School of Prophesy 25 July 2020.
“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.” (Romans 8:26)
We are weak, and we need the Lord’s help
How can we presume to know how to pray, when God has an infinite variety of ways to respond to a situation? We so often rush into prayer, either in conversation with somebody, or in a meeting, without recognising that we are weak and we need the help of the one “who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is.” We need to learn from King Asa, who prayed “Lord, there is no one besides Thee to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength.” (2 Chron 14:11) Every time we pray we are in Asa’s position, as the enemy will be at work to hinder our prayers. We cannot expect to overcome the enemy without the Lord’s help.
Unity of purpose
When the disciples prayed “of one accord” in the Book of Acts, the earth shook. Being of one accord is not just saying “Amen” to another’s prayer, but being committed to seeing the same answer. When we pray together we would often to better to put more time and more openness to the moving of the Holy Spirit into fewer prayer topics. We do not know what we should pray for as we ought – but when the Lord starts to guide us it is an opportunity to strengthen the bond of our unity in the Spirit by standing together in fervent (see below) spirit-led prayer.
Effective prayer comes from a heart that is wholly after God
David’s constant cry was to be pure. The last three verses of psalm 19 encapsulate his attitude:
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19: 12-14)
Solomon did not have David’s passion for purity of heart, and in the end he fell.
After Asa’s great victory he enjoyed a period of peace, then he faced another attacking army. This time he took the gold from the Temple and paid the King of Aram to come to his aid: instead of turning to the Lord again, he acted on his own. From that time he went into decline.
“The Eyes of the Lord Range Throughout the Earth to Show Himself Strong on Behalf of Them Whose Heart Is Fully Committed to Him” (2 Chron 16:9)
We can see the gold in our temples as an image of our commitment to keeping our hearts pure before God. If we want to be effective prayer warriors this is pivotal to our lives: we must not give away our gold for the sake of expediency.
The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 3:5)
Prayer must be fervent – wholehearted, earnest, desperate (Jonah would have been quite desperate in the whale, for example). How fervently do we seek God’s purposes, for the church, for other people? How desperate is our intercession? Revival tends to start when a small group of people cry out to God in desperation, and push through in prayer until they see the answer, which may be delayed because of God’s timing or because of enemy opposition, as in Daniel 10:12.
Thirst for God
“As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God? (Ps 42:1-2)
John Lake (Healing evangelist, Founder of the Healing Rooms, saw thousands saved and healed) said that our starting point has to be a thirst for God. The 1904 Welsh revival started with three young ministers being driven by an unquenchable thirst for God, and as the revival spread the meetings always began with a prayer for God to send His spirit, and then send more of His Spirit. 90 years later the outpourings at Toronto began with the same prayer: “More, Lord!”
God has so much more – but if we want God’s more, there must be less of our agendas and our assumptions. Holiness requires sacrifice. Do we have time for More – or is it time for dinner? Or bed? Life in the Spirit is not convenient for the flesh.
Fire and Wind combine (A word given to Jake on 22nd July)
“Only once my people’s hearts are on fire, will I send my wind. It’s my breath that will spread the fire, but my people’s hearts have to be set on fire first. Remember, fire isn’t a selective force, so anything that is not of me will be burnt up. What I am doing is dangerous and uncontrollable, unlike any wildfire you have seen or head of.”
Effective, fervent prayer is born out of the fire.