This series of messages is actually several years in the making.
Charismatic movement in the 70’s, intercession in the 80’s, prayer movement in the late 90’s
I needed to unlearn and re-learn some things about prayer.
We will see some things about God and prayer that I believe will inspire us to want to pray instead of seeing it as a religious duty or obligation.
There are many types of prayer but they can be summed up under two major categories:
- Petition or Asking God to do something.
We see this in probably the most famous scriptures on prayer:
Matthew 6:6-13 NKJV (6) But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (7) And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. (8) “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (9) In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. (10) Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (11) Give us this day our daily bread. (12) And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. (13) 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.
John Wesley said, “It seems God is limited by our prayer life – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.”
In the Church there is a misconception of the sovereignty of God and what He will and will not do. Some believe that God can do whatever He chooses whenever He chooses to do it and based on God’s Word this is not true.
Once God has established something in His Word, it is impossible for Him to violate that Word.
Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV (26) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (27) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
In creating mankind, God in His sovereignty did two things:
- He gave man a will and the right to make choices
God will not override your will with His will.
God so respects your right to choose, He will let you choose someone or something other than Jesus and let you spend an eternity in hell EVEN THOUGH THAT IS NOT HIS WILL!
- He gave man the power to rule or have dominion over the earth.
When God said, “Let Them…” He created four primary laws:
- The legal authority to dominate earth was given to mankind only.
- Man became the legal steward of the earth domain.
- Man is a spirit with a physical body, therefore, only spirits with physical bodies can legally function in the earth realm.
- God Himself, who is a Spirit without a physical body, made Himself subject to this law.
The following are the results of the laws which were established by God Himself:
- God, because of His integrity, will not violate the law of His Word.
- God must obtain the agreement and cooperation of a person for whatever He desires to do in the earth.
What is Prayer?
- Prayer is man giving God the legal right and permission to interfere in earth’s affairs.
- Prayer is man’s exercising his legal authority on earth to invoke heaven’s influence on the planet.
God loves us so much, He set things up this way so that man could choose to cooperate and work with God to cause His will to come to pass in the earth.
2 Corinthians 6:1 NIV (1) As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.
2 Corinthians 6:1 NLT (1) As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.