V-MAIL TO THE FRONTLINE
PRAYER IX: THE HOUSE OF PRAYER
We now understand more clearly that prayer is not just a chore on our “things to-do” list. It is the ultimate “privilege of power” that can change the world! It is the honor of sacrificing our will so that we can be filled with the mind and nature of Christ. The obedience of the disciple of God brings glory to Him and is used as an instrument for His desires to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus referred to the temple in His day as His Fathers “house of prayer” which was actually a shadow of our heart. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For YOU ARE the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell IN THEM, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”. (II Corinthians 6:16) After Jesus died and rose again, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within each of His followers to help us live in Fathers divine reality. But trying to keep people and their emotions from turning the holiness of prayer into a religious “parade” has not been easy.
There are so many Christians that feel they have not been very successful in their calling and in their frustration try to prove their spiritual “status” by publicly demonstrating their praying skills. Those who actually abide in God’s presence do not feel the need to prove or be noticed as someone on a high level of spirituality, neither do they need the respect from others. They understand the difference between being religious and being spiritual. The principal remains true; the Lord saturates us with His anointing when we develop the attitude of humility, but it quickly leaves us when we launch out into the pride of seeking our own glory which could be one reason why many of the traditional church’s have become dry and powerless. Selah.
We must avoid the temptation of being seen and heard so that we will not miss God’s genuine divine appointments. It is fine to pray in public if our heart is submitted to the will of the Father and He is directing us to do it, but we need to be aware that we are not trying to bring attention to ourselves. Many churches will schedule evenings of prayer where the group will gather and each person takes turns praying and that is awesome as long as our motives are pure. In family gatherings, meetings at work or with special occasions, the person praying should be spiritually in-tune with the Father and not try to “push” a personal agenda. It is not easy to block out our own thoughts but we must focus on whom we are talking to. We must pray intimately and sincerely like we are alone with Him.
Yes, of course we want to see our loved ones saved, delivered and filled with the Holy Spirit but this deep “work of the heart” usually will have a much greater chance to succeed if we privately stand in the gap for them instead of making a public announcement about it. If our public ministry is not in obedience with God’s divine appointments it can cause resentment, but if we intercede and wait patiently for Father’s perfect timing, we can relay His message “smoothly” and it will be received with the power of HIS conviction – not our condemnation. The place to pray and fast is in secret. But the pride of our flesh realizes there is no glory when we do things that no one knows about. Even many who pray sacrificially will end up bragging about how they rise in the middle of the night to pray and for how many hours – because they crave the respect and are proud of their spirituality. We can talk with Him privately all through the day and night because He can hear our whispers, thoughts and our songs of love, worship and joy. Our intercession and being alone with Him in the secret chambers of intimacy is in our spirit and mind and will always be the heart of our spiritual communication. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly”. (Mathew 6:6)
Our prayers are not for the purpose of us having the chance to preach to others and see them fall at OUR feet in repentance. We may be used to plant a seed but not see the harvest until we get to heaven, and that’s ok! Praise God, we had the privilege to be a part in their life. We also may be used to lead someone to the Lord that others have been planting and watering for years. Father uses us to stand in the gap for those who need spiritual help, to strengthen and to soften their heart so that He can continue His process of trying to reach them. “And he that reaps receives wages and gathers fruit unto life eternal: that both he that sows and he that reaps may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, one sows and another reaps”. (John 4:36-37)
It is the “drawing” power from God that causes people to sense His presence intervening in their conscience. When God chooses to draw someone it is definitely an act of love and grace. All of us would be lost if He had not drawn us to Himself because our flesh and the old human nature does not think about Jesus neither desires to serve Him. “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me DRAW him: and I will raise him up at the last day”. (John 6:44) I believe that true prayer is our spirit that discerns God’s voice because we would not know what to pray specifically unless we were inspired by Him. As we draw closer to Him, He relays His desires to us which guides us in knowing how to pray. When we are walking in His divine reality we can more easily sense when He is activating and generating His mercy within us to direct His compassion toward those He gives us burdens for. In this we see how crucial it is to constantly seek God’s face and ask to be filled with His love and the agape love for others. Father listens to our fervent prayers and is waiting to change circumstances and perform miracles. He is a covenant keeping God and loves to fulfill the promises of His Word. He longs to see His Word performed and to manifest His power through our faith.
We cannot manifest God’s power when preaching, leading worship, counseling or even teaching Sunday school if we are not flowing in the Lord’s anointing. Our efforts no matter how eloquent or professional will always fall flat when they come from our own abilities. One of the reasons with why many churches have cooled off is because the people have traded the holy anointing for worldly entertainment. Satan wants to steal our vision of Christ by captivating our state of mind with human intelligence and talent. Opening the church doors to the sensuality of the kingdom of darkness has brought in the dangerous leaven of sin. Church members cannot fill their heart with the world day in and day out and expect to live in a constant awareness of God’s presence. The devil’s strategy is to bring tolerance and compromise into the personal lives of God’s people and then it will be a cakewalk to establish it in the church. Selah. “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”. (Luke 16:13) Brother, I do not believe I am serving money! Just because people do not literally bow down to idols doesn’t mean they have their priorities in the right place. It is all about what is important to you in the deepest recesses of your heart. Money represents the materialistic world; all that you have, all that you want and all that you can get! If our “stuff” means more to us than praying for the soul of one of our lost neighbors, then something is wrong and God is trying to get our attention. You do not realize how much money means to you until you decide to give it away. Selah. “Do you not understand, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
Distractions are not coincidences; they are designed to fill our heart with everything but Jesus and living defeated is not always recognized by the ones that are in bondage. It is true, when people are struggling and suffering they are feeling the effects of oppression but there are also many that are empty on the inside and do not discern they are deceived. It is time that we come to the understanding that our bible knowledge, our prayer life and our worship experience is not limited to the four walls of the church. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost, we are the house of prayer and we have God in our heart to teach us and lead us into all truth. The churches cannot be seen as a duty to fulfill all of our spiritual obligations because it is organized and governed by people. We must look to God as the author and finisher of our faith and fix our gaze upon Him! The modern idea of a church service and the everyday walk of a disciple are two different things! It’s easy to look spiritual in church – but the real Christian life is how we react to being ridiculed and persecuted in the world, at work or with our family. The church is for the equipping of the saints to do the work of the ministry in the world. The problem is that just “going to church” can lull people into a coma as they choose to be a spectator and not a participator. There is a time of ministry and patience and even personal counseling that can bring revival and restoration but the merry-go-round of carnality must be conquered within the heart of the one that professes Christ as their Lord. The more we edge away from prayer – the more satisfied we will become to just go through the motions. It is no secret that our earthly development and love of technology is causing a lifestyle of instant gratification and at the same time distorting our spiritual understanding of faith and patience concerning prayer. Sadly, the concept of what God’s Word is all about and the responsibility of interceding is fading away as old fashioned and boring. This attack against praying in faith is not only a result of our rebellious human nature but is deteriorating the courage from the body of Christ that is needed to represent God and His Kingdom. Worldly philosophies are taking the place of spiritual principals because the church is more concerned with being politically correct instead of taking up their cross! “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves”. (Mathew 21:13)