Month 10:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year 5935:280 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 15 January 2012
Prayer & Worship V
The Key to Dynamic Power
Continued from Part 4
Shabbat shalom kol beit Yisra'el as we conclude our series on prayer and worship.
As our prayer life begins to deepen, we start discovering some of the key principles on which power in prayer can be built. I'd like to take a look at some of these so that we can deepen our prayer-life as talmidim (disciples) and make it more effective for Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Kingdom.
1. EMUNAH (FAITH). Obviously it's important that we really believe Yahweh for what we are asking. If we are sure it is in His will, by His Davar (Word) and by His Ruach (Spirit), then we should be bold in emunah (faith). Yahweh will answer no matter how difficult or even 'impossible' it may seem to us as humans. Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
The apostle James likewise said:
"Have faith in Elohim (God). For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his lev (heart), but believes that those things He says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them" (Mark 11:22-24, NKJV).
"Assuredly, I say to you, if you have emunah (faith) and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive" (Matt.21:21-22, NKJV).
"If you have emunah (faith) ... nothing will be impossible for you" (Matt.17:20, NKJV).
2. The RUACH (SPIRIT). We need to ask the help of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) for direction in prayer. Often we do not know how we should pray, or what we should ask for - it is the ministry of the Ruach (Spirit) to lead us into what we should ask from our Heavenly Father. In his autobiography, Charles Finney says:
"Let him ask in emunah (faith), with no doubting" (James 1:6, NKJV).
The apostle Paul expresses it this way:
"The [Master] taught me, in those early days of my Christian experience, many very important truths in regard to the spirit of prayer...it came upon me in the sense of a burden that crushed my heart, the nature of which I could not understand at all; but with it came an intense desire to pray...I could not say much. I could only groan with groanings loud and deep...For a long time I tried to get my prayer before the [Master]; but somehow, words could not express it" (Charles Finney, An Autobiography).
Another translation renders this "with groans that are not describable" (HRV). There are indeed certain feelings and states of awareness that can never be expressed in human language because they are simply 'too big' to do so. We understand in our own spirit on a spiritual level but it is beyond the words used by our brains trying to process this on the psychic or physical level.
"Likewise the Ruach (Spirit) also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Ruach (Spirit) Herself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered [in words]" (Rom.8:26, NKJV).
Such experiences as these can never be communicated to others with our mouth - there has to be a spiritual connection for mutual understanding. As with others, so with Yahweh. That is what distinguises the saved from the unsaved - this spiritual echadness.
"I will pray with the ruach (spirit), and I will also pray with the understanding" (1 Cor.14:15, NKJV).
3. The DAVAR (WORD). One of the best ways of praying is to get a promise from the Bible, fulfil its conditions, and 'remind' Yahweh about it. Elohim (God) has promised to honour and back up His Davar (Word) - we can pray with confidence! Charles Finney again:
The apostle John insists:
"A spirit of importunity sometimes came upon me so that I would say to [Elohim] (God) that He had made a promise to answer prayer, and I could not, and would not be denied. I felt so certain that He would hear me, and that faithfulness to His promise, and to Himself, rendered it impossible that He should not hear and answer, that frequently I found myself saying to Him...'I hope You do not think that I can be denied. I come with Your faithful promises in hand, and I cannot be denied'. I cannot tell how absurd unbelief looked to me and how certain it was, in my mind, that [Elohim] (God) would answer prayer - those prayers that from day to day and from hour to hour I found myself offering in such agony and faith" (Charles Finney, Ibid.).
4. FASTING. If we really want an answer from Yahweh, we should try fasting. Prayer and fasting, in operation together, convince both ourselves and Yahweh that we really mean business. In a fast, we are giving up things we really need in order to give ourselves more to Yahweh and more to prayer. Fasting intensifies our prayer lives. It enables us to concentrate wholly on the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Try missing a meal or two and spending the time you would normally be eating, in prayer. Sometimes Yahweh may lead us into fasting by taking away all our appetite for food before a big test or prayer-battle for someone else. When the talmidim (disciples) had failed to cast out a demon from a boy, Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
"Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14-15, NKJV).
Our first lesson in fasting is taught us at Yom Kippur, the one day in the entire year Yahweh commands us to fast as a means to drawing closer to Him in repentance.
"This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29, NKJV).
5. If all else fails, try TEARS! It sometimes helps to get away somewhere where you can be all alone with Yahweh, where there will be no one around to disturb you or where you in turn will not disturb anyone. Go up to a forest, or on a lonely hill, or in an empty house, and lock yourself away with Yahweh. That's what I did on the day I was born again. Learn to cry to Yahweh; pour out your soul in earnest, desperate prayer; to really cry out your needs in a holy shout to heaven. Do you really want to get through to Yahweh's throne in time of great need and agony? Then learn to cry out as David taught:
6. INTERCESSION. Pray for others. Put yourself in their place. When you pray for them, feel their problems and difficulties. A rule of intercession is this: Always pray when Yahweh lays that person or group on your lev (heart). Never be disobedient to the voice of Yahweh. Carry them in prayer, until Yahweh lifts the burden from you.
"The eyes of Yahweh are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. The face of Yahweh is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry out, and Yahweh hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. Yahweh is near to those who have a broken lev (heart), and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Ps.34:15-18, NKJV)
Intercession has been called 'the highest and holiest ministry'. It is the highest form of prayer, and must form the backbone of every real move of Elohim (God) in a nation. Catherine Booth once said:
Yahweh moves when when His people are moved. Movement is chayim (life) and therefore power, for it is the energy of Elohim (God) Himself. This movement initiated by prayer is essential both for ourselves and for those we interceed for. The whole of the heavenly realm, and therefore the eternities, consists of this movement. Divine Chayim (life) is movements within movement and prayer is the great catalyst and bridge between heaven and earth.
"Prayer is agony of the soul - wrestling of the [Ruach] (Spirit). You know how men and women deal with one another when they are in desperate earnestness for something to be done. That is prayer whether it be done to man or [Elohim] (God); and when you get your lev (heart) influenced, melted, wrought up and burned by the [Ruach haQodesh] (Holy Ghost) for souls, you will have power; and you will never pray but that somebody will be convinced - some poor soul's dark eyes will be opened and spiritual life will commence" (Catherine Booth, Conditions of Effectial Prayer, Godliness).
Next time we will bring all of these lessons together and summarise them so that we can see the whole dynamic of prayer. May Yahweh bless us all as we seek to make prayer not only work but to become our daily spiritual manna!
Continued in Part 6
 Winkie Pratney, Doorways to Discipleship (Communication Foundation Publishers, Lindale, Texas: 1975)