Looking Unto Jesus Ministries
1. THE ESSENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER - PART 1
2. THE ESSENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER - PART 2
3. THE PLACE OF FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE IN PRAYER
4. THE FOUR P'S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (PART 1)
5. THE FOUR P'S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (PART 2)
6. THE FOUR P'S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (PART 3)
7. WORDS (THOUGHTS) OF DEATH AND LIFE RELATED TO PRAYER
8. BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT IN PRAYER
9. MAKING MENTION OF YOU IN OUR PRAYERS
10. INTERCESSION THAT PRODUCES TRANSFORMATION
11. SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAYER
12. CHRIST'S HIGH-PRIESTLY OR INTERCESSORY PRAYER: JOHN 17:1-26
13. INTERCESSION: REVIVAL/AWAKENING
14. CORRECT ATTITUDES ABOUT PRAYER
15. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: INTERCESSION
16. INTERCESSORY PRAYER REVISITED
17. PAULINE PRAYERS: EPHESIANS 1:15-21
18. PAULINE PRAYERS: EPHESIANS 3: 14-21
19. PAULINE PRAYERS: PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11 (THE SMART LOVE PRAYER)
20. PAULINE PRAYERS: COLOSSIANS 1:9-12
21. PRAYER (DRAWING NEAR TO GOD)
22. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: COMMITMENT
23. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: CONSECRATION
24. PRAYING IN TONGUES (PART 1)
25. PRAYING IN TONGUES (PART 2)
26. THE PREGNANCY CYCLE OF ANSWERED PRAYER
27. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: WRESTLING IN INTERCESSION
1. THE ESSENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER - PART 1
To focus on the essence of effectual prayer is to contemplate the attributes and properties that make it what it is.
Stripped of all other descriptors, the very essence of effectual prayer is communication, communication between a loving Creator and His creation. Being communication, prayer includes the transmission of information. That transmission occurs in many ways, both verbal and non-verbal, as indicated by the following poem:
Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire,
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
that trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near. – Author unknown
1. Related to prayer, what do you agree with or disagree with related to the poem?
2. What are the avenues by which there is communication between God and us?
3. Does the condition of our hearts play a role in effectual prayer?
II. A Pure Heart
The effectualness of our communication is not governed by our eloquence with words, ancestral heritage, education, etc. The bedrock of our effectualness is the nature of our hearts. For example, if a person is eloquent with his or her words, but still harbors insincerity in his or her heart, eloquence has profited nothing.
2 Timothy 2:22 (NKJ) – Flee also youthful lusts, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Pure, katharos (ka-tha-ro’s) Strong’s #2513: ethically, free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt: … free from every admixture of what is false, sincere – Thayer’s
Heart, kardia (kar-de’-a); Strong’s #2588: the center and seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors [so in Eng. Heart, inner man, etc.] … of things done from the heart i.e. cordially or sincerely, truly (without simulation or pretense) – Thayer’s; the seat of moral nature and spiritual life – Vine’s
1. Why is a pure heart necessary for effectual prayer?
2. What are indicators of an impure heart?
III. The Place of Humility and Faith
Humility (a recognition of our own inability) and faith in Christ’s ability are key components related to the essence of effectual prayer.
Acts 20:17-19 (NKJ) – 17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. 18 And when they had come to him, he said to them, “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, 19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews…
Colossians 3:12 (NKJ) – Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering
Humility, tapeinophrosyne (ta-pa-no-fro-su’-na); Strong’s #5012: the having a humble opinion of one’s self; a deep sense of one’s (moral) littleness; modesty, humility, lowliness of mind – Thayer’s; Modesty, lowliness, humble-mindedness, a sense of moral insignificance, and a humble attitude of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It is a total absence of arrogance, conceit, and haughtiness. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJ) – 27 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Hebrews 11:6 (AMP) – But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Faith, pistis (pis’-tis); Strong’s #4102: In the NT setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust and reliance in God and all that He says. - “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
1. Why is humility an important aspect of effectual prayer?
2. Why is faith integral to effectual prayer?
3. What are some enemies of faith?
2. THE ESSENCE OF EFFECTUAL PRAYER - PART 2
IV. The Essence of Availing Prayer
James 5:16 (AMP) – Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
… The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (NKJ).
Effective, fervent, energeo (en-erg-eh-oh); Strong’s #1754: One of the four energy words: energeo, enrges,, energeia, and energema. The words all stem from en, “in,” and “ergon, “work,” and have to do with the active operation or working of power and its effectual results – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible; in Jas. 5:16 it does not have the force of an adj., but gives reasons why…a righteous man has outward success, viz. as due in fact it exhibits its activity [“works”] (inwardly), i.e. is solemn and earnest. – Thayer’s
1. Why would a Christian lack energy or power when he/she prayed?
2. From where does that energy come?
V. Praying in Line with His Will We Know He Hears Us
1 John 5:14-15 (NKJ) – 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we asked of Him.
1. When praying, where should our confidence lie?
2. How can we have confidence when praying?
3. When praying, when does God hear us?
4. How can we know that we have the petitions we desire of Him?
VI. Believing We Receive When We Pray
Mark 11:24 (NKJ) – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
When you pray, proseuchomai (pros-yu-kho-mi): to offer prayers, to pray – Thayer’s
1. When are we to believe that we receive what we are praying for?
2. What is the importance of believing we receive when we pray?
3. How long will it be before we see the manifestation of what we are
VII. Endurance Undergirding Our Confidence
Hebrews 10:35-35 (NKJ) – 35 Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
Confidence, parresia (para-ra-se-a); Strong’s #3954: free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance – Thayer’s
Endurance, hupomone (hoop-om-on-ay); Strong’s #1036: Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. The word combines hupo, “under,” and mone, “to remain.” It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that resists actively weariness and defeat. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
1. What kinds of things or experiences might cause us to want to cast
away our confidence?
2. If we find we have cast away our confidence, what should we do?
3. Why is endurance (hupomone) so important when it comes to receiving promises from God?
3. The Place of Faith, Hope, and Love in Prayer
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NKJ) – And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJ) – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith, pistis (pis-tis); Strong’s #4102: Conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. In the NT setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that he says. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Substance, hypostasis (hu-po-sta-ses); Strong’s #5287: confidence, firm, trust, assurance – Thayer’s
Evidence, elegchos (e-len-khos); Strong’s #1650: a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested,...that by which invisible things are proved (and we are convinced of their reality) – Thayer’s
Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) – NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real that which is not revealed to our senses].
Mark 11:24 (NKJ) – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Believe, pisteuo (pe-styu-o); Strong’s #4100: The verb form of pistis, “faith.” It means to trust in, have faith in, be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. Pisteuo is more than credence in church doctrines or articles of faith. It expresses reliance upon and a personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission and a positive confession of the lordship of Jesus. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Romans 15:13 (NKJ) – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hope, elpis (el-pe’s): Strong’s #1680: expectation of good, hope – Thayer’s; Hope, not in the sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking without any foundation, but in the sense of confidence expectation based on solid certainty. Biblical hope rests on God’s promises, particularly those pertaining to Christ’s return. So certain is the future of the redeemed that the NT sometimes speaks of future events in the past tense, as though they were already accomplished. Hope is never inferior to faith, but is an extension of faith. Faith is the present possession of grace; hope is confidence in grace’s future accomplishment. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible
Romans 5:5 (NKJ) – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Disappoint (make ashamed), kataischyno (ka-tis-khu-no); Strong’s #2617: by a Hebr. usage one is said to be put to shame who suffers a repulse, or whom some hope has deceived; hence…, does not disappoint – Thayer’s
Hebrews 10:23 (NKJ) – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Hold fast, to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of – Thayer’s
Confession, homologia (ho-mo-lo-ge-a); Strong’s #3671: objectively, profession [confession] i.e. what one professes [confesses}…the substance of our profession, which we embrace with hope – Thayer’s
Without wavering, aklines (a-kle-ne’s); Strong’s #186: not inclining, firm, unmoved – Thayer’s
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJ) – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hoped, elpizo (el-pe-zo); Strong’s #1679: to wait, to hope; to hope (in a religious sense…)…things hoped for – Thayer's
Galatians 5:6 (NKJ) – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything but faith working through love.
Avails, ischyo (e-skhu-o); Strong’s #2480: to have power…to be of force, avail – Thayer’s
Working, energeo (en-er-ge-o); Strong’s #1754: too display one’s activity, show one’s self operative – Thayer’s; “to put forth power, be operative, to work” (its usual meaning), is rendered by the verb “to work effectively,” or “to be effectual” – Thayer’s
Love, agape (a-ga-pa): Strong’s #26: affection, good-will, love, benevolence…Of the love of men to men; esp. of that love of Christians towards Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or as expressed – Thayer’s; A word to which Christianity gave new meaning. Outside the NT, it rarely occurs in existing Greek manuscripts of the period. Agape denotes an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other person, no matter what he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return, and does not consider the worth of the object. Agape is more a love by choice than philos, which is love by chance, and it refers to the will rather than the emotion. Agape describes the unconditional love God has for the world. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Galatians 5:6 (AMP) – For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
4. THE FOUR P’S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (Part 1)
PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION RESULTS IN POWERFUL PRAYER
Some tell us that POWERFUL PRAYER is based only on PARTICIPATION. Though surely we are to pray from the very onset of our walks with Christ (PARTICIPATION), we see the disciples desiring that Jesus teach them how to pray as John the Baptist had taught his disciples to pray (PREPARATION). Those of us who forego PREPARATION can be susceptible to errors related to that being so. Even if our prayer time (PARTICIPATION) is spent with others who have engaged in PREPARATION we will still lack a personal, biblical foundation ourselves (unless we are taught by those with whom we are participating). Yet even if we are taught by them we can still be subject to any error embraced by those we are praying with. Thus, it is imperative as we seek to engage in POWERFUL PRAYER that we consider and embrace both PREPARATION and PARTICIPATION.
Luke 11:1 (NKJ) – Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.
Teach, didasko (de-da-sko); Strong’s #1321: II. to teach one A. to impart instruction B. instill doctrine into one C. the thing taught or enjoined D. to explain or expound a thing E. to teach one something – Thayer’s
Pray, proseuchomai (pros-yu-kho-mi); Strong’s #4336: The word is progressive. Starting with the noun, euche, which is prayer to God that also includes making a vow, the word expands to the verb euchomai, a special term describing an invocation, request or entreaty. Adding pros, “in the direction of” (God), proseucheomai becomes the most frequent word for prayer. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Matthew 6:5-13 (NKJ) – 5 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites (pretenders). For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
Hypocrites, hypokrites (hu-po-kre-ta’s); Strong’s #5273: in bibl. Grk. a dissembler, pretender, hypocrite – Thayer’s
Be seen, phaino (fi-no); Strong’s #5316: to meet the eyes, strike the sight, become clear or manifest – Thayer’s
By (of) men, anthropos (a’n-thro-pos); Strong’s #444: (the) people – Thayer’s
Reward, misthos (mes-tho’s); Strong’s #3408: of the rewards which God bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavors – Thayer’s
6 But you, when you pray (proseuchomai), go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray (proseuchomai) 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 (proseuchomai), do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think they will be heard for their many words.
Vain repetitions, battalogeo (bat-ta-lo-ge-o); Strong’s #945: to repeat the same things over and over, to use many and idle words, to babble, prate… Some suppose the word to be derived from Battus, a king of Cyrene, who is said to have stuttered… others from Battus, an author of tedious and wordy poems – Thayer’s
Many words, polylogia (po-lu-ge-a); Strong’s #4180: much speaking – Thayer’s
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.
Hallowed, hagiazo (ha-ge-a-zo); Strong’s #37: to make…to render or declare sacred or holy, consecrate 1. to render or acknowledge to be venerable, to hallow – Thayer’s
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
Kingdom, basileia (ba-se-la-a); Strong’s #932: But Jesus employed the phrase kingdom of God or of heaven to indicate that perfect order of things which he was about to establish, in which all those of every nation who should believe in him were to be gathered together in one society, dedicated and intimately united to God, and made partakers of eternal salvation. This kingdom is spoken of as now begun and actually present, inasmuch as its foundations have already been laid by Christ and its benefits realized among men that believe in him… –
Will, thelema (the-la-ma); Strong’s #2307: will, i.e. b… [… the abstract act of willing, the subjective] will, choice – Thayer’s
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Daily, epiousios (e-pe-u-se-os); Strong’s #1967: the bread of necessity, i.e. necessary for us – Thayer’s
Bread, artos (a’r-tos); Strong’s #740: As in Grk. writ., and like the Hebr… food of any kind – Thayer’s
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive, aphiemi (a-fe-a-me); Strong’s #863: to let go, give up, a debt, by not demanding it… i.e. to remit, forgive – Thayer’s
Debts, opheilema (o-fa-la-ma); Strong’s #3783: that which is owed: b. … (which denotes both debt and sin), metaph. Offense, sin… hence, … to remit the penalty of one’s sin’s, to forgive them – Thayer’s
Debtors, opheiletes (o-fa-le-tas); Strong’s #3781: one who has not yet made amends to one whom he has injured – Thayer’s
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.
Temptation, peirasmos (pa-ra-smo’s); Strong’s #3986: of a condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from faith and holiness – Thayer’s
Deliver, rhyomai (rhu-o-mi); Strong’s #4506: to draw, hence prop. to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver – Thayer’s
John 16:24 (NKJ) – Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
You have asked (have ye asked), aiteo (i-te-o); Strong’s #154: to ask for one’s self, request for one’s self – Thayer’s
“The disciples had been watching Jesus and had come to know that His prayers were always heard; and that the continued source of His power and utter freedom from pride came through answered secret prayer. This created a hunger in them, to know how to pray, so they asked to be taught. Shall we not all enroll in the school of prayer and make Christ our teacher? Shall we not practice faithfully every day the lessons we learn in prayer?” – Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible
5. THE FOUR P’S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (Part 2)
In Part 1 we considered PREPARATION, not exhaustively but in a manner that hopefully piqued our interest about issues related to the topic. Before beginning Part 2 (PARTICIPATION) let’s take the time to consider other issues or points related to PREPARATION? If there are any, what might they be?
Participation – the action of taking part in something – Oxford Dictionaries
Participate – to take or have a part or share – Dictionary.com
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJ) – Pray (proseuchomai) without ceasing
Without ceasing, adialeiptos (ä-dē-ä-lā'p-tōs); Strong’s #89: without intermission, incessantly, assiduously – Thayer’s
“Prayer may be without ceasing in the heart which is full of the presence of God, and evermore communing with Him.” – The Pulpit Commentaries
A. Corporate Prayer
Corporate prayer is the term used to describe praying together with other people—in small groups or in larger bodies of people. It is an important part of the church and in Acts 2:42, we learn that the early church prayed together: ‘They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.’” – Allaboutprayer.org
Acts 2:42 (KNJ) – And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
“Corporate prayer isn’t about getting enough people together to pray until God bends His will to our will. Instead, prayer (corporate and private) is about cooperating with God and…submitting to God’s will. In fact, Matthew 6:8 says, ‘…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’” – Allaboutprayer.org
Acts 1:14 (NKJ) – These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
With one accord, homothymadon (ho-mo-thü-mä-do'n); Strong’s #3661: with one mind, of one accord – Thayer’s
Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJ) – 19 Again! I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 19 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Agree, symphōneō (süm-fō-ne'-ō): Strong’s #4856: In the N.T. trop. to be in accord, to harmonize, i.e. a. to agree together – Thayer’s
Acts 4:23-33 (NKJ) – 23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God and with one accord said, “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ 27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
With one accord, c (ho-mo-thü-mä-do'n); Strong’s #3661: Being unanimous, having mutual consent, being in agreement, having group unity, having one mind and purpose. The disciples had an intellectual unanimity, an emotional rapport, and volitional agreement in the newly founded church. In each of its occurrences, homothymadon shows a harmony leading to action. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Had prayed, deomai (de'-o-mī); Strong’s #1189: to pray, make supplication – Thayer’s
Boldness, parrēsia (pär-rā-sē'-ä); Strong’s #3954: Outspokenness, unreserved utterance, freedom of speech, with frankness, candor, cheerful courage, and the opposite of cowardice, timidity, or fear. Here it denotes a divine enablement that comes to ordinary and unprofessional people exhibiting spiritual power and authority. It also refers to a clear presentation of the gospel without being ambiguous or unintelligible. Parrēsia is not a human quality but a result of being filled with the Holy Spirit. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Power, dynamis (dü'-nä-mēs); Strong’s #1411: One of four great power words. The others are exousia, delegated authority; ischuros, great strength (especially physical); and kratos, dominion authority. Dynamis means energy, power, might, great force, great ability, strength. It is sometimes used to describe the powers of the world to come at work upon the Earth and divine powers overcoming all resistance. (Compare “dynamic,” “dynamite,” and “dynamometer.”) The dynamis in Jesus resulted in drastic transformations. This is the norm for the Spirit-filled and Spirit-led church. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
6. THE FOUR P’S: POWERFUL PRAYER REQUIRES PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION (Part 3)
In Part 2 we began considering PARTICIPATION, specifically related to CORPORATE PRAYER. In Part 3 we will continue discussing COPORATE PRAYER. Are there any comments, thoughts, or questions related to what we have discussed in Parts 1 or 2?
A. Corporate Prayer Continued
Corporate prayer is the term used to describe praying together with other people—in small groups or in larger bodies of people.
“Baal was the name of the supreme god worshiped in ancient Canaan and Phoenicia. The practice of Baal worship infiltrated Jewish religious life during the time of the Judges (Judges 3:7), became widespread in Israel during the reign of Ahab (1 Kings 16:31-33) and also affected Judah (2 Chronicles 28:1-2). The word baal means “lord”; the plural is baalim. In general, Baal was a fertility god who was believed to enable the earth to produce crops and people to produce children. Different regions worshiped Baal in different ways, and Baal proved to be a highly adaptable god. Various locales emphasized one or another of his attributes and developed special “denominations” of Baalism. Baal of Peor (Numbers 25:3) and Baal-Berith (Judges 8:33) are two examples of such localized deities.
According to Canaanite mythology, Baal was the son of El, the chief god, and Asherah, the goddess of the sea. Baal was considered the most powerful of all gods, eclipsing El, who was seen as rather weak and ineffective. In various battles Baal defeated Yamm, the god of the sea, and Mot, the god of death and the underworld. Baal’s sisters/consorts were Ashtoreth, a fertility goddess associated with the stars, and Anath, a goddess of love and war. The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god—he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt—who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).
Before the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, the Lord God warned against worshiping Canaan’s gods (Deuteronomy 6:14-15), but Israel turned to idolatry anyway. During the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, at the height of Baal worship in Israel, God directly confronted the paganism through His prophet Elijah. First, God showed that He, not Baal, controlled the rain by sending a drought lasting three-and-one-half years (1 Kings 17:1). Then Elijah called for a showdown on Mt. Carmel to prove once and for all who the true God was. All day long, 450 prophets of Baal called on their god to send fire from heaven—surely an easy task for a god associated with lightning bolts—but “there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:29). After Baal’s prophets gave up, Elijah prayed a simple prayer, and God answered immediately with fire from heaven. The evidence was overwhelming, and the people “fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD–he is God! The LORD–he is God!’” (verse 39).
In Matthew 12:27, Jesus calls Satan “Beelzebub,” linking the devil to Baal-Zebub, a Philistine deity (2 Kings 1:2). The Baalim of the Old Testament were nothing more than demons masquerading as gods, and all idolatry is ultimately devil-worship (1 Corinthians 10:20).” – gotQuestions?org
1 Samuel 7:1-12 (NKJ) – 1 Then the men of Kirjath Jearim came and took the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. 2 So it was that the ark remained in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord. 3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths (images of Canaanite goddesses) from among you, and prepare your hearts for the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the children of Israel put way the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. 5 And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah. 7 Now when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel had gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard of it, they
were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 And Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 Now as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel 11 And the men of Israel went out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and drove them back as far as Beth Car. 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer (Stone of Help), saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
Corporate Prayer Requires Confident Leadership, PRAYER. Into a spiritual vacuum of people lamenting their condition and not sure where to turn, Samuel stepped forward to provide spiritual leadership. His action demonstrates how confident leadership in corporate prayer can reopen the way for the fullness of God’s work to be restored to a people. 1) The leader takes charge, prophetically and with tender compassion–calling the people to renounce their sin, return to God, recommit themselves fully to Him, and to seek His face together (vv. 1-5). 2) The leader initiates prayer, modeling it for others to follow – leading in fasting and in “pouring out” their hearts (as with ceremonial water), dramatizing their heartfelt quest for God (v. 6). 3) The leader remains unceasing in his prayers and in mobilizing the people for (spiritual) warfare (vv. 8-11). 4) Finally, the leader helps people record the manifest results of God’s grace in answered prayer (vv. 12, 13). (Gen. 32:22-32/1 Chr. 4:9, 10) – “Kingdom Dynamics from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
7. Words (Thoughts) of Death and Life Related to Prayer
Proverbs 18:21 (NKJ) – Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Death, maveth (ma’-veth); Strong’s #4194: death, realm of the dead, dying, Death (when personified); deadly sickness, pestilence, destruction. – Zodhiates
Life, chay (khah’-e); Strong’s #2416: The O. T. puts a real premium upon life as being intrinsically good. It came from God (Gen. 2:70, but death ensued because of sin…Chay is a set of experiences, not an abstract principle of vitality which is separate from the body. The Hebrews viewed man holistically, i.e., body, mind and spirit were a unified whole. Life was associated with health, prosperity, vitality, etc., while death was the opposite. – Zodhiates
I. How We Progress to Words (Thoughts) of Death or Life
- It Starts with Our Focus
Numbers 13:17-20 (NKJ) – 17 Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, 18 and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19 whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.”
- It Concludes with How We Interpret Our Focus
Numbers 13:25 (NKJ) - And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.
- The Report of Death
Numbers 13:27-28, 31-33 (NKJ) – 27 Then they told him (Moses), and said, “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there (giants). 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”The Report of Life
2. The Report of Life
Numbers 13:30 (NKJ) – Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
II. Maintaining a Godly Focus in Prayer
- Focus On God’s Promises
1 John 5:14-15 (NKJ) – 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He
hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we have asked of Him.
- Don’t Allow What is Contradictory to God’s Promises to Become Our Focus and the Source of Our Words (Thoughts)
Hebrews 10:35-36 (NKJ) – 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.
8. BEING LED BY THE SPIRIT IN PRAYER
By Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin
I want to share with you one particular experience from my life of a time when I was led by the Holy Spirit to pray. Back in 1979, we began holding Prayer and Healing School on the RHEMA campus. The musicians would sing a little bit, and we’d take up an offering. Then, they would turn the service over to me. Often, I would stay in a room by myself and pray before coming out to take over the service.
One day as the offering was being received, I came walking into the little auditorium where we held Healing School, and sat down on the platform. Suddenly (and that’s the way the Holy Ghost moves-suddenly), a burden came on me to pray. Quietly, I said to myself, “I have to pray, and I have to pray now! Somebody’s life is in danger. Somebody’s near death.” I just sensed in my spirit that someone-I didn’t know who-was near death.
So I got up and said to the crowd, “Folks, I have to pray and pray now. I have this burden to pray, so let’s all pray now.” I knelt down to pray, and by the time my knees hit the floor, I was in the Spirit. I mean, I was praying in tongues, and I prayed earnestly that way for at least 45 minutes. Then I got a note of victory. I began to laugh. I began to sing quietly to myself. Praise God! I knew that whomever it was I was praying for, I had the victory.
At 9:30 that night, I got a telephone call from a young lady whose mother had been a great supporter of this ministry for many years. About three o’clock that afternoon, there had been an explosion in the Texaco refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, and the young lady’s father was caught in there with 17 other men. Six and a half hours had come and gone. The men were still trapped, and the firemen had not been able to put the fire out. They were in fear for the lives of all those men.
This young lady was calling to ask me to pray. I started laughing right on the phone because I suddenly realized whom I had been praying for earlier that day. I said, “There’s no need to pray at this point. I already got the victory on that. I already got it! He’s all right; your father will be all right.”
My wife and I went to bed, and at 1:30 in the morning the phone rang again. We had two phones, one near each of us, so we both answered. It was the same young lady. She told us, “Momma just called. They finally got the fire put out. And when they went in there, they couldn’t believe it. All eighteen men were safe!” Hallelujah!
Can you see why it’s so important to pray when the Spirit leads you to pray? What if I hadn’t prayed? I had the whole group at Healing School pray with me. What if we hadn’t yielded to the Spirit? Those men could have died!
Learning to pray when the Holy Spirit leads us would avert many dangers. If Spirit-filled believers would follow His promptings and become prayer-conscious, many problems wouldn’t happen. Many terrible things would never happen if folks were really led by the Spirit.
I. What Scripture Says about Being Led by the Spirit
Romans 8:14 (NKJ) – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.
… Those who follow the leading of God’s Spirit are all God’s sons – Knox
… For all who are led by God’s Spirit, and they alone, are the sons of God. - Conybeare
Galatians 5:25 (NKJ) – If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
… If we live by the Spirit, let our steps be guided by the Spirit. – Conybeare
… If the Spirit is the source of our life, let the Spirit also direct our course. - NEB
… If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. – Tay
… If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.] – Amplified
II. How Might the Spirit Lead Us in Prayer?
The Holy Spirit is not limited to leading us to pray only one way. He may have us pray in tongues, then have us switch to praying in our native tongue or vice versa. Or He may have us pray only in tongues or only in our native tongue. Whether praying in tongues or praying in our native tongue the goal is to be led by Him, to allow Him to prescribe how we pray and what we pray.
III. All Manner of Prayer
Ephesians 6:18 (NKJ) – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
… Use every kind of prayer and entreaty and at every opportunity pray in the Spirit – Goodspeed
… Keep on praying in the Spirit, with every kind of prayer and entreaty – Williams
… Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. With this in mind you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for God’s people. – New Century Version
… Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner] of prayer and entreaty – Amplified
9. MAKING MENTION OF YOU IN OUR PRAYERS
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (NKJ) – 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing brethren, beloved brethren, your election by God.
I. Give Thanks to God Always for You All
We give thanks, eucharisteo (yu-kha-re-ste-o); Strong’s #2168: 2. To give thanks…Of that for or on account of which thanks are given to God… – Thayer’s
Always, pantote (pan-to-te); Strong’s #3842: at all times, always, ever – Thayer’s
II. Making Mention of You in Our Prayers
Mention, mneia (mna-a); Strong’s #3417: remembrance, memory, mention – Thayer’s
Prayers, proseuche (pros-yu-kha); Strong’s 4335: prayer addressed to God – Thayer’s
III. Remembering Without Ceasing Your Work of Faith
Remembering, mnemoneuo (mna-mo-nyu-o); Strong’s #3421: 1. to be mindful of, to remember, to call to mind – Thayer’s
Without Ceasing, adialeiptos (a-de-a-lap-tos); Strong’s # 89: without intermission, incessantly, assiduously – Thayer’s
Work, ergon (er-gon); Strong’s #2041: 3. an act, deed, thing done … wrought by faith, the course of conduct with springs from faith – Thayer’s
“That faith which is energetic, which is active and living, productive of good works” – The Pulpit Commentary
Recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your work energized by faith – Amplified
IV. Remembering Without Ceasing Your … Labor of Love
Labor, kopos (ko-pos); Strong’s #2873: 3. labor b. intense labor united with trouble, toil … the labor to which love prompts, and which voluntarily assumes and endures trouble and pains for the salvation of others – Thayer’s
“By the ‘labor, or toil, of love’ is not meant that love which is devoted to God, but that love which manifests itself in acts of kindness toward our fellow-Christians and toward the human race.” – The Pulpit Commentary
Recalling unceasingly before our God and father your … service motivated by love – Amplified
V. Remembering Without Ceasing Your … Patience of Hope
Patience, hypomone (hu-po-mo-na); Strong’s #5281: 1. Steadfastness, constancy, endurance … in the N.T. the characteristic of a man who is
unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings – Thayer’s
Hope, elpis (el-pes); Strong’s #1680: 2. … always in the N.T., in a good sense: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation – Thayer’s
“And by the ‘patience of hope’ is meant that constancy which remains unconquered by trials and persecutions.” – The Pulpit Commentary
Recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your … unwavering hope in [the return of] our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) – Amplified
“There is a climax here; faith manifesting itself by works – its active exertion; love by its toils – its works of self-denial; and hope by its patience – its endurance amid trials and discouragements. ‘Remembering the apostle would say, your faith, hope, and love: a faith that had its outward effect in your lives; a love that spent itself in the service of others; and a hope that was no mere transient feeling, but one constant to wait for the things unseen, when Christ should be revealed’ (Jowett).” – The Pulpit Commentary
10. INTERCESSION THAT PRODUCES TRANSFORMATION
I. The Mind of Christ
1 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJ) – For who has known the mind of the Lord that we may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Mind, nous (nu’s); Strong’s #3563: 1. The mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining; hence spec. a. the intellective faculty, the understanding: …to be furnished with the understanding of Christ – Thayer’s
…For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. – Amplified
II. Intercession (Travail) Producing Transformation
Galatians 4:19 (KJV) – My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you
I travail in birth, odino (o-de-no); Strong’s #5605: to feel the pains of childbirth, to travail: …Paul uses the phrase…i.e. whose souls I am striving with intense effort and effort and anguish to conform to the mind of Christ – Thayer’s; In Gal. 4:19 the Apostle uses it metaphorically of a second travailing on his part regarding the churches in Galatia; his first was for their deliverance from idolatry (Gal. 4:8), now it was for their deliverance form bondage to Judaism. There is no suggestion here of a second regeneration necessitated by defection. There is a hint of reproach, as if he was enquiring whether they had ever heard of a mother experiencing second birth pangs for her children. – Vine’s
Be formed, morphoo (mor-fo-o); Strong’s #3445: to form: …i.e. literally, until a mind and life in complete harmony with the mind and life of Christ shall be formed in you – Thayer’s; refers, not to the external and transient, but to the inward and real; it is used in Gal. 4:19, expressing the necessity of a change in character and conduct to correspond with inward spiritual condition, so that there may be moral conformity to Christ – Vine’s
… My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed in you – Amplified
…concerning whom I am again striving with intense effort and anguish until Christ be outwardly expressed in you. – Wuest
III. Putting Off the Old Man and Putting on the New
Ephesians 4:20-24 (NKJ) – 20But you have not so learned Christ, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Be renewed, ananeoo (a-na-ne-o-o); Strong’s #365: to be renewed in mind, i.e. to be spiritually transformed, to take on a new mind – Thayer’s; The “renewal” here mentioned is not that of the mind itself in its natural powers of memory, judgment and perception, but “the spirit of the mind,” which, under the controlling power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, directs its bent and energies Godward in the enjoyment of “fellowship with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ,” and the fulfillment of the will of God. – Vine’s
Romans 12:2 (NKJ) – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.\
Conformed, syschematizo (su-skha-ma-te-zo); Strong’s #4964: to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, [fashion one’s self according to…] – Thayer’s; “to fashion or shape one thing like another,” is translated “conformed” in Rom. 12:2, …
“fashioned,” “fashioning” in 1 Pet. 1:14. This verb has more especial
reference to that which is transitory, changeable, unstable, summorphizo, to that which is essential in character and thus complete and durable, not merely a form or outline. – Vine’s
Be transformed, metamorphoo (me-ta-mor-fo-o); Strong’s #3339: used of the change of moral character for the better – Thayer’s; the obligation being to undergo a complete change which, under the power of God, will find expression in character and conduct – Vine’s
By the renewing, anakainosis (a-na-ki-no-ses); Strong’s #342: a renewal, renovation, complete change for the better – Thayer’s; “a renewal” is used in Rom. 12:2, “the renewing (of your mind),” i.e. the adjustment of the moral and spiritual vision and thinking to the mind of God, which is designed to have a transforming effect upon the life…the Romans passage stressed the willing response on the part of the believer. – Vine’s
... And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of god, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it. – Wuest
11. SANCTIFIED BY THE WORD OF GOD AND PRAYER
I. Troubling Trends
1 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJ) – 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
Depart, aphistemi (a-fe-sta-me); Strong’s #868: to withdraw one’s self from, absent one’s self from – Thayer’s
Giving heed, prosecho (pros-e-kho); Strong’s #4337: to apply one’s self to, attach one’s self to, hold or cleave to a person or thing – Thayer’s
Deceiving, planos (pla-nos); Strong’s #4108: misleading, leading into error – Thayer’s
Doctrines, didaskalia (de-da-sak-le-a); Strong’s #1319: teachings, precepts – Thayer’s
2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron,
Speaking lies, pseudologos (psyu-do-lo-gos); Strong’s #5573: speaking (teaching) falsely, speaking lies – Thayer’s
Conscience, syneidesis (sun-a-da-ses); Strong’s #4893: the soul as distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, prompting to do the former and shun the latter, commending the one, condemning the other; conscience – Thayer’s
Seared with a hot iron, kausteriazo (kau-sta-re-a-zo); Strong’s #2743: [branded in their own conscience i.e.] who carry about with them the perpetual consciousness of sin – Thayer’s
3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
Commanding to abstain from, apechomai (ap-e-kho-mi); Strong’s 567: to hold one’s self off, abstain – Thayer’s
II. The Truth
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;
Every, pas (pa’s); Strong’s #3956: all, every – Thayer’s
Creature, ktisma (kte-sma); Strong’s #2938: created thing – Thayer’s
Nothing, oudeis (u-da’s); Strong’s #3762: no one, nothing – Thayer’s
… Everything God has created is good, and no food is to be rejected, provided grace is said for it. – Jerusalem
… Everything God made is good, and is meant to be gratefully used, not despised. The holiness or otherwise of a certain food, for instance, depends not on its nature but on whether it is eaten thankfully or not. - Jerusalem
… For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be thrown away or refused if it is received with thanksgiving – Amplified
III. The Pattern
5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
… since it is hallowed by God’s own word and by prayer – NEB
… for then it is consecrated by God’s word, by the prayer uttered over it - Moffatt
It is sanctified, hagiazo (ha-ge-a-zo); Strong’s #37: to purify – Thayer’s
Question: "What is the meaning and purpose of saying grace before a meal?"
Answer: “Saying grace” refers to the practice of thanking God for the food before a meal. It is also called “saying the blessing.” Such prayers follow the examples of Jesus and the apostle Paul, both of whom “said grace” before meals (see Acts 27:35).
Matthew records two instances of Jesus feeding thousands of people with only a small amount of food (Matthew 14:15-21; 15:32-38). In both these accounts, before Jesus “broke the bread” (started the meal), He gave thanks to God for it (14:19).
Apparently, giving thanks before a meal was Jesus’ customary practice. In Luke 24:13-35, on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, two of His followers travel to the village of Emmaus. Jesus joins them on the road, but they are “kept from recognizing him” (v. 16). Once they arrive at Emmaus, Jesus stops to eat with them. At the table, Jesus “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them” (v. 30). Immediately, the disciples recognize Him; it was “when he broke the bread” (v. 35) and gave thanks that their eyes were opened.
Since we owe everything we have to God’s grace, the “free and unmerited favor of God,” it is appropriate to thank Him always (Ephesians 5:20). Meals provide a good time to pause and do just that. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36). – from gotQuestions.org
12. CHRIST'S HIGH-PRIESTLY OR INTERCESSORY PRAYER: JOHN 17:1-26
“KINGDOM DYNAMICS John 17:1-26 The Miracle of Oneness, CALL TO UNITY. Unity is Christ’s miracle of oneness. In this chapter, we hear His prayer for the same oneness for His disciples that He has with the Father. He and the Father share the same purpose, plan, and power. Christ often reminds us that He came not to do His own will but to do the Father’s will (Mark 14:36; John 6:38). Likewise, our unity is dependent on sharing the priority of seeking and doing the Lord’s will. His desire for us is to reach those who do not know Him so that they, too, may become one with us and others who have accepted Him as Lord of their lives (John 17:21). The equation of oneness is profound, and yet, very simple: One plus one plus one equals one – Christ, ourselves, and another equals oneness. It is Christ in our brother or sister who reaches out to the Christ in us. We are united in and through Him. It is a miracle of the indwelling Christ.” – New Spirit Filled Life Bible (SFLB)
Verses 1-26 Jesus’ high-priestly intercession is revealed in audible communion of the Son with the Father. “The prayer which now follows reveals, in the loftiest and sublimest form, the Divine humanity of the Son of man, and the fact that, in the consciousness of Jesus as the veritable Christ of God, there was actually blended the union of the Divine and human, and a perfect exercise of the prerogatives of both.” – The Pulpit Commentary (TPC)
I. Jesus Prays for Himself
John 17:1-5 (NKJ) – 1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ who You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory, which I had with You before the world was.
17:1-5 “The petition of Jesus for Himself is not selfish, since His desire is to glorify the Father. To glorify Him is to make Him known. Jesus would soon be manifested as the Savior of the world through His atoning death. Believers in Him will know God and possess eternal life.” – SFLB
II. Jesus Prays for His Disciples
“Verses 6-8 Here the Divine Intercessor turns from Himself, and from the approaching glory of His own mediatorial Person and position, to meditate, for the advantage of His disciples, on what has already been done for them, in them, to them. He clothes these meditations in the form of a direct address to the eternal God, and makes the series of facts on which He dwells the groundwork of the prayer which follows for His disciples, as representatives of all who, like them, have come into relations with the Father through Him.” – TPC
John 17:6-19 (NKJ) – 6 I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours. You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed You sent Me. 9 I pray (to ask in, to request, entreat, beg, beseech – Thayer’s) for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one , as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I have also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
17:6-19 “Although He does not pray that His immediate disciples may be remove from the world, He does pray that they will be kept from the world’s evil through the Father’s name (vv. 6-16). He also prays that they
might be sanctified, that is, set apart for the ministry of truth (vv. 17-19).” – SFLB
III. Jesus Prays for All Believers
17:20-26 “In His final petition Jesus prays for the unity of all believers of subsequent generations. The oneness He requests is not an organizational but a spiritual unity, which, will be visibly manifested in the life of the church and will bear witness to the divine mission of Christ. The church’s unity will reach its consummation in heaven (vv. 24-26).” – SFLB
John 17:20-26 (NKJ) – 20 I do not pay for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
13. INTERCESSION: REVIVAL/AWAKENING
“James Burns in Revival, Their Laws and Leaders says that before revivals occur, ‘a profound sense of dissatisfaction’ seems to set in among those God is preparing for what He is about to do. ‘The heart of man begins to cry out for God, for spiritual certainties, for fresh visions. From a faint desire this multiplies as it widens, until it becomes a vast human need; until in its urgency it seems to beat with violence at the very gates of Heaven’ (p. 13).” – “The Second Awakening in America” from Great Revivals (p. 79)
“Though revival always begins with the quickening of believers, it must culminate with the conversion of unbelievers.” – “The Second Awakening in America” from Great Revivals (p. 82)
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJ) – 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
“God reminds us that His ways and thoughts are unfathomably beyond ours. It’s good to remember that when we are interceding – for the lost, or for seemingly impossible situations. In that light, also remember:
- Light is more powerful than darkness.
- Truth is stronger than error.
- There’s more grace in God’s heart than sin in men’s hearts.
- There more power in the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin than there is power of satanic forces to tempt men to sin.
- There’s more power in one drop of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus to cleanse men’s hearts from the stain of sin then there is in the accumulated filth of men’s sin since Adam and Eve.”
- “Kingdom Dynamics” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible (p.939)
II. Passionate Intercession
Isaiah 66:8-9 (NKJ) – 8 Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. 9 Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God.
“This scripture indicates the ‘birthing’ kind of prayer when one prays for revivals for a nation. Such prayer is usually not public, just as childbirth is not. The text parallels sever labor pains preceding the birth with those private times the Holy Spirit may produce involuntary, regular groaning coming from an intensity of desire. This prayer becomes powerful as it couples with God in faith, knowing that something very significant is being brought about in the spiritual realm… Don’t fear such passion of travail and tears when praying for nations, missionary organizations, denominations, spiritual leaders, people groups, individuals, or lost souls. The Father’s heart is being exposed by the Holy Spirit through an intensified burden where words are inadequate.” – “Kingdom Dynamics” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
III. When Intercession Avails
Isaiah 64:1-3 (NKJ) – 1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence – 2 As fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil – to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, the mountains shook at Your presence.
“Awesome things for which we did not look” is a perfect description of genuine revival, because the unpredictable and unusual are the characteristics of genuine revival, because the unpredictable and unusual are the characteristics of great spiritual awakenings. It is of paramount importance that we pray that God will prepare spiritual leaders for such an “awesome” visitation of the Holy Spirit. Pray that they will: 1) have understanding of the ways of the Spirit and will make room for God; 2) be sensitive and flexible to flow with whatever new thing God wants to do; 3 ) be taken over by the fear (awesome reverence) of the Lord is the source of their much needed wisdom; 5) be given a deep desire to be radically real and to repent of all hypocrisy, and that they will not be concerned for “manpleasing” or “reputation.” “Kingdom Dynamics” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible (p.949)
14. CORRECT ATTITUDES ABOUT PRAYER
I. Prayer is Not About Being Seen
Matthew 6:5-6 (NKJ) – 5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites (dissembler, pretender – Thayer’s). For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen (to be seen, appear – Thayer’s) by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward (of the rewards which God bestows, or will bestow, upon good deeds and endeavors – Thayer’s). 6 But you, when you pray, go to 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.
Pray, proseuchomai (pros-yoo-khom-ahee); Strong’s #4336: The word is progressive. Starting with the noun euche, which is a prayer to God that also includes making a vow, the word expands to the verb euchomai, a special term describing an invocation, request, or entreaty. Adding pros, “in the direction of” (God), proseuchomai becomes the most frequent word for prayer. – “Word Wealth” from the Spirit Filled Life Bible
II. Prayer is Not About Vain Repetitions
Matthew 6:7-8 (NKJ) – 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think 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.
Vain repetitions, battalogeo (bat-ta-lo-ge-o); Strong’s #945: to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words, to babble, prate. Some suppose the word derived from Battus, king of Cyrene, who is said to have stuttered; others from Battus, an author of tedious and wordy poems. – Thayer’s
III. Correctness in Prayer
Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJ) – 9 In this manner; therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed (to render or acknowledge to be venerable, to hallow – Thayer’s) be Your name.
Name, onoma (o-no-ma); Strong’s #3686: By a usage chiefly Hebraistic the name is used for everything that the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is roused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds, etc. – Thayer’s
10 Your kingdom come. Your will (choice – Thayer’s) be done. On earth as it is in heaven.
Kindgom, basileia (ba-se-la-a); Strong’s #932: But Jesus employed the phrase kingdom of God or of heaven to indicate that perfect order of things which he was about to establish, in which all those of every nation who should believe in him were to be gathered together into one society, dedicated and intimately united to God, and made partakers of eternal salvation. This kingdom is spoken of as now begun and actually present, inasmuch as its foundations have already been laid by Christ and its benefits realized among men that believe him – Thayer’s
11 Give us this day our daily (the bread of necessity, i.e. necessary for us – Thayer’s) bread (food of any kind – Thayer’s).
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Forgive, aphiemi (a-fe-a-me); Strong’s #863: to let go, give up, a debt, by not demanding it…, i.e. to remit, forgive – Thayer’s; debts, … these being completely cancelled – Thayer’s
Debts, opheilema (o-fa-la-ma); Strong’s #3783: in imitation of the Chald…(which denotes both debt and sin), metaph. offense, sin – Thayer’s
13 And do not lead (to lead into – Thayer’s) us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Temptation, peirasmos (pa-ra-smo’s); Strong’s #3986: spec. the trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy, etc.: …of a condition of things, or a mental state, by which we are enticed to sin, or to a lapse from faith and holiness – Thayer’s
Deliver, rhyomai (rhu-o-mi); Strong’s #4506: to draw, hence prop. to draw to one’s self, to rescue, to deliver – Thayer’s
Evil, poneros (po-na-ro’s); Strong’s # 4190: denotes “evil that causes labor, pain, sorrow, malignant evil” – Vine’s; bad, of a bad nature or condition; … in an ethical sense, evil, wicked, bad, etc… is used pre-eminently of the devil, the evil one – Thayer’s
15. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: INTERCESSION
1 Timothy 2:1-4 (NKJ) – 1 Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Ephesians 6:18 (AMP) – Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty.
Intercessions, enteuxis (e’n-tyu-kses); Strong’s #1783: primarily denotes "a lighting upon, meeting with"… then, "a conversation;" hence, "a petition," a meaning frequent in the papyri; it is a technical term for approaching a king, and so for approaching God in "intercession;" it is rendered "prayer" in 1Ti 4:5; in the plural in 1Ti 2:1 (i.e., seeking the presence and hearing of God on behalf of others). – Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
I. God Is Seeking Those Who Will Stand in the Gap
Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV) – So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found no one.
Sought, baqash (ba-kash; Strong’s #1245: to seek for, to seek for oneself – Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon
Gap, perets (peh-rets); Strong’s #6556: a break, gap, or breach; especially a gap in the wall…In the present reference, standing in the gap is a metaphor for committed intercession. There is a gap between God and man that an intercessor tries to repair. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
God’s Quest, Intercession: The heart of God is searching for those who will answer the need for someone to “stand in the gap.” The picture is clear: Without someone in place, invasion of the darkness occurs, and eventual destruction of people takes place…God has made it clear from Genesis to Revelation that prayer is the match that lights the fuse to release the explosive power of the Holy Spirit in the affairs of men. Let us give it priority time. – “Kingdom Dynamics” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
II. Let’s Don’t Amaze God in the Wrong Way
Isaiah 59:16 (NLT) – He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his mighty power and justice.
… And he saw that there was no man and wondered that there was on intercessor [no one to intervene on behalf of truth and right]; therefore His own right arm brought Him victory, and His own righteousness [having the Spirit without measure] sustained Him. [Isa. 53:11; Col. 2:9; 1 John 2:1, 2] – Amplified
Since God desires our intercessions on behalf of others, obviously He desires to grant those intercessions. Let’s don’t amaze Him or cause Him to wonder when the Holy Spirit calls us to stand in the gap for others by not responding to His call.
III. Biblical Examples of Intercession
Psalm 106:19-23 (NKJ) – 19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molded image. 20 Thus they changed their glory into the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, 22 wondrous works in the land of Ham, awesome things by the Red Sea. 23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them.
Genesis 18:20-33 (NKJ) – 20 And the LORD said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood still before the LORD. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 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 the earth do right?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” 27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all the city for lack of five?” So he said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.” 29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?” So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.” 30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?” So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.” 32 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33 So the LORD went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place.
John 17:6-19 (NKJ) – 6 I have manifested Your name to the men whom you have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your
keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, name. Those whom You gave me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they may also be sanctified by the truth.
1. In what areas has God called you to “stand in the gap”?
2. What are some victories you have experienced via intercession?
3. Why do we sometimes not yield to God’s desire for us to “stand in the gap”?
4. What negative consequences can occur when we don’t “stand in the gap”?
5. What can we learn from our three examples of intercession from the Bible?
16. INTERCESSORY PRAYER REVISITED
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJ) – If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Kingdom Dynamics; 7:14 A Revival Prayer for All Ages, Prayer. This verse reveals in principle a revival prayer applicable to God’s people in any age. The context follows Solomon’s dedicatory prayer for the temple – one that focuses the responsibility of any people to seek God for mercy after sin has brought desolation, plague, and judgment. This verse summarizes God’s chosen way of restoration, which is through the prayers of His people, a guide for prayers for revival in all places: 1) Humble ourselves (rather than God doing it to us); 2) pray for a fuller revelation of God’s glory to His people (seek His face); 3) turn from everything that contradicts the spirit and direction of our prayers (true repentance). The promised results: God will hear this prayer, will cleanse from sin, and will bring healing where it is needed – for the church, for the nation, for the people. – from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
I. Actions We Must Take
Humble, kana’ (ka-nah) – verb; Strong’s #3665: to submit oneself, to behave oneself submissively, especially before God – Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon
Pray, palal (pah-lah) - verb; Strong’s #6419; To pray, entreat, intercede, make supplication. This verb occurs more than 80 times. Palal speaks of prayer as intercession, asking someone with more power and wisdom to intervene in behalf of the one praying…Furthermore palal is found in the promise of 2 Chr. 7:14, “If My people…will humble themselves and pray…I will hear from heaven. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Seek, baqash (ba-kash) – verb; Strong’s #1245: to seek for; to seek the face of God, pr, to go to God, especially with prayers – Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon
Turn, shwub (shuv) – verb; Strong’s #7725: to turn back (hence, away) – Strong’s
II. Actions He (God) Will Take as a Result of Our Actions
Hear, shama’ (sha-mah) – verb; Strong’s 8085: to hear; to listen –
Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon
Forgive, salach (sah-lahch) – verb; Strong’s #5545: To forgive, pardon, spare someone, to relieve someone of the burden of their offense. This verb and its derivatives occur 50 times in the OT. In every occurrence God does the forgiving; never does salach represent a man’s forgiving anyone. This alone explains the shock of Jesus’ listeners when they heard Him say “your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20). They responded, “Who can forgive but God alone?” – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Heal, rapha’ (rah-phah) – verb: Strong’s #7495: To cure, heal, repair, mend, restore health. Its participial form rophe’, “one who heals,’ is the Hebrew word for doctor. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
17. PAULINE PRAYERS: EPHESIANS 1:15-21
Ephesians 1:15-21 (NKJ) – Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened:
…17 that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, 18 by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light – Amplified
Wisdom, sophia (so-fe-a); Strong’s #4678: in Paul’s epistles a knowledge of the divine plan – Thayer’s; practical wisdom, prudence, skill, comprehensive insight, Christian enlightenment, a right application of knowledge, insight into the true nature of things. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Revelation, apokalypsis (a-po-ka-lu-pses); Strong’s #602: 2. A disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown – esp. those related to Christian salvation…a spirit received from God disclosing what and how great are the benefits of salvation – Thayer’s
Knowledge, epignosis (e-pe-gno-ses); Strong’s #1922: precise and correct knowledge…of God, esp. the knowledge of His holy will and of the blessings which he has bestowed and constantly bestows on men through Christ – Thayer’s
Understanding, dianoia (dee-an-oy-ah); Strong’s #1271: Literally, “a thinking through.” Dianoia combines nous, “mind,” and dia, “through.” The word suggests understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension, the faculty of thought. When this faculty is renewed by the Holy Spirit, the whole mind-set changes from the fearful negativism of the carnal mind to the vibrant, positive thinking of the quickened spiritual mind. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Enlightened, photizo (fo-te-zo); Strong’s #5461: to give understanding to, as respects the eyes of your soul – Thayer’s
that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.
That You May Know…
Know, eido (a-do); Strong’s #1492: to know i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive…the force and meaning of something which has a definite meaning – Thayer’s
I. What is the Hope of His Calling
…that you may realize the hope given by God’s call – TCNT
…so that you may know what is the hope which His call to you inspires –Wey
Hope, elpis (el-pes); Strong’s #1680: expectation of good, hope; and in the Christian sense, joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation – Thayer’s; hope, not in the sense of an optimistic outlook or wishful thinking without any foundation, but in the sense of confident expectation based on solid certainty. Biblical hope rests on God’s promises, particularly those pertaining to Christ’s return. So certain is the future of the redeemed that the NT sometimes speaks of future events in the past tense, as though they were already accomplished. Hope is never inferior to faith. Faith is the present possession of grace; hope is confidence in grace’s future accomplishments – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Calling, klesis (kla-ses); Strong’s #2821: in the NT everywhere in a technical sense, the divine invitation to embrace salvation in the kingdom of God, which is made esp. through the preaching of the gospel – Thayer’s; it is always used in the NT of that “calling” the origin, nature and destiny of which are heavenly (the idea of invitation being implied); it is used especially of God’s invitation to man to accept the benefits of salvation – Vine’s
“The first is that they may know ‘what is the hope of their calling.’ The word ‘what’ is tis, not ‘how great,’ nor ‘of what kind,’ but ‘what’ – what the hope really is. ‘The ‘His calling’ is the call of which God is the author, and that is an effectual call. … The hope is not the object hoped for, … but the attitude of mind, the subjective hope, the assured Christian expectation’ (Expositors).”
II. What Are the Riches of the Glory of His Inheritance in the Saints
…how gloriously rich God’s portion in His people is – Williams
…the wealth of the glory of His heritage among God’s people - TCNT
Riches, ploutos (plu-tos); Strong’s #4149: fullness, abundance, plentitude – Thayer’s
Glory, doxa (do-ksa); Strong’s # 1391: magnificence, excellence, pre-eminence, dignity, grace:…majesty – Thayer’s
Inheritance, kleronomia (kla-ro-no-me-a); Strong’s #2817: the eternal blessedness in the consummated kingdom of God which is expected after he visible return of Christ – Thayer’s; what the believer will be to God in that age – Vine’s
“The riches of the glory of His inheritance in reference to the saints is the riches of the glory of their privileges as the Lord’s heritage, or people; that is, their privileges are glorious.” – The Pulpit Commentary
III. What is the Exceeding Greatness of His Power
…and how surpassingly great His power is for us who believe; like the mighty strength He exerted in raising Christ from the dead– Goodspeed
…and how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God. That power is the same divine energy which was demonstrated in Christ when He raised Him from the dead – Phillips
Exceeding, hyperaballo (hu-per-bal-o); Strong’s #5235: excelling, exceeding – Thayer’s
Power, dynamis (du-na-mes); Strong’s #1411: “power, ability,” physical or moral, as residing in a person or thing – Vine’s; strength, ability, power – is used of the divine power considered acting upon the minds of men – Thayer’s
Working, energeia (en-er-ga-a); Strong’s #1753: working, efficiency – in the NT used only of superhuman power – Thayer’s
Mighty, ischys (e-skhus); Strong’s #2479: power (over external things) afforded by strength – Thayer’s
Power, kratos (kratos); Strong’s #2904: power, might – the might of his strength – Thayer’s
Worked (wrought), energeo (er-er-ge-o); Strong’s #1754: to put forth power, be operative, to work – Vine’s
“We are now furnished with a standard and sample of the mighty power of which energizes in believers – are referred to one of its grandest achievements, in order to elevate our conceptions of what it is capable of effecting in us.” – The Pulpit Commentary
18. PAULINE PRAYERS: EPHESIANS 3:14-21
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJ) – For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
I. Strengthened With Might Through His Spirit…
16 that He would grant to you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
Riches, ploutos (plu-tos); Strong’s #4149: fullness, abundance, plentitude – Thayer’s
To Be Strengthened, krataioo (kra-ti-o-o); Strong’s #2901: to strengthen, make strong – Thayer’s
Might, dynamis (du-na-mes); Strong’s #1411: strength, ability, power; moral power and excellence of soul – Thayer’s
16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. – Amplified
II. That Christ May Dwell in Your Hearts…
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
May Dwell, katoikeo (ka-toi-ke-o); Strong’s #2730: metaphorically, divine powers, influences, etc., are said … to dwell in his soul, to pervade, prompt govern it – Thayer’s
Hearts, kardia (kar-de-a); Strong’s #2588: the center and seat of spiritual life, the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavors – Thayer’s
Faith, pistis (pis-tis); Strong’s #4102: Conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. In the NT setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust, and reliance in God and all that He says. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Rooted, rhizoo (rhe-zo-o); Strong’s #4492: to render firm, to fix, establish, cause a person or thing to be thoroughly grounded – Thayer’s
Grounded, themelioo (the-me-le-o-o); Strong’s #2311: to make stable, establish…pass. – Thayer’s
Love, agape (a-ga-pa); Strong’s #26: affection, good will, love, benevolence: of the love of Christ towards men – Thayer’s
17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love. – Amplified
III. Comprehending and Knowing the Love of Christ…
18 may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the width and length and depth and height – 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.
Comprehend, katalambano (ka-ta-lam-ba-no); Strong’s #2638: to lay hold of with the mind; to understand, perceive, learn, comprehend – Thayer’s
Know, ginosko (ge-no-sko); Strong’s #1097: to become acquainted with, to know – Thayer’s
Fullness, pleroma (pla-ro-ma); Strong’s #4138: that which is (or has been) filled… In the NT the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ… that ye may become a body wholly filled and flooded by God – Thayer’s
18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; 19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]: that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! – Amplified
IV. Exceedingly Abundantly According to the Power…
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Exceedingly, hyper (hu-per); Strong’s #5228: metaphorically of the measure or degree exceeded; above (i.e. more and greater than) all – Thayer’s
Abundantly, ek (ek); Strong’s #1537: denotes “superabundantly” – Vine’s
Power, dynamis (du-na-mes); Strong’s #1411: strength, ability, power; moral power and excellence of soul – Thayer’s
20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams] – 21 To him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).
19. PAULINE PRAYERS: PHILIPPIANS 1:9-11 (THE SMART LOVE PRAYER)
Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJ) – 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
And this I pray, THAT…
I. Your Love May Abound in Knowledge and Discernment
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment…
May abound, perisseuo (pe-res-syu-o); Strong’s #4052: to excel still more, to increase in excellence – Thayer’s
Knowledge, epignosis (e-pe-gno-ses); Strong’s #1922: precise and correct knowledge…the knowledge of things ethical and divine – Thayer’s; denotes “exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition”…expressing a fuller or full “knowledge,” a greater participation by the “knower” in the object “known,” thus more powerfully influencing him – Vine’s
Discernment, aesthesis (is-tha-ses); Strong’s #144: perception, not only by the senses but also by the intellect; cognition, discernment…of moral discernment, the understanding of ethical matters, as is plain from what is added in vs. 10 – Thayer’s
… And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment] – Amplified
II. You May Approve the Things That Are Excellent
10 that you may approve the things that are excellent…
May Approve, dokimazo (ko-ke-ma-zo); Strong’s #1381: to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing be genunine or not), as metals – Thayer’s; in Phil.1:10 the Apostle prays that the saints may “approve the things that are excellent” or “things that differ,” i.e. “approve” after distinguishing and discerning – Vine’s
Things That Are Excellent, diaphero (de-a-fe-ro); Strong’s #1308: to test, prove, the things that differ, i.e. to distinguish between good and evil – Thayer’s
… So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences] - Amplified
III. You May Be Sincere and Without Offense
10… that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ
Sincere, eilikrines (a-le-kre-nas); Strong’s 1506: found pure when unfolded and examined by the sun’s light…pure, unsullied, sincere – Thayer’s; it is used of moral and ethical “purity” – Vine’s
Without Offense, aproskopos (a-pro-sko-pos); Strong’s #677: not striking against or stumbling; metaphorically not led into sin; blameless – Thayer’s; “(a conscience) void of offense” – Vine’s
… and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble] – Amplified
IV. Being Filled With the Fruits of Righteousness
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Being Filled, pleroo (pla-ro-o); Strong’s #4137: to make full, to fill, to fill up…Hebraistically, with accus. of the thing in which one abounds…of spiritual possessions – Thayer’s
With the Fruits, karpos (kar-pos); Strong’s #2590: work, act, deed – Thayer’s; of works or deeds, “fruit” being the visible expression of power working inwardly and invisibly, the character of the “fruit” being evidence of the character of the power producing it – Vine’s
Righteousness, dikaiosyne (de-ki-o-su-na); Strong’s #1343: in the broad sense, the state of him who is such as he ought to be, righteousness…the condition acceptable to God…integrity, virtue, purity of life, uprightness, correctness in thinking, feeling and acting – Thayer’s
… May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized]. – Amplified
20. PAULINE PRAYERS: COLOSSIANS 1:9-12
Colossians 1:9-12 (NKJ) – 9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
For this reason we do not cease to pray…
I. That You May Be Filled with the Knowledge of His Will
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will
You may be filled, pleroo (pla-ro-o); Strong’s #4137: to make full, to fill, to fill up…to fill to the full…to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally…Hebraistically, with the accusative of the thing in which one abounds – Thayer’s
With the knowledge, epignosis (e-pe-gno-ses); Strong’s #1922: precise and correct knowledge…of the knowledge of things ethical and divine – Thayer’s; “full or thorough knowledge, discernment, recognition” – Vine’s
Will, thelema (the-la-ma); Strong’s #2307: what one wishes or has determined shall be done [i.e. objectively, thing willed]…is used – of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ – Thayer’s
9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will – Amplified
II. In All Wisdom and Spiritual Understanding
9 ...in all wisdom and spiritual understanding
Wisdom, sophia (so-fe-a); Strong’s #4678: wisdom, broad and full intelligence…in Paul’s epistles: a knowledge of the divine plan, previously hidden, of providing salvation for men by the expiatory death of Christ…hence all the treasures of wisdom are said to be hidden in Christ – Thayer’s
Spiritual, pneumatikos (pnuy-ma-te-ko’s); Strong’s #4152: in reference to things; emanating from the Divine Spirit, or exhibiting its effects and so its character – Thayer’s
Understanding, synesis (su’n-e-sis); Strong’s #4907: the understanding, i.e. the mind so far forth as it understands – Thayer’s; it suggests quickness of apprehension, the penetrating consideration which precedes action – Vine’s
9 …in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things – Amplified
III. That You May Walk Worthy of the Lord
10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord
May walk, peripateo (pe-re-pa-te-o); Strrong’s #4043: to regulate one’s life, to conduct one’s self – Thayer’s
Worthy, axios (a-kse-os); Strong’s #516: suitably; worthily, in a manner worthy of – Thayer’s
10 That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord – Amplified
IV. Fully Pleasing Him, Being Fruitful in Every Good Work
10 … fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work
Pleasing, areskeia (a-re-ska-a); Strong’s #699: to please Him in all things – Thayer’s
Being fruitful, karpophoreo (kar-po-fo-re-o); Strong’s #2592: metaphorically, to bear, bring forth, deeds: thus of men who show their knowledge of religion by their conduct – Thayer’s
Work, ergon (e’r-gon); Strong’s #2041: every good work springing from piety – Thayer’s
10 …fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work – Amplified
V. And Increasing in the Knowledge of God
10 …and increasing in the knowledge (see knowledge in verse 9) of God
Increasing, auxano (au-ksa-no); Strong’s #837: to grow, increase, become greater: …unto the knowledge of God – Thayer’s
10 …and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God (with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition) – Amplified
VI. Strengthened With All Might, According to His Power
11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power
Strengthened, dynamo (du-na-mo-o); Strong’s 1412: to make strong, confirm, strengthen – Thayer’s
Might, dynamis (du-na-mes); Strong’s #1411: strength, ability, power – Thayer’s
Power, kratos (kra-tos); Strong’s #2904: power, might: …the might of his strength – Thayer’s
11 [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory – Amplified
VII. For All Patience and Longsuffering With Joy
11 ...for all patience and longsuffering with joy
Patience, hypomone (hu-po-mo-na); Strong’s #5281: steadfastness, constancy, endurance…in the NT the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings – Thayer’s
Longsuffering, makrothymia (ma-kro-thu-me-a); Strong’s #3115: patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance; esp. as shown in bearing troubles and ills – Thayer’s
Joy, chara (kha-ra); Strong’s #5479: joy, gladness – Thayer’s
11 … [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy – Amplified
VIII. Giving Thanks to the Father Who Has Qualified Us
12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Qualified, hikanoo (he-ka-no-o); Strong’s #2427: to make sufficient, render fit; … to equip one with adequate power to perform the duties of one – Thayer’s
Partakers, meris (me-re’s); Strong’s #3310: an assigned portion, a share: …to make one fit to obtain a share in a thing – Thayer’s
Of the inheritance, kleros (kla-ros); Strong’s #2819: what is obtained by lot, allotted portion: i.e. the eternal salvation which God has assigned to the saints – Thayer’s
Saints, hagios (ha-ge-os); Strong’s #40: set apart for God, to be, as it were, exclusively his; … this appellation is very often in the NT transferred to Christians, as those whom God has selected…that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may be rendered through holiness, partakers of salvation in the kingdom of God – Thayer’s
Light, phos (fo’s); Strong’s #5457: used of that heavenly state, consummate and free from every imperfection, to which the true disciples of Christ will be exalted…the kingdom of light – Thayer’s
12 Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the Light. – Amplified
21. PRAYER (DRAWING NEAR TO GOD)
James 4:7-10 (NKJ) – 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.
Lift up (exalt), hupsoo (hoop-sah-oh); Strong’s #5312: the verb signifies to lift or raise up…The Bible warns us that exalting ourselves will result in a disgraceful fall, but humbling ourselves leads to exaltation in this and the next world. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
I. Drawing Near, the Power Position
Submit (subject), hupotasso (hoop-ot-as-so); Strong’s #5293: Literally, “to stand under.” The word suggests subordination, obedience, submission, subservience, subjection. The divine gift of prophetic utterance is put under the control and responsibility of the possessor – “Word Wealth” from the new Spirit Filled Life Bible
1 Corinthians 14:32 (NKJ) – And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
Resist (withstand), anthistemi (anth-is-tay-mee); Strong’s #436: The verb suggests vigorously opposing, bravely resisting, standing face-to-face against and adversary, standing your ground. Just as an antihistamine puts a block on histamine, anthistemi tells us that with the authority and spiritual weapons granted to us we can withstand evil forces.
Ephesians 6:10, 13 (NKJ) – 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
II. Drawing Near to God Requires Humbling Ourselves
Drawing near to God speaks of humbling ourselves. The antithesis of humbling ourselves is to exalt ourselves. Humbling ourselves will result in exaltation where exalting ourselves will result in our being humbled.
1 Peter 5:5-9 (NKJ) – 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Humility, tapeinjophrosune (tap-eye-nof-ros-oo-nay); Strong’s #5012: Modesty, lowliness, humble-mindedness, a sense of moral insignificance, and a humble attitude of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. It is a total absence of arrogance, conceit, and haughtiness…Only by abstaining from self-aggrandizement can members of the Christian community maintain unity and harmony. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Downcast (humble), tapeinos (tap-eye-noss); Strong’s #5011: Literally “low to the ground.” Metaphorically, the word signifies low estate, lowly in position and power, humble. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Humble(s), tapeinoo (tap-eye-nah-oh); Strong’s #5013: Literally, “to make low,”…Metaphorically, the word means to debase,
humble, lower oneself. It describes a person who is devoid of all arrogance and self-exaltation – a person who is willingly submitted to God and His will. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Exalt (lift up), Strong’s #5312
Resist (withstand), Strong’s #436
III. Humbling Demonstrated in Intercessory Prayer
Ezra 9:6, 15 (NKJ) – 6 And I said: “O my God, I am too ashamed and humiliated to lift up my face to You, my God; for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has grown up to the heavens…15 “O Lord God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!”
Clearly, as believers under the New Covenant, unlike those under the Old Covenant, we are made righteous in Christ. However, that does not mean we do not need to draw near to God or submit ourselves to Him. Those sins we have not confessed to Him we must confess that are consciences may be clean. Once we have confessed them to Him, we surely should not allow ourselves to walk in any condemnation.
22. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
Whereas the “Prayer of Consecration” is a prayer by which we are submitting and dedicating ourselves to the will of God, the “Prayer of Commitment” involves our committing to God our concerns, worries, fears or cares, trusting Him, not relying on our own resources, as the source to meet our needs by answering our prayers.
I. The Futility of Worry
Matthew 6:25-34 (NKJ) – 25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Worry, merimnao (mer-im-nah-oh); Strong’s #3309: From merizo, “to divide into parts.” The word suggests a distraction, a preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress, and pressure. Jesus speaks against worry and anxiety because of the watchful care of a heavenly Father who is ever mindful of our daily needs. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit (about 18 inches) to his stature? 28 So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed (dressed) like of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Little faith, oligopistos (ol-ig-op-is-tus); Strong’s #3640: From oligos, “small,” and pistis, “faith,” describing a faith that lacks confidence or trusts too little… Another way to term it is “underdeveloped faith” as opposed to outright unbelief or distrust (apistis). – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible)
31 Therefore do not worry saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek (seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after) first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is
its own trouble.”
II. The Prayer of Commitment
Philippians 4:6-8 (NKJ) – 6 Be anxious (Strong’s #3309) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
Psalm 37:5 (NKJ) – Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
Commit, galal (gah-lahl); Strong’s #1556: In this text, the reader is encouraged to roll his works into God’s care. The picture is of a
camel, burdened with a heavy load; when the load is removed the camel kneels down, tilts far to one side, and the load rolls off.
– “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
III. Casting Our Care Upon Him
1 Peter 5:5-8 (NKJ) – 5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober (self-controlled), be vigilant (watchful); because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Care, merimna (mer-im-nah); Strong’s #3308: From meiro, “to divide,” and noos, “the mind.” The word denotes distractions, anxieties, burdens, and worries. Merimna means to be anxious beforehand about daily life. Such worry is unnecessary, because the Father’s love provides for both our daily needs and special needs. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Growth Inhibitor #1: The Devil, Growth. A believer’s growth may be hindered or halted by three distinct enemies: the Devil, the world, and the flesh. We are warned how the devil walks or roams about like a lion. When lions hunt, they look for weak, young, isolated, unguarded animals. They are the ones marked for attack. The Devil’s ultimate agenda is to destroy us, not merely to hurt, main, or discourage, but to devour and destroy us. He does that when he gets us to bow to circumstances, pressures, or forces of his evil design, hoping thereby to make us yield to him. To overcome, adopt a reverse: B.O.W. to Jesus, the One you Believe, Obey, and Worship. He overcame, refusing to bow to Satan’s devices (Matt. 4:8-10), and our growth in Him will bring the same ability to resist or stand against the Devil (1 Peter 5:9). Be clothed in the full armor of God: be armed with the Word of God (Eph. 6:10-14), believe Him (Heb. 11:6), obey Him (1 John 3:24), and worship Him (John 4:23). Receive Christ’s overwhelming victory! – “Kingdom Dynamic” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
23. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: CONSECRATION
Matthew 26:36-39 (NKJ) – 26 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (meaning “Oil Press”), and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. 39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
“The cup was used to signify either great joy or great sorrow. See Ps. 23:5; Jer. 25:15. Here it refers to Jesus’ death and, more specifically, to God’s judgment against sin.” – Notes on Matt. 20:22 from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
“The universal testimony of all great Christians of the past or present is that the fullness of blessing and spiritual development comes only to those who will make a complete consecration to God, putting themselves entirely in His hands, and then trusting Him recklessly, to receive what they have committed to Him, and to shape them into the likeness of Christ. Oh! That we might learn to trust Him for righteousness instead of trying to produce it by the efforts of the natural man. All our efforts will produce are the works of the flesh. (See Gal. 5:19-21)” – J. E. Stiles, as quoted by Gordon Lindsay in Commissioned with Power, p. 434
Luke 22:39-44 (NKJ) – 39 Coming out, “He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them. “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He was withdrawn from then about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless no t My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
I. Removing the Obstacles
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (AMP) – 1 THEREFORE, THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
II. Not Our Will, but His Be Done
“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but yours be done…”
1 Peter 4:1 (AMP) – SO, SINCE Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God].
We do not consecrate ourselves by presenting ourselves to Him and then we do the work. Consecration involved fellowship, joint participation, Him working in and through us. We choose to drink the cup, but He empowers us to do so. Consecration is all about submitting our wills to His. Consecration is about ceasing from our works and doing His.
Philippians 2:12-13 (AMP) – 12 Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious of caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). 13 [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
III. Consecration Precedes Honor
James 4:10 (AMP) – Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].
Proverbs 15:33 (AMP) – The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord brings instruction in Wisdom, and humility comes before honor.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (AMP) – 6 Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you. 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
24. PRAYING IN TONGUES (PART 1)
1 Corinthians 14:14 (KJV) – For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
I. The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Joel 2:28-29 (NKJ) – 28 And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
Acts 2:1-4, 14-17 (NKJ) – 1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour of My Spirit on all flesh…’”
Tongues, glossa (glo’s-sa); Strong’s #1100: to speak with other than their native i.e. in foreign tongues, Acts ii. 4 cf. 6-11; … to speak with new tongues which the speaker has not learned previously, Mark xvi. 17 – Thayer’s
“The word glossolalia is not found in the English translation of the Bible but is based on the Greek word glossa, for tongue. The term was used by ancient Greek writers to denote strange or unknown language or speech. The New Testament, written in Greek, used the expression glossais lalien for the tongues spoken in the Spirit by the earliest Christians. Thus, the present practice of speaking in tongues is known as glossolalia.
Those who speak with tongues are known as glossolalists. The appearance of glossolalia has been noted in practically every period of Christian history, especially in times of revival and spiritual renewal. Usually these appearances were of sporadic nature and of limited scope. About the turn of this century (20th century), however, there was a recurrence of the phenomenon that reached universal proportions. – The Glossolalia Phenomenon
II. The Glossolalia Phenomenon
Mark 16:17 (NKJ) – And these signs will follow those who believe (have believed). In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues…
“Ironically, in recent years the vast majority of Christians, as well as the news media, religious and secular, have principally heard from those who know little about glossolalia theologically, and nothing about it experientially; or those who know little about it experientially and almost nothing about it theologically.” – The Glossolalia Phenomenon
In his History of the Apostolic Church, Dr. Philip Schaff wrote: “The speaking with tongues, however, was not confined to the Day of Pentecost… This gift perpetuated itself. We find traces of it still in the second and third centuries.” – The Glossolalia Phenomenon
In Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Madeline S. and J. Lane Miller state very pointedly: “That this phenomenon is by no means restricted to early Christianity is universally recognized. It was common in the Christian movement as later as Tertullian and Irenaeus. By the time of Chrystotom it had apparently died out; at least the good bishop found difficulty in understanding what it really was. This, however, was but temporary. In later years it appeared again, and has been the seemingly inevitable consequence of all extended seasons of ‘revivals.’” – The Glossolalia Phenomenon
“In his comprehensive word on The History of the Christian Church, Dr. Philip Schaff refers to Vincent Ferrer, who died in 1419, as a devoted missionary and one of the greatest Spanish preachers. According to Dr. Schaff, ‘his name is associated with the gift of tongues.’” – The Glossolalia Phenomenen
III. For How Long Will the Holy Spirit Be Poured Out?
Acts 2:38-39 (NKJ) – Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.
IV. Receiving the Holy Spirit and Being Baptized With the Holy Spirit
Received the Holy Spirit
John 20:19-22 (NKJ) – 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Baptized in the Holy Spirit
Acts 1:4-5, 2:4 (NKJ) – 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which, He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not man days from now… 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 10:44-48 (NKJ) – 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, 47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
Acts 19:1-6 (NKJ) – 1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
V. How Does One Receive the Holy Spirit?
Luke 11:9-13 (NKJ) – 9 So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?
25. PRAYING IN TONGUES (PART 2)
1 Corinthians 14:14-15 (NKJ) – 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my understanding if unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding.
Pray, proseuchomai (pros-yu-kho-mi); Strong’s #4336: The word is progressive. Starting with the noun, euche, which is a prayer to God that also includes making a vow, the word expands to the verb euchomai, a special term describing an invocation, request, or entreaty. Adding pros, “in the direction of” (God), proseuchomai becomes the most frequent word for prayer. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Understanding, nous (nu’s); Strong’s #3563: the intellective faculty, the understanding – Thayer’s; the faculty of knowing, the seat of understanding – Vine’s
Three Things Praying in Tongues Enhances:
I. Our Ability to Pray When we Don’t Know How to Pray
Romans 8:26-27 (NKJ) – 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
…26 for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily, as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning to deep for utterance (AMP).
II. Personal Edification
1 Corinthians 14:4 (NKJ) – He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.
Edifies, oikodomeo (oi-ko-do-me-o); Strong’s #3618: to promote growth in Christian wisdom, affection, grace, virtue, holiness, blessedness – Thayer’s; lit, “to build a house” (oikos, “a house,” domeo, “to build”), hence, to build anything – Vine’s
1 Corinthians 3:9-10 (NKJ) – 9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJ) – 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 to whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
…21 In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord (a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred in the presence of the Lord (AMP).
22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
III. Praying Mysteries
1 Corinthians 14:2 (NKJ) – For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
Mysteries, mysterion (mu-sta-re-on); Strong’s 3466: a hidden thing, secret, mystery:…a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the understanding;…a hidden purpose or counsel – Thayer’s
1 Corinthians 4:1 (NKJ) – Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
26. THE PREGNANCY CYCLE OF ANSWERED PRAYER
All Christians are instructed to pray. Obviously, some of us are more effective at prayer than others. Yet, this is not due to the fact that God desires for some of us to be successful in prayer and some of us not to be. He desires that all believers have a successful prayer life. Having a successful prayer life requires Biblical understanding of the various types of prayers and various factors related to each of those prayers. When it comes to “Petition Prayer,” greater success is made possible by understanding what we will refer to here as “The Pregnancy Cycle of Answered Prayer.”
I. The Conception
1 John 5:14-15
Confidence, parrhesia (par-rhay-see-ah); Strong’s #3954: Outspokenness, unreserved utterance, freedom of speech, with frankness, candor, cheerful courage, and the opposite of cowardice, timidity, or fear. Here it denotes a divine enablement that comes to ordinary and unprofessional people exhibiting spiritual power and authority. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible
Effective “Petition Prayer” requires our first determining God’s will on a matter before praying regarding that matter. His will is revealed in His word.
… that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. - Amplified
Petitions, altema (ah-eh-tay-mah); Strong’s #155: “occurs twice in the N.T. (Phil. 4:6; 1 John 5:15) in the sense of a petition of men to God” – Zodhiates
1 Peter 1:23
The Word is the seed that births effective prayers of petition.
II. The Gestation Period
In the natural caring mothers take steps to ensure the healthy development of their child, i.e. avoiding unhealthy foods, drugs, and activities that may endanger the child. The same should be true of believers regarding that period of time between which the prayer was conceived and its birth or manifested answer in the natural realm. It should also be noted that unlike human pregnancies, which are of rather established lengths, the gestation period of answered prayer can be as varied as are gestation periods among creation outside of mankind.
During the gestation period of answered prayer we provide for the health of the prayer by praising and thanking God for the predetermined answer to our prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Engaging in habitual sin including unforgiveness, embracing fears and doubts regarding prayer, not casting our cares on God, all of these can be adverse and toxic to our answers to prayers being manifested.
III. The Birth or Manifestation of Answered Prayer
Believing God, praising Him and thanking Him for His answering the prayer, prior to the answer actually being manifested, can be a time of testing or proving. But this time of travail will be followed by the joy of the birthing of the answer, like a woman who has given birth to a child having experienced the joy of the birth of the child quickly forgets the anguish of childbirth.
John 16:24 – Up to this time you have not asked a [single] thing in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]; but now ask and keep on asking and you shall receive, so that your joy (gladness, delight) may be full and complete. – Amplified
1. Why do we need to learn about prayer?
2. Why is it important to learn about the various types of prayer?
3. Where is an excellent place to determine God’s will before praying a “Petition Prayer”?
4. What is the seed that births effective “Petition Prayer”?
5. What are we referring to when we refer to “The Gestation Period” of “Petition Prayer”?
6. Why is what we do during “The Gestation Period” important?
7. What should we do and what should we not do during “The Gestation Period”?
8. How is answered prayer like the joy of birthing a child?
27. ALL MANNER OF PRAYER: WRESTLING IN INTERCESSION
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJ) – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Wrestle, pale (pa-la); Strong’s #3823: wrestling (a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to prostrate his antagonist, i.e. hold him down with his hand upon his neck; the term is transferred to the struggle of Christians with the powers of evil – Thayer’s
“By using the word ‘wrestle’ the old Greek word pale, Paul conveys the idea of a bitter struggle and an intense conflict. In other words, he is describing our warfare with demonic forces as a combat sport similar to those fought in the ancient Palastra! This means when you are fighting demonic forces, there are no rules! Anything goes! All methods of attack are legal, and there is no umpire to cry ‘foul’ when the adversary attempts to break you, choke you, or strangle you.” – Rick Renner from Dressed to Kill (pp 227, 231)
I. Wrestling in Prayer
Colossians 4:12 (NKJ) – Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Laboring fervently, agonizomai (a-go-ne-zo-mi); Strong’s #75: to endeavor with strenuous zeal, strive, to obtain something – Thayer’s
…ever contending on your behalf in his prayers – Conybeare
…always wrestling on your behalf – Wey
Prayers, proseuche (pros-yoo-khay); Strong’s #4335: prayer addressed to God – Thayer’s
Note – proseuche also refers to a place in the open air where the Jews were wont to pray, outside of those cities where they had no synagogue; such places were situated upon the bank of a stream of the shore of a sea, where there was a supply of water for washing the hands before prayer – Thayer’s
II. Those Who Fight for Us as We Wrestle in Prayer
2 Kings 6:13-17 – 13 So he (King of Syria) said, “Go and see where he (Elisha) is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him (King of Syria), saying, “Surely he (Elisha) is in Dothan.” 14 Therefore he (King of Syria) sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God (Elisha) arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my Master! What shall we do?” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he (the servant) may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
Daniel 10:10-14 (NKJ) – 10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. 12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.”
III. Who We Wrestle Against as Noted in Ephesians 6:12:
1. Principalities, arche (ar-kha); Strong’s #746: the first place, principality, rule, magistracy, … the term is transferred by Paul to angels and demons holding dominions entrusted to them in the order of things – Thayer’s
“By using the word arche, Paul emphatically tells us that at the very top of Satan’s domain is a group of demon spirits who have held their lofty positions of power and authority ever since ancient times – probably since the fall of Lucifer.” - Rick Renner from Dressed to Kill (p 236)
2. Powers, exousia (eks-u-se-a); Strong’s #1849: the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates; used in the plural of a certain class of angels – Thayer’s
“The word ‘powers’ is taken from the word exousia, and it denotes delegated authority. This tells us that there is a lower-ranking group of demon spirits who have received delegated authority from Satan to do whatever they want to do, wherever they desire to do it. Thus, the demon spirits in this second group use their delegated authority to carry out all manner of evil and wickedness.” - Rick Renner from Dressed to Kill (p 236)
3. Rulers, kosmokrator (ko-smo-kra-tor); Strong’s #2888: the word-rulers of this darkness – Thayer’s
“Next, Paul mentions ‘the rulers of the darkness of this world.’ What an amazing word kosmokrator and is a compound of the words kosmo and kratos.
When these two words are compounded together into the word kosmokrator, the new word depicts raw power that has been harnessed and put into some kind of order.” - Rick Renner from Dressed to Kill (p 236)
4. Wickedness, poneria (po-na-re-a); Strong’s #4189: depravity, iniquity, wickedness… malice – Thayer’s
“Finally, Paul mentions ‘spiritual wickedness in high places.’ The word ‘wickedness’ is taken from the word poneros and is used to depict something that is bad, vile, malevolent, vicious, impious, or malignant.
It is significant that Paul saves this Greek word until the end of this verse. By doing this, he is revealing to us the ultimate aim of Satan’s dark domain: These demon spirits are sent forth from the spirit realm to afflict humanity in all manner of bad, vile, malevolent, vicious, impious, and malignant ways.” - Rick Renner from Dressed to Kill (pp 238-39)
“It is a spiritual reality that we have more authority than the devil; we have more power than the devil; and we have the Greater One living within us. As I pondered these truths one day, I asked the Lord, ‘If we have more authority, if we have more power, and if we have the Greater One living inside us, why does it seem that the Church is full of so much defeat?’
I will never forget what the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart. “He said, “The reason the Church is experiencing so much defeat is that the devil has something the church does not have!’
I quickly asked, ‘Lord, what is that?’
It was then that the Lord quickened Ephesians 6:12 to my understanding. The word kosmokrator came alive in my heart, and then I understood!
The word kosmokrator (‘rulers of the darkness of this world’) is a military term that has to do with discipline, organization, and commitment. The devil is so serious about doing damage to humanity that he deals with demon spirits as though they are troops! He puts them in rank and file and organizes them to the hilt. Meanwhile, the average Spirit-filled believer often doesn’t stay in one church for more than one year at a time!
Yes, we do have more authority than the devil has; we do have more power than the devil has; and we do have the Greater One living in us. The Church of Jesus Christ is loaded with heaps and heaps of raw power. But at this particular time, that power is disconnected and disjointed by a Body that lacks discipline, organization, and commitment!” - Rick Renner from Dressed to Kill (pp 237-38)
Romans 16:20 (NKJ) – And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Crush, suntribo (soon-tree-bow); Strong’s #4937: To trample upon, break in pieces, shatter, bruise, grind down, smash. This statement in v. 20 alludes to Gen. 3:15. Our victory is a continuation of Christ’s victory when He bruised the head of the serpent at Calvary. Suntribo points to the present victories over the powers of darkness as well as the ultimate destruction of Satan’s kingdom at the Second Coming of Christ. – “Word Wealth” from the New Spirit Filled Life Bible