Promise and Blessing

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As Your children we are blessed
Honoured and privileged to enter Your rest
Because you have made us
More than conquerors
No weapon formed against us
Shall prosper

A a flood no more
To Abraham You promised
Keep in divine health
The poor among us
We perceives ourselves
Before You as meek
To wholeheartedly worship
You at Your feet

Use us completely to heal the hurting
As we grow each day in learning
To after righteousness
Hunger and thirst
And in all we do
To seek You first

 

Pray Over Every Decision

Something happens when you pray that would not have happened had you not prayed. Every decision you make is a turning point in your life. Making the right decision determines whether you succeed or fail. Prayer is the proof you respect God. It is a sign that you recognize His power to change your circumstances. It attracts God. Do it.

“Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who will seek Him.” Gordon B. Hinkckely

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” 
― Meister Eckhart

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” 
― Corrie Ten Boom

James 5:16b

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

 

Intercession

I remember the teacher we had in our D.T.S (click the link to find out what that is) mentioned how this is a literal standing between God and the world or person or people. So you, in a sense, are trying to bring God closer to the person/people by standing in the gap and pulling, pushing etc them closer as much as possible. It takes effort to do that. Which is why intercession should never be taken lightly. The synonym to this word is intervene (to occur or be between two things; mediate).

The next time you pray for someone or a group of people, keep in mind that you are doing more than just praying on their behalf. You are bringing them towards God to the best of your abilities. It’s not easy carrying someone on your back or shoulders for long distances, especially when climbing hills! I like to picture it like that so that when God moves on their behalf, I can feel like I crossed a huge milestone!

Faith in a prayer-hearing God will make a prayer-loving Christian. —Andrew Murray

I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.—John Wesley

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart.” John Brunyan

Prayer is earthly permission for heavenly interference– Myles Monroe

I love this. I was really moved when I heard it:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Imagine being in battle and the enemy is invading your camp and tearing everything apart! To stand there and do nothing but simply watch (what was part of a huge part of your life, as) it all gets destroyed-valuables taken and very special and important people kidnapped (if fortunate)-is a tragedy too hard to bear. Where was/is your heart? Where was your mind? What were you feeling? Pain? Anger?

The value of prayer
I remember a teacher at a seminar I went to saying that people very often tell you that they will pray for you when you ask them to and end up, 9 times out of 10, not doing it. It’s both funny and sad, but more sad than funny.

Solomon was praying for God’s people, Israel, with regards to protocol (behaviour, procedure, attitude, the right way to do things) in the Temple he built. He asked God, in great detail, to be pleased with their offerings and also when they obeyed (observed and faithfully kept) His commandments, laws, precepts and statutes. Another request he made was for God to pardon and forgive any sin they would commit, both knowingly and unknowingly, should they realize it and decide to repent. This is how God responded:

2 Chronicles 7:14

 If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave,  and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

Taking prayer (intercession) seriously
One thing I love to say is: If you put so little heart into your prayer, you can’t expect God to put much heart into answering it.

I see prayer and intercession as part of giving and receiving. What you give God (as far as your heart is concerned) is what He will give to you (in response to how you approached Him). God will move in your life (give attention to your words, actions and whatever you need Him for at any time and any place) proportionate to the depth of the relationship you have with Him!

Let those words sink in. Personally the best example I can give is Job:

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who [reverently] feared God and abstained from and shunned evil [because it was wrong].

His sons used to go and feast in the house of each on his day (birthday) in turn, and they invited their three sisters to eat and drink with them.

 And when the days of their feasting were over, Job sent for them to purify and hallow them, and rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed or disowned God in their hearts. Thus did Job at all [such] times Job 1:1, 4-5

This was his habit! His habit translated into his character. It became a part of him. It wasn’t custom anymore. Watch what happens as a result of this continual practice:

 Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing?

Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Job 1:9-10

All he did was pray for his children! Even if they did right in the sight of the Lord, just to make sure that they remained that way, Job prayed for them. Pay very close attention to this as I finish this post:

 After the Lord had spoken the previous words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has
Now therefore take seven bullocks and seven rams and go to My servant Job and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept [his prayer] that I deal not with you after your folly, in that you have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did as the Lord commanded them; and the Lord accepted [Job’s prayer].

And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had beforeJob 42:7-10

Prayer Attorney: pleading your case before the Judge

Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,

That I might come to His seat!

I would present my case before Him,

And fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which He would answer me,

And understand what He would say to me. Job 23:3-5

Recognizing the Judge side of God
It’s obvious everyone sees God differently. Those in business would read the Bible from that perspective. Those who are doctors might argue that God showed the Physician side of Himself more than the others, especially in Jesus’ and the Apostle’s ministry. Some times I think about how people love to have their prayers answered but make the mistake of not recognizing God supplying their needs according to who He is in their time of need. In other words, for example, no one calls Him “Jehovah Rapha” to be their healer when they need healing. More often than not getting prayers answered requires calling on the Source of the answer in accordance to the need at the point in time. The thing is, the needs or prayer requests people have are actually cases! If you don’t know all the names of God then, at least, see Him as one who is Judge over all.  That means doing one thing…

Reading your Bible
Why? Look at this passage:

Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25.

At that point Abraham was wondering if God would spare Sodom for the sake of fifty righteous people. He knew God is a righteous judge, knowing the exact thing to do at the right time, no matter what the situation is!

Abraham had a case which he presented several times (Genesis 18:24-33)! Actually it was 5 times. God had patience with him. Abraham wanted to see how far God would go in ensuring the safety of the righteous people in the city. Now when you consider this passage:

 “ Present your case,” says the LORD. 

 “ Bring forth your strong reasons,” says the King of Jacob Isaiah 41:21.

Here, God was displeased with Israel worshipping idols. He wanted to know what good reason they had for doing this despite all the goodness God had shown and proven to them. Anyone in the Lord’s position has every right to demand such a thing! Read the whole thing in context from verses 18-23. How would you feel if from the beginning you were kind, caring, helpful towards someone and they just continued to disobey and disrespect you? Would you not want a very good case to support their reason for doing this?

You might be thinking, “This does not have anything to do with the title of this section?” On the contrary, it has everything to do with it. In court in order for your case to be favoured over others, you have to have strong evidence supporting you. If you don’t read the Bible:

1) How are you going to be able to present a good case in front of unbelievers in order to win them over to the kingdom?

2) How are you going to convince the Judge that your prayers should be answered and not someone else who has a more pressing issue?

Therefore, my point in this section is: get as many points from the Bible to use as strong evidence to convince the Judge that your case should be worth looking at. 

Becoming a prayer attorney
Just like studying law, you need to study every situation in order to deal with them effectively when the time comes. Of course you can focus on the subject that is most interesting to you, for example finance, then whenever you pray for finances-either for yourself or someone else-you’ll be able to convince the Judge. Law takes many years of study because having to cover every aspect of it before branching into what you believe is your specialty. In the same way, it can take a while to study most, if not all, the Scriptures that have to do with a particular case. Here are some ideas I have to help you get started:

1] Start off with a topic you find interesting. It’s easier to focus on things you love. If you enjoy experiencing peace, and you seem to recognize it most times when you read the Word, even if the passage does not state the word but shows examples of it, write it down.

2] Take your time. You do not need to rush it. The more attention you give to the Scriptures, the easier it is to notice certain things.

3] Build a small case first. It’s all about taking baby steps. Use a minimum of 3 passages to build your case. Make it good and take it very seriously. You are coming before the King of kings after all.

4]  Try to recognize the topic in the requests. If someone asks to pray for restoration of a relationship, that’s peace. If it’s for a job, that’s finances. If it’s for passing a test, that’s understanding. Take note that you’re really praying for understanding in a case like that because wisdom is the right application of knowledge. They can’t apply wisdom if they don’t have understanding.

5] Work with others. You don’t have to do this yourself, although you can if you want. In high school my friends and I would meet and sit in a circle going round just quoting Scriptures. We would see how long each of us could go. Our prayer lives tremendously increased because of that. You want to try that and do it as often as possible. Do it with family, distant relatives and friends. That way if someone has an urgent request, you’re in a position to present a good case on the spot!

6] Use each Scripture as a reason to answer the prayer. The more Scriptures you have the stronger your case! Pile as many as possible and be firm with your reasons. The Judge cannot deny the evidence in His Word!

7] Use your testimonies as evidence as well. It’s very important to write down the answers to prayer. When you pray you get to remind the Judge about the cases He’s granted your request and why that makes Him a righteous Judge.

I believe everyone should become prayer attorneys. The difference with the kingdom court is that you can have more than one lawyer representing a client at the same time! Imagine if all of them had really good points that no one can deny? It’s all about being diligent enough to:

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT).
Further reading of the Word
Exodus 18

Related posts:

Progressive prayer

In this manner, therefore, pray: 

      Our Father in heaven, 
      Hallowed be Your name. 
       Your kingdom come. 
      Your will be done 
      On earth as it is in heaven. 
      Give us this day our daily bread. 
      And forgive us our debts, 
      As we forgive our debtors. 
      And do not lead us into temptation, 
      But deliver us from the evil one. 
      For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matt 6:9-13

 

Drawing closer to Him

Our Father– brings the spirit of adoption. A child-like spirit (Matt 18:3-4 ;Rom 8:14-15)

Hallowed be Thy name– the child-like spirit perceives the splendour of the Father.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven– there is a growing love for the Father that exceeds parental love and adoration. It is portrayed by desiring to exemplify the kingdom here on earth, “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,Rom 14:17

Give us this day our daily bread– there lies the heartfelt dependence on God. This bread is not physical like the one Satan tried tempt Jesus with in Matt 4:4 and Luke 4:4.  This bread teaches sobriety (soberness) and temperance. We ask only for bread not for what we do not need. We ask for our bread; that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the bread of others, nor the bread of deceit, Proverbs 20:17

Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, 
      But afterward his mouth will be filled with grave

nor the bread of idleness, Proverbs 31:27

She watches over the ways of her household, 
      And does not eat the bread of idleness.”

but the bread honestly gotten. We ask for God to give to us, not lend or sell it but give. This teaches us compassion for the poor and to pray with our families. We pray God would give it this day, which teaches us to renew the desires of our souls, as the wants of our bodies are renewed.

Forgives us our debts (trespasses), as we forgive our debtors– not only are we dependent we know we are sinful, and we thus plead for mercy. Those who desire to find mercy with God, must show mercy to their brethren.

Lead us not into temptation– after being pardoned having the righteousness of Christ, knowing his acceptance with God, he humbly requests for holy perseverence.

NB: the justified one seeks not to offend and that leads to a desire for sanctification. That means: forgive us our debts– justification and lead us not into temptation– sanctification, which is to be separated and set apart as 1 Peter 2:9 states:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light,” (Emphasis added).

Thine is the kingdom (remember Rom 14:17), the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen– therein lies the triumphant ascription (the victory being credited to the One worthy) of praise.

Summing it all up
From a sense of adoption, up to a fellowship with our reigning Lord, this short model of prayer conducts the soul. May it never be taken lightly (as nothing in the Word of God ever should) and may we have the teachable spirit required to acknowledge our own weakness and need for the wisdom that comes from above  (James 3:15-17). Lord teach us, thus, to pray!

Related Posts:
Prayer again? (Part 1) by Joyce de vivre
Pray without ceasing by Erin Stephens
Why am I not getting my answer???- Hindrances to prayer part 1 by Sherline

How to increase your prayer life part 2

If you put so LITTLE heart into your prayer, you can’t expect God to put MUCH heart into answering it.” R. A. Torrey

It seems the sad reality is that most people don’t realize they are taking prayer so lightly! Jesus talked about the “sanctuary of prayer” so to speak by emphasizing the importance of having a “prayer closet” or praying alone. In Matthew 6:6 we read, “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” What then does this Scripture tell us prayer? That prayer should be respected and valued like one would value their prized possession, such as a trophy.

Everything answers to the Name!
Nowadays it’s so sad how it’s become almost traditional to just go ahead and say, “In the Name of Jesus” at the end of the prayer as if it was either to wrap up everything prayed for or maybe to be said for the sake of saying it! Such ignorance is exactly what the enemy uses to stop prayer working. In fact, ignorance is what the enemy uses to stop anything in our lives!

Mark 9:39 ““Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me”

Mark 16:17 “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages.

John 14:12-14 :
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

John 16:25-27:
“I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. 26 Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf, 27 for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.

Meaning that God is not obligated to answer your prayer until it answers to the Name of Jesus! This is the Name above all names. People some times forget or maybe don’t understand:
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,  in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).

1) The Name of Jesus is not be taken lightly. Demons are cast out in His Name!
2) Understand the power in the Name of Jesus and declare it in every part of your prayer, not just the end!

Find a Scripture for your problem and pray it
If you struggle with anger, look for Scriptures on patience and peace and pray them. Google, “Scriptures about peace” and memorize them too. Do not take any Scripture lightly. Even if it says, “Peace, be still!” or the “God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet” declare that in your life. You can say:

Peace, be still in my marriage (finances, relationships etc) in Jesus’ Name!

Be persistent
Numbers in the spiritual realm are very significant. I’m not talking about the meaning of particular numbers, but rather the amount of times certain things are done. Consider this:

18 Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. 19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.”
20 Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year (2 Kings 13:18-20)

Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.’” (1 Kings 18:44)

1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray (1 Thess 5:17) and not lose heart, 2saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8).

I believe that most people fall short of their answers to prayer just like the king of Israel in 2 Kings, because they don’t push till the very end. The same measure you give (even in prayer) will be measured back to you Luke 6:38. That’s why it’s important to keep:

P-raying
U-ntil
S-omething
H-appens

If you’re seeing this for the first time, please see part 1 as well. There are some points there that go together with these ones.

How to increase your prayer life

If you want God to honour your prayers, you’ve got to honour His Word in your prayers.”

I will bow down towards your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Psalm 138:2 (NIV)

1) Praise and Worship Him
Psalm 100:4 says to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. In an earlier post, 4 things that test your faith, I talked about how thanking God plays a big part in increasing your faith. This verse is primarily the first thing  we should do before we pray. Why? “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel,” (Psalm 22:3) and “This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise” (Isaiah 43:21).  If the King decrees it, we should do it!

2) Approach the throne
How glorious and wonderful it is to have an audience with the King of kings and Lord of Lords! Psalm 27:4:

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.

Hebrews 4:16:
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

3) Pray His will
Since according to Jeremiah 29:11 God has plans for us, especially those that won’t harm us but give us a future and a hope, it’s only fair to find out what His will is in every part of our lives.

David asked God one day and the Lord said thou shall not go up (2 sam 5:18-19)  the philistines came again and spread themselves in the valley of Ephraim and David enquired again of the Lord (2 sam 5:22-25) he was constantly enquiring of the Lord
(Isaiah 48:17). What is His will?
Do not repay evil for evil: Romans 12. Do that by doing this: Philippians 4:8
Believe in Jesus: John 6:40
Praise His glory: Ephesians 1:5-12. Why not follow the angels’ example? Isaiah 6:3
Live in His grace: Ephesians 5:1-20.
Be obedient: Ephesians 6:5-8
Give graciously: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7. You should also see my post about this, 7 reasons why it’s more blessed to give than to receive 
Never stop praying: 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
Pray for others: Romans 15:30-33
Be tough but patient: Hebrews 10:35-39
Be part of the family of God: Mark 3:35
Get others saved: Matt 18:11-14
Abstain from immorality: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
Be wise: Ephesians 5:15-17 and take note of this James 3:14-18
Courtesy of Kurt Welton.
This gives you a general outline of His will. How do you pray this? You simply live this. There is a way to pray His will:
1) Like David did ask Him if what you desire is in line with His plans. From there be led by Him through His peace (Philippians 4:7)
2) Look to His Word and also pray it. Need finances? In prayer, perform James 1:5 together with Deuteronomy 8:18 then do (practically) Ecclesiastes 11:1-2. There are a lots of Scriptures on finances! I’ll put a post about that. Mending broken relationships? Pray James 5:16 and after that Matthew 18:19-20.
Everything is really all in His Word! Please move on to part 2 because both parts are connected.