Category Archives: PRAYER

Praying in the Spirit explained

          There seems to be confusion in many church circles about praying in the Spirit and what exactly praying in the Spirit is. Many Charismatics limit praying in the Spirit to only praying in tongues. This is not true. Praying in the Spirit is not just praying with other tongues but praying ANY prayer under the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit. Look at our instruction in Ephesians.

Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

          ALL prayer is to be done “in the Spirit.” The prayer of salvation, prayers of sanctification, prayers of dedication, prayers of intercession, prayers of repentance, the prayer of faith, prayers of thanksgiving and adoration are all to be prayed “in the Spirit.”

So, what does that look like? What does this mean? How do we get there?

          Everything God does is relational. Prayer is no exception. Many of us have allowed our devotionals to become mechanical and lifeless. We run through our prayer list and read our daily devotional to fulfill our religious duty and never even take time to be silent and connect with the one we are talking to. Having a daily devotional is commendable. Having a daily devotional and never actually connecting intimately with your Father is tragic.

Powerless, fruitless, and lifeless is prayer apart from the Spirit.

          I am not saying that praying with the mind and natural understanding is wrong, but let this be a launching point, a positioning of the heart and mind to a place of stillness and quiet. 1 Corinthians makes it clear that we need both.

1 Corinthians 14:10-15 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 

          Praying in the Spirit can start in the natural. As we approach God boldly in the natural, the anticipation of God speaking to us and leading us should bring us great joy, accompanied by a reverent fear of the Almighty.

          In prayer, we must arrive at a proper place of humility so hearing His voice and sensing His direction becomes easy. The place of humility is the place with the greatest light. Everything becomes clearer from a humble perspective. It is also the place of greatest sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

          Understand when communicating with God that we are here for His good pleasure. It is His will, His agenda, and His purpose we are pursuing. Not ours. Truly, we can do nothing of ourselves. We need God’s involvement. We need His instruction. We need His direction. If we approach Him with the awareness that we have an audience with the King of the universe, we will do less talking, and much more listening.

          If we arrive at a place in prayer with the perspective I just described, we are praying in the Spirit whether it be in a known or unknown tongue.

          Let us not put God in the miniscule box of our limited understanding. Instead of limiting Him to our experience and understanding of His word, lets ask Him to elevate our experience and understanding to match the Bible. Let Him define us and shape us by praying in the Spirit with ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION.

Love Him well! Be Blessed!

For more teaching on Spiritual Warfare, CLICK HERE.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

The Discipline of Watching

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Understanding Watchfulness

         What did Jesus mean when He said “Watch and Pray?”

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

          Just what are we watching for?

         I remember going to a store one day and remaining in the car while my friends went in to do some shopping. In the car next to me was this little dog sitting in the driver’s seat staring intently at the door of the store. This little dog would not take his eyes off that door. Every time the automatic doors would slide open the little dog’s ears would perk up. He would stand with his front paws on the steering wheel panting, wide eyed and tail wagging expectantly. Time and time again people would come out of the door that was not his master and the dog would return to his intense watchful position, not disappointed, but with an obvious understanding that one of these times it will be his master, he had only to wait patiently.

watch3.png         As I watched this dog the Lord showed me through this simple illustration that this is what He is talking about when He said “watch.” Eventually the little dog’s master did exit the door. His excitement and enthusiasm came unhinged! I could hear his happy little whines and yelps as he watched his master walk strait to the car. His love and appreciation for his owner was unquestionable.

         They could not have been apart for more than 30 minutes, yet the dog greeted his owner like he had been missing him for a month. To this dog, his master was the most precious person on the planet, and could not bear to be apart from him for any length of time. It was so obvious this dog loved his master with everything that was in him.

         What would it be like if we saw our Heavenly Father this way? What difference would it make in our lives? How would it affect our relationship with Him? What would it do to our perception of life? How would it affect our joy? Our peace? Our faith?

         After seeing this little dog I am convinced that we often take the Lord for granted. That we don’t really relate to Him like He is the creator of the universe, the master of ALL. Our hearts are divided, our minds are distracted and we allow other things matter more than what should matter most.

         The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all our needs will be met. (Matt 6:33) Yet we continue to approach God with our laundry list of needs and wants like He wasn’t serious when He said that.

         The gospel of Jesus Christ is about living a life with a very narrow, focused perspective. To maintain that perspective we must be imitators of Jesus. Jesus said this:

John 5:19-20 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

         Jesus ONLY did what He saw. Jesus was able to do what He did because He constantly practiced watching the Father. He truly did “seek first the Kingdom of God.” Could this be a big reason that we don’t see the level of supernatural life that we read about in the book of Acts?

         The discipline of watching moves us from being a child/servant to a mature son. It is only the mature sons that can receive an inheritance. (Gal 4:1-2)

         The discipline of watching creates an awareness of God that puts all of life in proper perspective. The more we keep our attention and focus on Him, the clearer we become on who He really is and who we really are to Him.

         Being watchful produces an integrity of heart that makes resisting temptation easy.

         Being watchful keeps you prepared to face anything that life would dish out to you.

          Being watchful produces humility and He gives His grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5James 4:6-7)

          Being watchful may be the most important part of prayer. When we practice watching, we know what to pray for and how to pray. We know what to do and how to do it. We position ourselves to be a trusted vessel that the Father can use to flow through.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Maintaining an Awareness of God

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          Have you looked back on your life and realized that there were times that you felt closer to God than others? The anointing was stronger, God seemed to be moving more in your life and you were noticeably more focused on Him? I have experienced this myself and questioned God about it. His answer was simple, yet profound. He said: “At those times you were more aware of Me, more conscious of Me.”

          I began to see the importance of maintaining a “God Awareness.” Furthermore, I realized that the responsibility of maintaining that awareness fell to me. With that realization I began to think about what produces and awareness of God and what pulls me out of that awareness.

          2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The principle is this: “WE BECOME WHAT WE BEHOLD.”

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Matthew 6:22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, (single, clear) your whole body will be full of light. 

          What we continually look at has a profound effect on our lives. We must be particular about what we allow ourselves to behold. Our perspective determines the amount of light we have, how bright we shine, and how full of light we really are.

Presence vs. Principle

          Another trick the enemy uses is to get us to substitute knowing God, for knowing about God.

1 Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

          The word “knowledge” in the above verse indicates an intimate knowledge that unites you with the object or person it is talking about. It indicates a personal experience with instead of merely knowing about. There is a huge difference.

          If we read a biography on the life of any given person, we can acquire a great deal of knowledge about that person, but unless we actually spend time with the person, we can’t honestly say that we know them.

          As a people, Christians have been duped into believing that knowledge of God’s word is the equivalent of knowing Him personally. We understand the principles and grasp the concepts of faith but we don’t really know God because we don’t spend time in intimacy with Him. Talking to Him, asking questions, listening for His response, being still before Him and quietly meditating on who He are all roads that lead to intimacy with Him. We can’t begin to wrap our head around who He is by only reading His word. We must also spend time in the light of His presence. Both are needed to mature, and both are needed to effectively live and walk by faith.

          We learn the principles of God’s amazing Word and then we try to live by these principles in our own strength. If we spend as much time with God as we do learning about God our awareness of His abiding presence will produce a walk of faith that keeps us living and abiding in holiness. Instant obedience becomes natural and resisting temptation becomes effortless.

          If Jesus appeared to us physically, and was with us every minute of every day, would we have a problem resisting sin? Would we have a problem obeying His word? We would be so acutely aware of our every action and word  that we would only do and say those things that pleased Him. This is how Jesus lived His life. He set the example for us to follow.

John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 

John 8:28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.

awareness exper.jpg          The more time we spend alone with our Heavenly Father, the more awareness of His presence we will walk in throughout our day.

          Awareness of God births the character of God, the nature of God, and the faith of God within us. Awareness of His abiding presence makes us more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading. Awareness of God helps us to see others how God sees them and therefore opens the door for us to minister Christ to them more effectively.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

The Power Of Stillness

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          One of the hardest things we will ever do in our prayer life is …NOTHING! Ok, nothing isn’t quite the word we are looking for. Silent Waiting is a better way to say it.

          Waiting in silence, expecting God to reveal Himself to us, is a powerful and fruitful endeavor. Quietly meditating on who He is and what He has spoken to us in His word or by His Spirit is an amazing exercise of our faith and is very pleasing to our Father.

Psalm 23:2-3 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

          The Good Shepherd, by the Holy Spirit, is always trying to lead us to a place of peace and stillness. It is a place of refreshing and restoration. It is a place to find direction and discern the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Stillness-is-power

          Waiting on God renews our strength.

          The practice of silent meditation upon God and His word fills up our spiritual gas tanks and empowers us to run well.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

          It is in the Stillness that God is known. Reading God’s word and listening to preaching and teaching helps us to know about God, but spending time in His presence is what we need to actually know Him intimately. God is raising up a people in this generation that will live life from the outflow of His presence, rather than merely living by the principles in His word.

“In our stillness before Him, He prepares us to host His presence.”

Psalm 62:1 Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:5-6 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

“Silently waiting on God anchors our soul.”

          When life throws us a curve ball, when things get tough and it seems like we are pressed on every side with problems, difficulties and even attacks of the enemy. Silently waiting on God and thinking about His goodness, His greatness, His faithfulness and His amazing love for us gives us strength to stand in faith and trust in His tender mercies and his power to deliver us out of all our troubles.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not,

          Quietness and stillness should be practiced individually and corporately to keep us from trusting in the world and its systems. The Lord is speaking through Isaiah a strong word of correction to His people for trusting in Egypt for their strength and salvation instead of Him. Unfortunately, they would not have it.

          In this age of distractions and constant movement it is vitally important that we practice stillness in God’s presence.

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“Peace is the frequency of God. Being still before the Lord tunes us in to this frequency to hear the still small voice of the Spirit.”

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC

Sacrificing Our Authority In Prayer

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          I learned a very valuable lesson about authority in prayer and I would like to share it with you.

          During a prayer meeting at our church a faithful member of the prayer team came forward with a typed out prayer for our president that she said the Lord gave her the day before. She was allowed to read the prayer and we agreed with her. It was a very moving, scripture based prayer that was loving, considerate, compassionate and powerful. It immediately got the nod of approval of all in the room. It was a prayer that inspired confidence and faith in all who prayed it. This lady had obviously heard from the Lord.

          As those in the group were commenting about how powerful it was, the Lord spoke to me directly and said, “Why didn’t you pray for your previous president in this manner?” I immediately knew what the Lord was talking about. I remembered the many times we lifted this former leader up in “prayer” and I was reminded of some of the opinionated requests, the tone, the attitude, and the complete disregard for this man as an individual and a leader of our nation. We weren’t praying out of love for our president, or even love for our country. We were praying against him, not out of love, but out of selfishness and self righteousness. Our motives were wrong, our heart was wrong.

          I shared what the Lord had showed me and the entire prayer group received it and we all repented before God.

imagesKTTXQM40          When praying for yourself, or others, its important to consider your motives for praying. This may seem overly simple, however there are some areas in our thinking and believing that can be ever so slightly off kilter, and therefore making our prayers ineffective.

Luke 18:9-14  Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

          This is a powerful example of sacrificing authority because of selfish pride. The Pharisee presented himself as better than “other men.”  Notice in verse 11 that “he prayed thus with himself”. In other words God is not even listening, he is praying to sound spiritual and be heard by others.

          Although this sounds terrible, it gets much worse!

James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

imagesQ0UZ0FDP          When we pray from a place of bitterness, envy, and selfishness we become a landing strip for every evil work. We actually invite demonic activity into our life and have absolutely no effect on what we are praying for.

          Lets look at the rest of this passage in James to see where our heart needs to be when we pray.

James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

imagesQPX51M5D          Prayer that is made from a place of love, mercy and compassion is a prayer that is heard and answered by God. Prayer made from a place of selfishness is not heard by God, but is an invitation to demonic influence.

          Pray for people, never pray “against” people. Praying against a person is an invitation to confusion, demons, and every evil work. It is earthly wisdom learned from the fall of man and perpetuates the enemy’s agenda.

          If  we check our hearts and motives before we approach God with prayer and make sure we are praying from a healthy place of love for the person, we can be confident that our prayers are effective.

Thank you for visiting truthpressure.com. I hope this has been a blessing to you.

JC