In any pursuit to build your prayer life and become a powerful intercessor, first place must be given to faith. Faith and prayer cannot be separated. Ultimately, prayer is simply the expression of faith and faith must be expressed through prayer.
Faith takes possession of our inheritance in Christ. Faith is the hand of the heart that reaches into the storehouse of heaven to withdraw whatever we need.
Here are few vital things I’ve learned regarding faith and prayer in over 25 years of ministry:
1. Jesus taught us how important faith is to effective prayer.
Mark 11:22-24 (NIV)
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Faith achieves the impossible because it calls on God to do for us, and nothing is impossible with God. God has not placed limits or qualifications on our faith. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God. If we banish what I call the FUDs (fears, uncertainties and doubts) from our heart, God will grant us whatever we ask in faith.
2. Your faith must be protected.
When Jesus foresaw peter’s denial, and warned Him of the devil's request to sift him, He said to His disciple:
Luke 22:31-32 (NLT)
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”
Our Lord was declaring this central truth; It is our faith He is seeking to guard. He knows that when faith is broken down, the foundations of our spiritual life give way, and our ability to experience God fails. It was Peter’s faith which needed guarding. Therefore, Christ fought by His prayers to fortify Peter’s faith.
3. We all must experience the fight of faith in order to grow in faith.
As a young minister I took a year long challenge to pray one hour a day. About three months into the challenge I entered into my place of prayer and I had no sense of the presence of God that I had become accustom to.
My mind began to fill with horrible thoughts like, “God does not exist!”, “Jesus wasn’t born from a virgin.”, "Jesus didn’t raise from the dead and ascend to heaven." , "The Bible is not the 'Word of God'.", and " the 'miracles' you think you’ve experienced were just mind over matter."
I didn’t know what was happening, but I resolves in my heart to continue to show up, praise God, encourage myself in the Lord by remembering my salvation, personal hearings and praying for others who received miracles. Day after day I showed up and continued to praise God for all these things and give thanks for the virgin birth, His death, resurrection and ascension.
This went on for three weeks. I didn’t sense God at all. I felt alone. But I had made up my mind. I was not giving up. I was going to praise, pray and remember God’s greatness and power by recalling the scriptures as well as my own experience regardless of how I felt.
After three weeks, I attended a revival meeting with a friend. I was worn out. My mind was not on the message. Then there was a call to come to the front to receive a prayer of blessing.
I thought, we’ll I’m going to get prayer from the pastor, that will help. A long line formed at the alter. As the pastor laid hands one by one upon each head and prayed a blessing he literally skipped right over me. He touched everyone in line except me! I stepped out of line bewildered and feeling as flat as a two litre of pop left open for a week.
At that moment, a teenager came up to me and asked if he could pray for me. I thought, well it’s better than nothing and nodded. His hand began to raise and was still several inches from my forehead when it, what I call my Holy Spirit uppercut, struck me. Bam! I saw nothing but light, flew into the air and landed flat on my back several feet from where I used to be standing. I’m surprised my shoes stayed on my feet. I felt only pure peace and warm waves flowing over me with three words running through my mind, “I AM - Real!”
For three weeks in my prayer closet I battled this Antichrist spirit and overcame. I won! Take that lying devil! All thanks be to Jesus Christ who continually interceded that my faith not fail. I overcame because the arm of the Lord gave strength to my arm to hold high the shield of faith. Now I, like Peter, am able to strengthen the body of Christ in their faith.
1 John 5:4 (NLT)
"For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith."
Pray this prayer with me. Lord God, You created the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you. Lord, reach out your mighty arm and strengthen the arm of my heart, that is my faith, so I am able to overcome and receive all of your glorious promises. It’s through Christ Jesus I pray, amen!
I hope you’re encouraged. Leave a comment or encouragement below.
Prayer needs a template. I am using a template, to write this blog. In order to build a strong day-to-day prayer life, you need a template.
That is what the Lord’s Prayer is.
Many years ago, I learned that rabbis taught topically. When Jesus taught about prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, He taught by topics. I’ve been praying these 5 topics almost daily for years.
The Lord’s prayer is a “Model Prayer.” It contains 5 “fingers” in the hand of God. It is not simply to be repeated, it is to be understood. It's OK to repeat the prayer. I lead my family devotions every day. We have a time to bring our requests to God. Then we always end with repeating the Lord's prayer in unity together. But in order to safe guard against vain repetition, we need to gain a fuller revelation of each topic. The following is the short version to stimulate your appetite :)
1. “Hallowed Be Your Name”: (ADORATION)
• Notice that it does not start with a “request.” The multitudes surrounding God’s throne are not giving requests but giving worship and praise.
• I love Psalm 103 where David taught us to “bless His holy name.” and "Never forget all of His benefits." He lists 5 benefits (forgiveness, healing, rescue, favor, and blessings) and all of them are tied to a specific covenant Name - Our Heavenly Father, His only begotten son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
2. “Your Kingdom Come…Your Will Be Done”: (CONSECRATION)
• After a few minutes of worship, I declare my “surrender.” To “consecrate” is to set apart anything (body, mind, spirit, career, finances, family, etc.) to God’s exclusive use.
• Daily, I pray for God to “ADVANCE HIS KINGDOM” through me. I surrender my entire life to His exclusive use like Jesus did in Gethsemane: “Not my will, but yours be done.”
3. “Give Us Today Our Daily Bread”: (SUPPLICATION)
• AFTER praying both of the above, I am ready to tell God my “needs.” Worship Him first, surrender to His will, then ask whatever you need to fulfill that purpose!
• “Supplication” is to express a need to God: food, clothing, bills, transportation, etc. He provided for 3 million Israelites in the desert! He WANTS YOU to have whatever you need to advance His glorious Kingdom. Just be sure your request is very specific, not general…or you may only get a general answer!
4. “Forgive Us Our Debts As We Forgive Our Debtors…”: (INTERCESSION)
• Daniel was a great “intercessor.” In Daniel 9, he prayed 15 verses of asking God to forgive Israel. An essential component of Intercession is talking to God about people - when you stand in the gap between an offended God and an offensive person.
• It’s almost impossible to hold a grudge against someone who you are asking God to be merciful to.
5. “Lead Us Not Into Temptation, Deliver Us From Evil”: (PROTECTION)
• Satan’s kingdom is real. The temptations we face originate in Satan, not God. Every day, I put on the “whole armor of God” to stand firmly against every attack of the enemy (Ephesians 6).
• Pray daily for your city, state, and nation. Pray against attacks upon your family, business, and health.
I like to see these as the 5 "fingers" in the hand of God. It’s the “template” Jesus taught us. Every day this week, pray through these five things and watch God’s hand move on your behalf!
Please leave comments below. It's great to know what your thinking. Leave questions also. Let's keep the conversation going.
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." Romans 8:11 (NIV)
In prayer recently I felt challenged to stop reading the bible as a spectator in the audience. But rather, put myself in the story as the key player. I started imagining myself as Moses, Elijah, Paul and especially as Jesus. Let me tell you, it pumped up my faith. I got excited!
I realized from the time I was old enough to remember, I was told to sit, listen and watch. But unless we break out of the spectator mindset we’ll never become the spiritual gladiators God has called us to be.
We recently completed a united 30 days of prayer in our County. Seventeen churches took part in the campaign. Our focus was the Kingdom of God invading our communities in power and glory through His loyal children. By our Father’s sovereign choice, the only way His Kingdom will manifest with power and glory is through our actions. If we don’t act, He doesn’t act.
Jesus said that John the baptist was the greatest prophet, but that those in the kingdom of heaven are greater than he. How can we be greater than the greatest prophet prior to Jesus? By the finished work of the cross and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! We have been gifted with the potential to do greater works that any priest, prophet or kings in the old covenant. Jesus said Himself, we could do greater works that he did (John 14:12).
Through Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, we have been given unlimited anointing. The fruits and gifts of Christ through His Spirit are far greater now than the measured anointing of Moses or Elijah.
With that said, the next time you’re reading your bible, place yourself in the central role. See yourself as the one God is using mightily. Don’t just be a spectator as the paralyzed may is being brought through the roof. See yourself through the eyes of Jesus. Imagine you are commanding him to take up his bed and go home. Remember, as a child of God, the same power that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you!
I've been so exited to share this life changing opportunity. I'll be sharing the opportunity in my next communication, but I need to give you some background first. So please, take just a few minutes and read this message. You will not regret it.
These past few months, God has been working on me. I've been waiting for just the right time to start sharing with you. Now is the right time.
The question has been asked, "There seems to be more prayer happening than I can remember and yet, there doesn't seem to be anything significant happening in our families, churches, and community. Why is that?"
I began to seek the Lord for an answer. I tend to believe, most of the time, God is waiting for us and not the other way. We wonder what's taking God so long while He's waiting for us to decide to do what is needed.
I believe insight came from the Lord on this matter. It deals with grasping a fuller understanding of the work of intercession.
Up to this point, the vast majority of intercession has only been half of what is necessary for Divine Transformation to flood our county.
In a couple of days, I will send another email and show you the two complete sides of intercession. It is guaranteed that when both parts are working together, a supernatural explosion of God's grace upon our region with be created.
Wow, I can't get over the huge positive response I've received from my first email. God is stirring the hearts of His people in our County!
What I have to share will help you become so much more successful in your home, your church and your career. This will make you a fine tuned instrument in God's hands.
Well, I promised I would tell you about the complete work of intercession, which is the foundation of a mighty move of God. So hear it is:
According to 2 Corinthians 5:18, ALL of us who have been redeemed by Christ have been given the ministry of reconciliation. "And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him."(NLT)
This work of turning enemies of God into friends of God can be summed up in one word and two activities
1. The word is INTERCESSION. Its very definition reveals two distinct parts: To mediate; to attempt to reconcile differences between two groups. The task of the mediator is to be in the middle, to be the one in communication between the two parties for the purpose of bringing peace between them.
2. The two activities of intercession are:
1) talking to God about lost people.
2) talking to lost people about God.
Moses is a great example. Moses would go before God and plead on behalf of the people and also go to the people and plead on behalf of God. These two tasks can be summarized in two words - PRAY and PROCLAIM. One without the other will not get the job done.
Here is our challenge today. It is much easier to talk to God about people than to talk to people about God. It is much more comfortable attending prayer meetings, worship services and small groups than to go into the harvest fields and witness to the lost. Although there is more prayer, at the same time, there is little personal proclamation to the lost.
This may be due to an non-biblical idea that sounds something like this, "if we pray they will come." What Jesus actually taught His followers was to pray and then to go.
To neglect one task over the other is like stockpiling gunpowder but never adding the flame. But when correct praying meets the correct presentation of Christ Jesus, there is a supernatural explosion.
This naturally leads to a decision. Neither of these tasks come natural to our flesh. This is why we must die daily and pick up the cross of intercession as did our Lord. For this reason, we must devote ourselves to building the complete set of skills of the intercessor and become a fully trained and finely tuned instrument in the hands of God, able to effectively win the lost to Christ.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? In my next email I will be answering this question and offering the first practical step for you to easily engage in the fullness of your God-given calling of INTERCESSION.
The three levels of life a Christian can exist is flesh, soul and spirit. Our goal must be to exist in the third level and be spiritual people. We should understand each level and overcome the first two in order the live by faith and walk in the Spirit.
1. Life driven by the flesh
This is undesirable and completely nonspiritual. This is life in the natural, living only according to physical senses. It is being led around by physical appetites and sensual pleasures. This is the level of addiction and bondage. This is a level of defeat in regards to the redemptive power of the cross of Christ. The only way to pass through this level is to make Jesus Christ truly Lord in your heart and deny earthly passions that lead to sin. To not gain victory over the flesh will put your eternal life in jeopardy.
2. Life driven by the soul
Your soul is derived of your mind, will, and emotions. These have been deeply effected by sin, but can become holy through the regenerating power of the Word of God. The soul can be unholy or holy and even a mix of both.
Before Christ you thoughts originated from the earthly realm and not the heavenly realm. The knowledge of the world is without God. Now you are to live by the revelation of truth through scripture. We are commanded to renew our minds through the Word of God. Our soul requires renovation and maintenance. It requires we grow in fellowship and dependence on the Holy Spirit as well as growing daily in wisdom and understanding through hearing and obeying God's Word.
The health of our soul will determine the level of blessings we are able to receive from God. You must keep watch over the development of your soul. The scripture states that our physical and material prosperity is in direct relationship to the health of our soul.
3. Life driven by the Spirit
Our goal is to be spiritual people and live “in the Spirit". This is a life engulfed in His presence. This is the realm of heaven and the dimension of divine power and miracles. This is illustrated by the Most Holy room in the Old Testament Temple in which housed the Ark of the Covenant. Above the ark the very presence of God radiated. This room was literally illuminated by the glory of God. As The High Priest entered this room he was saturated and completely immersed with the very substance of God.
This is a life of “walking in” the Spirit (Romans 8). This is the privilege for every new testament believer. This was made possible after the veil of the temple was torn in two allowing access to the very throne room of God.
In conclusion, living in the Spirit requires training ourselves to:
1. Deny the flesh.
2. Build up and keep watch over their souls.
3. Daily receive fresh revelation from the Word of God as well as refusing to live by the wisdom and knowledge of the world and Instead live consistently by divine illumination brought by the Holy Spirit of God.
Make sure to leave a comment below.
My first article dealt with why we should not grieve the Holy Spirit by establishing the following:
1) The believer can grieve the Holy Spirit.
2) Our salvation from beginning to end, which was purchased by the work of Christ is worked out by the Spirit of Christ.
3) The Holy Spirit is the essential part of the practical outworking of the blessings of our heavenly Father.
4) In light of these truths, we ought to be very conscious and careful that we are pleasing the Holy Spirit lest we grieve Him and block His work in our lives.
Now, let's look at what causes the Holy Spirit grief.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:30-32. (NIV)
First, we are given a list of what causes the Holy Spirit grief [v.30-31]
· Malice in all forms
This list specifically deals with how we treat people. We can grieve the Spirit by sinning against God. But here, Paul is dealing with social sins. This is transgressing the new commandment to love one another as Christ has loved us [John 13:34]. How we treat one another is very important to the Spirit of God.
Next, we are given a list of what pleases the Holy Spirit [v. 32].
This list is our goal in treating people as Christ is treating us. This fulfills the law of love and pleases the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. This is life in the Spirit.
In conclusion, failing to walk pleasing to God is this area is not only a sin against people, but of much greater consequence rejecting the Spirit of God. The following scripture makes this very clear.
“Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 4:8 (NIV)
Our goal is to live pleasing to God until the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I hope this has helped.
Comment below. I always like to hear from you.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT?
The Scripture clearly warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30-32. (NIV)
We understand through this verse it is possible to offend the Holy Spirit. But why is this so important?
It is so important because the Holy Spirit is essential. It is by His power that all aspects of our salvation in Christ Jesus are worked out. Holy Spirit is the only agent making every aspect of our salvation possible from beginning to end, from being born again through the final resurrection of our bodies.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Galatians 3:2-3 (NIV)
By this, we can rightfully conclude our personal relationship to the Holy Spirit is vital to the working out of our salvation.
In light of this truth, let us do everything to live pleasing to the Holy Spirit of God. For it is by Him that all of our inheritance in Christ is delivered to us.
In part two we will look at what grieves the Holy Spirit of God.
Join the conversation by putting your comments below.
WHY IS PRAYER THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITY FOR THE SAINT AS WELL AS THE CHURCH?
1. Prayer is the womb that gives birth to God’s will on earth. In Matthew chapter six, Jesus instructed us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come on this earth as it is in heaven. The first step He gave us to introduce heaven on earth was prayer! He commanded us to pray that God’s will be accomplished on the earth.
2. Prayer makes things happen that would not happen without prayer. In the book of James we read that we do not received what we need because we have not asked God. Those who have learned to pray find that there is no such thing as an emergency but only an opportunity for a great testimony of God’s faithfulness and power. When we prayer, God's works for us. When we don't pray, we're left with only our strength and abilities.
3. Prayer removes all limits and obstacles. All limits were removed when God said “whatever” and “anything” regarding what you ask in prayer. In order to receive from God you must ask and believe that you are going to receive. We are promised over and over in the Bible that whatever we ask, when we believe, we will receive from our loving heavenly Father. Although He knows what we need even before we ask, we must ask in order to receive. Prayer is the expression of our faith in God.
4. Praying removes doubt and builds faith. The struggle to receive is not in getting God to answer, but our internal struggle between faith and doubt. It was the Apostle Peter's trust in Christ's command that allowed him to walk on water. But it was his fear and doubt that made him sink. We are commanded to live by faith not by sight. As Peter turned his attention to the physical circumstances of high winds and waves it caused him to lose faith in God’s word. When we lose faith, it is replaced with fear and doubt. This severs the flow of God’s divine power. Continuing in prayer keeps our eyes on Jesus and not on the storm.
Let's make sure we are growing in prayer. Taking everything to God in prayer sustains your TOTAL trust in God. And God's answer always comes to those who keep their trust in Him.
Make a comment below. I always like to hear from you.
I was recently asked the question, “Can you prayer to the Holy Spirit?” My answer to them was a resounding YES!
Prayer, in the general sense, is communication with God. When we understand why Jesus send the Holy Spirit to anoint His people, we know how important it is to make Holy Spirit your best friend and to be constantly talking to Him.
Paul’s closing words in his second epistle to the Corinthians are, “and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” I want to encourage every believer in Jesus Christ our Lord to start and stay in constant conversation with the Holy Spirit who has been placed in you from our Heavenly Father.
The following scriptures and prayers below are a great way to begin.
Don't forget to leave a comment and join the conversation.
Leading and Guidance Prayers
Key Verse: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14
1. Supplication Prayer (Luke 11:13)
Heavenly Father, Please give me the full measure of your Holy Spirit. Grant me a fresh baptism in Holy Spirit as I wait in your presence today. Anoint me, Lord! Only through your anointing can I live my life pleasing to You and fulfill Your will for my life.
Father, fill me to overflowing with Holy Spirit. I need Your Anointing to awaken my spirit, soften my heart, cleanse my conscience, transform my mind and make my body subservient to you today.
In Jesus name, Amen!
2. Fellowship Prayer (II Cor. 13:14)
Holy Spirit, I welcome a deeper more intimate relationship with you today. I need you for my spiritual life as much as I need my next breath for my physical body. I want to obey Your leading today. I do not want to grieve you by sinning. Thank you for your presence. Let’s walk together today. I will follow you.
Additional Fellowship Prayers (Isa 11:2)
1. Holy Spirit, help me to walk in Your wisdom. Help me to solve all of my problems I face through your wisdom.
2. Give me Your Understanding so that I may understand the deep truths of my Heavenly Father’s Kingdom in order to live those truths and pass them on to my children.
3. Give me Your Counsel so that I will follow your narrow path.
4. Give me Your tremendous might so that I could be used by you to release Divine power to heal the sick and bring freedom to those tormented by the devil. You are the same yesterday, today and forever!
5. Holy Spirit, Increase my knowledge of the Bible. Give me a keen fear of the Lord so that I will walk very carefully before you and not commit any sin. Give me holiness through Your indwelling presence, O Lord!
6. Holy Spirit, please forgive me if I have treated you impersonally and not like the Holy Person of God you are. You have a will and emotions. You should be welcomed, loved, adored and worshipped.
Join the conversation, leave a comment!
BY Mike Byrum
Pastor Mike assists in directing IMPACT under the supervision of the Pastors Alliance for County Transformation