lives.
If you are struggling right now, perhaps it is the Spirit trying to get your attention. Ask and seek why you are going through what you are. Be aware of insights you have about your situation. Pray about them don’t ignore or push them to the side. Dive into them. They may be God on the forefront ready to move and waiting for you to call Him in. Deliverance requires your involvement. Let His pure Word penetrate your heart, pray, meditate on His truth daily and follow His direction and He will take over and rebuild you into the new creation you are in Him.
In my experience this process can be painful at times as our depths are unraveled and exposed and it isn’t instant by any means. It is a journey, sometimes taking years, but He is faithful to finish what He began. What are a couple of years compared to a lifetime of freedom? Most of us give up. Stop trusting. Stop seeking deliverance. Stop listening. Stop abiding in His Word. Don’t give up. Believe God is good and desires you to be free. And remember it is God who starts, directs, and completes this journey. It is by the Spirit’s lead not our own initiative.
Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
My prayer journal is divided into three parts; praise, prayer and insights. And praise being first is essential.
Each morning, I start with praise – thanking God for all that He has done, for all the ways He has revealed Himself to me, for dwelling in His presence and all it entails. It is overwhelming. When I get to my requests my doubts and wavering have subsided, and I present them with conviction, power and faith that every care is His concern and He will provide in the perfect way and time.
This wasn’t always the case. I used to just start pouring out my heart, but my prayers lack the same confidence and faith. Putting praise first I believe made a significant difference in the impact of my prayers because it altered my mind from a state of lack and need to one of power and faith.
I think this resolve is why we are to make our requests know to God with thanksgiving. When we acknowledge all that He has done and who He is to us then it puts our requests in the right perspective – in the hands of a mighty God who loves us more than we can imagine and who is faithful to the end.
Giving thanks fuels our faith so that when we pray we do so with conviction because we focus our minds on the power and love of God at work in our lives. Faith pleases God because it is acting on our beliefs in God’s wisdom and truth, not this world’s. Faith, our beliefs in motion, is the foundation to everything we do. Faith is the power of our lives. It changes the world around us. When we meditate on what He has done it strengthens our beliefs in Him and the power of our beliefs affect our circumstances. If our faith is weak His power will be weak in our lives, if it is strong He will be strong. Matthew 13:58 Faith is everything. Thanksgiving ignites our faith in our prayers.
As I reflected back on this year, all that God has done my jaw drops. I can’t imagine going through this life without God as so many do. Why would anyone what to? Out from under the lies and control of religion . . . what God desires for us is what we all desire deep in our souls.
Without Him this year I would have missed out on; abiding in His presence on a daily basis, experiencing true, unconditional, and pure love to know and to give, witnessing His work in the lives around me, hearing His voice of counsel, guidance, and comfort, enjoying a stronger marriage, healing in several of my relationships, blessed with new meaningful friendships, being set free from fears, healing inside and out, provision during a trying financial year, protection on many levels, peace through a questionable economy, experiencing an underling rest each day, comfort in my soul in the midst of trials, insights into the truth about me and others, understanding about this world, and on and on.
Reflecting back gives me great anticipation as I welcome each new day, how will I see His perfect love played out today? From a gal who once struggled with depression and questioned why live, meeting the day with excitement and anticipation is amazing.
When our lives our infused with Him, He is glorified.
Like many books on Christian growth and discipleship, Dallas Willard in The Great Omission, mentions various spiritual disciplines; prayer, fasting, silence, solitude, worship, scripture memorization, and proper fellowship. And if we do these, then they will aid us in being true disciples of Christ and conforming to His image.
As I thought about these disciplines, what came to mind were two things 1.) the verses that state the Word needs to be our foundation to each one of these acts and 2.) my own experience.
1 Corinthians 14:15 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.
John 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Proverbs 28:9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith (acting on His Word) it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Luke 4:4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'” (during a 40 day fast)
The Word is to be our foundation to all we do because it is the originator of our understanding, trust, faith, and beliefs. Without it spiritual disciplines aren’t worth much, but with it they powerful beyond measure.
I have found this true in my own life. Despite my diligence in doing various spiritual disciplines, I was empty, in bondage, spiritually starving, powerless and wanting more. Frustrated, overwhelmed and tired, several years ago I put everything aside and did the one thing my Lord commands in Matthew 6:33. With His Word in first place, my spiritual life started to prosper. All else followed. Everything changed. Abiding in His Word is the key to everything else because then truth and faith in Him is infused into the depths of our soul.
When we put first things first, then everything else flows with purpose, depth and power. If we don’t, the rest is forced and ineffective, weak, and shallow.
Therefore, personally abiding in the Word is the cornerstone to our spiritual lives. We can’t own His truth by listening to someone else’s rendition of it. We have to engage, abide, and swim in it and look to the Spirit to write it in our minds and hearts. Why can’t we just listen to the preacher? Our abiding fosters intimacy with our Husband, His will for us. A personal engagement with the Word requires us to trust Him to teach and guide us through the intricacies of His words. That trust leads to the relationship He desires with us. When we come to God in His Word like we would our spouse; intimate, alone, consistent, and with a heart to know Him and be united to Him, then His truth will become ours. This is God’s design. Our beliefs will move in line with His truth and will, and everything will start to flow from that foundation.
Yet how often is abiding in His Word the last thing we do or have time for? Everything else comes first. Many churches overtly or covertly support that abiding is no big deal. Stop listening to them. Listen to God’s truth. He says His Word is the cornerstone of our lives. It is the cornerstone because our beliefs affect everything else.
All we do comes down to the beliefs we hold. Belief is the work that Christ gave us to do (John 6:29). It is work to believe because the world inundates us with its lies. Faith, our beliefs in motion, comes from hearing the Word, not interpretations, stories and someone else’s opinions, but hearing the pure Word taught to us by the Spirit. (John 14:26) Without faith in Him and the right beliefs, then our prayers, worship, acts of service, fasting, fellowship and all else is without truth. We are following the god of our minds which we, society and others have created. Yes, straightening out our beliefs and faith in Him takes time, but who are we cultivating faith in?
If we want to honor God and have our lives infused with His then we have to do things His way. His will is for us to abide in Him, the vine, the truth, the light, Christ, the Word. When we do He promises that all else will follow and all we do will be done in truth, spirit and power.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth
How different Christendom would be if each one of us abided in God’s Word as He instructs us. The Word is to be the cornerstone of our lives. Without the cornerstone the temple falls apart as we are witnessing.
What is the main act you do for your faith? Church, prayer, service? Whatever it is that is your foundation. Spiritual disciplines are very important, but if they are not established on a personal engagement of the Word of God then those acts lack power because they are based on something else and honoring someone else. What was designed to be first can’t and won’t take second place. Let’s put first things first and abide in The Word.
Without God’s incessant guidance mankind creates destruction because of its own wicked and selfish heart. We see man’s insufficiency in government oppression, mismanagement leading to poverty, abundant financial debt, hideous animal and child abuse, and the widespread lies leading to spiritual death. When self is in control – mankind suffers.
As believers with the power of God on our side and the ability to call upon Him, we can be an influential force in the world for God’s purposes. In the stillness of prayer, we galvanize the strength of God. If we trust our own strength we are fighting a losing battle. Good will only come if we call upon and trust in God’s power and not man’s. Ezra 9:12
Many pray then go off and fight the battle in their own strength in the name of God. We are never to fight in our own strength. The act of prayer, which we are to do unceasingly, means we are acknowledging God’s strength, surrendering to His power, and letting Him direct our steps and guide our actions – not us.
God wants us to call upon Him for this forsaken world and He wants to show the world His power and might through His people – that is you and me. God wants our faith to drive us with conviction to His feet and in response He will restore, mend, and heal according to His will.
1 Timothy 2:1-3 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
2 Chronicles 7:14 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.
Where we need to start in our fervent prayers is for our own people, the true Church. To be effective outwardly we have to be healthy inwardly. We have been beaten up and weakened by a religious mindset, mega churches, works mentality, deception, shortage of truth, lack of abiding in God’s Word, being taught by man instead of the Spirit, and neglecting the ubiquitous call to be one with Him. We have become too complacent with spiritual and physical decrepit lives for ourselves and our brethren, when those lives are supposed to be abundant and glorifying to God.
Understanding the impact of interceding on each other’s behalf is exemplified in Moses. God, completely frustrated with Israel, planned to destroy them, but Moses interceded and God saved them. Psalm 106:23 Moses’ prayer turn the tides for a nation headed for destruction.
But what made Moses’ prayer so successful, and what will make ours?
1. Intimacy with God – Moses’ effectiveness resulted from the intimacy he cultivated with God. Like our earthly relationships, we develop intimacy with God by spending time with Him one-on-one, listening to and abiding in His words and not man’s interpretations, growing in knowledge, and cultivating trust. Moses knew God face to face. For our prayers to have power we have to pray in spirit and truth and that means we intimately know our Lord and our spirits in Him are healthy and thriving. Praying without abiding in the Word is a self-center focus and a one-way relationship. To get our focus on Him and to develop true intimacy, we need to abide in His personal revelation to us, Jesus Christ, the Word. John 1:14
2. Understanding God’s will – Moses knew God’s will to be glorified through Israel. Exodus 32:10-14. God’s will is not the same for all people. Some people He wanted to completely destroy like the pagan nations as the Israelites moved into the promise land Deuteronomy 31:3. Some He wanted to save like Nineveh Jonah 3:10. We have to seek God’s will in every area of our lives and the lives of others because He is sovereign and all knowing and not follow our wills which are limited and deceived. Walking daily with God, Moses understood His heart. We come to understand His will by daily abiding in His truth. When we pray His will we honor Him, not us. If we don’t seek His will, we aren’t listening to Him but advocating our own agenda, however good we think it may be. In being taught by the Spirit, we find that these stories about destroying the pagan nations is about letting the truth of God destroy our internal enemies; pride, arrogance, selfishness, self-rigteousness, etc. As for others, we are called to love all and treat others as we want to be treated. Love is what heals and renews and what is needed.
3. Trust in God’s mercy. From their experiences together, Moses developed a steadfast faith in the mercy of God. He knew what God was capable of, what they deserved, but knew He was a God of mercy. He didn’t rely on his own goodness to save these people. His hope was in God’s compassion alone.
Moses made a profound difference from his conversation with God so can we when our prayers are based on a similar relationship with our Father. We have access to the power of God so we can be victorious as a nation of His people. As we continue to seek after God’s heart so we can pray in spirit and truth, His power will heal us and be manifested in us infusing His goodness into the world.
Proverbs 15:8b But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much