Prophetic Prayer

Around the world today there is a dawning of a new understanding of prayer

And, here on the home front we need a new understanding of prayer

For most believers, their prayer life lacks life

For some, their prayer time is seriously boring

For others, it is seen as a religious obligation to be fulfilled daily

For almost all, it takes up very little time on any given day

And, obviously it is mostly pathetic and not powerful

BIBLICALLY:

For those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus – not born again / not Christian

Isaiah 59:1-2 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

The “man upstairs” is not their friend nor is He going to answer their prayers

They are enemies of God… at war with Him – needing peace

The only prayer heard and answered – prayer of repentance

If they respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and are moved by godly sorrow  leading to praying the prayer of repentance then they are born again

(2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

This peace (end of warfare with God) only comes through being born again

Romans 5:1  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Then a person can walk in the peace of God

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you…” – – –  peace of God

So, for those who are not born again – only one prayer is heard and answered…

For those who have a personal relationship with God – the Bible states that all our prayers should be answered – and the answer should always be “yes”

Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (in God).”

1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Of course, in daily practice this is not the case.

I believe the key reason this is not true in practice is that we have totally misunderstood prayer

We see prayer as a means of obtaining something from God…

Prayer really has little to nothing to do with seeing needs and wants met by an all-powerful God

He is not here to serve us – we are here to serve Him

Paul states that “we are to pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

This is difficult if all prayer has become is a means to obtain what we believe and think we need

Does Paul, the apostle, think we should go into our ‘prayer closet’ and stay there 24/7

What about the normal and natural events of life – cooking, eating, laundry, a job?

What is “praying without ceasing,” then?

I believe it is a 24/7 relationship with the Living God

I believe it is having an on-going, constant personal relationship with Jesus

I believe it is 100% relationship and not just a shopping list of needs and wants

I believe it is being aware of the Holy Spirit all the time, everywhere

I believe it is walking in His presence and His power at all times

Prayer is a consistent and on-going daily relationship with God

In this relationship there are a number of things to note

I learned these things, as I do most things, the hard way

Prayer in my life was a boring list of things I reminded God of constantly

This in spite of the fact that “your heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask.”  (Matthew 6:8)

So, really, He does not need to be constantly reminded of something He already is very aware of – right?

In fact, Jesus tells us we should not pray this way because this is the way pagans pray

Repetitiously – hoping that their gods would answer because of their constant asking

So, on a regular basis, I would get up early and go to pray and read my Bible

Three out of four mornings I would hear the sound of snoring

One morning I said to God, “God, I am seriously bored with this”

God said, “You think you are bored…”

So, I boldly asked, “What should I do to change this?”

God said, “Sit down, shut up, and listen.”

So, I did!

In this relationship there are a number of things to note or recognize…

Recognize that He is God and you are not

Recognize that because He is God He gets to speak first

Recognize that the Bible states that “His sheep hear His voice” so listen for it

(John 10)

Recognize that what He has to say is always more important than what you have to share

Recognize that after He speaks you are free to respond

This responding is praying according to His Word (will)

1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Recognize that because you are praying in line with His Word and will that He will answer each and every prayer just as the Bible states

Somewhere in the last several centuries we have turned prayer around…

We initiate and expect God to respond

When biblically it is God initiating (speaking first) and we respond

We are here to serve Him – He is not here to serve us

Paul asks a very serious question when writing one of the churches he related to as an apostle

Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh…”

How did you begin your walk with Jesus?

Well, let’s see:

You were a sinner separated from God because of your sinfulness (Isaiah 59:1-2)

God loved you so much that while you were a sinner He sent Jesus to seek you out and save you (Romans 5:8; Luke 19:10)

He found you – convicted you of your sin and you responded

(2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

He initiated and you responded – that is how it all began

So, why now, have we reversed this and we initiate and expect God to respond?

Why, having begun to the Spirit – He initiated and we responded and became born again

Why, have we turned that around and now we initiate and expect (demand) that He respond

Remember, He is God and you are not

I remember when God showed me that: Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live

“Hi, I’m Chevy Chase, and you are not!”

God said, “Hi, I am God, and you are not”

If God is God – let Him lead

Let Him initiate and you respond

So, as He taught me, “Sit down, shut up, and listen… then speak when spoken to

This assures that all prayers will be answered in a positive way because you are responding to His Words and His will…

“Having begun in the Spirit…”

Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh…”

In the Greek: “How can you be so stupid…”

If we let Him speak and then we respond – this is what I call “Prophetic Prayer”

Somewhere prayer went from being powerful to pathetic

Somewhere prayer went from being prophetic to being pastoral

Prophetic – all about His will and His ways

Pastoral – all about our needs and our wants

In the Bible it seems to me that prayer was always prophetic

It was in response to the leading of the Spirit

It was in response to hearing God’s will and direction – His Word

And, as a result, God answered powerfully!

Do I speak to God about my needs and wants? – – – Yes!

But first I listen and respond to all that He is speaking to me

In my spirit, my head, through the Bible

Then, when I am just about done, I thank Him for our time together and thank Him for meeting all my needs which He already knows about anyways

I thank Him in faith that my “shopping list” of prayer requests is known and being dealt with in the way He thinks best

I don’t bore Him and me with the details…

“(My) heavenly Father knows what you have need of before you ask.”  (Matthew 6:8)

To be involved in “Prophetic Prayer” we may need to learn a few new ways of doing things…

Here is what I have learned:

1> Learn to be still – inside and outside 

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

You need to learn to “still” your thoughts (paper and pen)

You need to learn to “still” your emotions

You need to learn to “still” your body

2> Learn to be silent

Here you need to “still” all the other “voices” that speak

Let me come back to that in a few minutes

Here you need to “still” your own voice – simply ‘shut up’

If you are talking – God will not interrupt

The noise needs to stop as well – music you play

Silence is hard to come by in our “filled with noise” world

Often we turn on outside noise so that we won’t deal with the inner things

You need to learn to listen with both your physical ears and spiritual ears

“If you have ears to hear, then hear”(Matthew 11:15)

3> Solitude – get alone

It is good to have fellowship with others but you need time alone to connect with and have fellowship with God

We often don’t like to be alone

Often our world does not allow us time to be alone

Most times we have to fight to find time to be alone

It is worth the fight – solitude is essential for a real decent relationship with God

Even Jesus went away from the crowds and His disciples to be alone

Matthew 14:23 “And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…”

4> Spirit – Learn to fellowship with the Holy Spirit

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

The love of God the Father … John 3:16; Romans 5:8

The grace of the Lord Jesus … John 1:16; Ephesians 2:8-9

Fellowship:

Social interaction

Partner with (He is the senior partner)

Participate in what He is already doing (it is anointed already)

As you attempt and accomplish all this – you will hear the voice of God clearly

However, you will also hear a number of other voices “inside”

Your opinion (a big one)

Your beliefs (second biggest)

Your church

Your past (experiences and events)

Your generation (‘cleanliness is next to godliness’)

Your friends

Your music (even Christian music)

Your media (what you watch and listen to)

Your culture and society

Demons

You need to work at knowing which voice inside is the voice of the Holy Spirit (God)

You do this by testing everything you hear … and throwing out the voices that do not agree with God’s Word – the Bible

1 Thessalonians 5:21 “…but test everything, hold fast what is good…”

This means you really need to know your Bible

This means having people close to you that you can ask, “Do you think this might be God”

This means being honest with yourself and accept that most of what you think is God is not God

This means being accountable – open – transparent – vulnerable with someone you trust

But, once you nail down which voice is God’s voice … you got it forever!

Last but not least:

God who is Spirit (John 4:24) speaks to the Holy Spirit who lives in your born again spirit

Several things here:

1> Often you don’t know that God has spoken to you but later … Aha!

“The Holy Spirit brings things to remembrance…”  (John 14:26)

Seeds were planted and it took some time for you to receive the fruit

2> Your mind will know something is from God but it will lack detail and depth

God speaks to you in your spirit and it comes up through your soul

Your soul – mind, will, emotions

Only a few details make it to your mind (natural realm) from your spirit (supernatural realm)

But your spirit received a total message with massive amount of details

You need to learn how to grab those other details… ask questions

Example: Boat and water

3> You need to deal with “soul issues” so that the route to your mind does not distort the things God spoke to your spirit

Balaam and the enemy of Israel – Balak, the kind of Moab (Numbers 22)

God did not change His mind – Balaam had an “idol” he had not dealt with

So, around the world God is moving in people’s hearts and in churches that are open to His Spirit …

And we are seeing more and more people listening … Prophetic Prayer

So, more of God’s presence being experienced

And, more of God’s power moving in and through His people

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