Tag Archives: Prayer secrets

Spiritual Warfare #14 ~ The Power of Stillness

          Practicing stillness before the Lord may be one of the hardest disciplines to master. One thing that seems to make us uncomfortable in prayer, especially in a corporate prayer setting, are times of stillness and quietness before the Lord. Somehow, we feel the need to do something or say something. Yet prayer is a two way communication, not a one way dialogue. If we neglect giving God an opportunity to speak, how are we to receive instruction, direction or correction?

          In a Father / child relationship, the burden of communication falls on the Father, the burden of listening, being attentive, and doing what He says falls on the child. We have a responsibility as sons and daughters of God to take time to listen in silence, purposely giving time to have a hearing ear.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 7 To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;

          Waiting in silent expectation before God is a powerful, fruitful endeavor. Quiet meditation on who He is and His written word is an amazing exercise of our faith that is pleasing to the Lord. Clearing our head of any thought and listening to what the Spirit is saying may be more pleasing still.

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 Lord is always leading us to a place of green pastures and still waters. A place of refreshing and restoration. It is a place we find direction and discernment from the Holy Spirit.

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 stillness that God is known. Reading and studying God’s word helps us to know about God, but spending time in His presence is what we need to actually know Him intimately. God is raising us up to live life from the overflow of His indwelling presence, rather than merely living by the principles in His written word. We desperately need both.

“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 we are pressed on every side with problems, trials, and attacks of the enemy, silent waiting on God gives us strength to stand in faith. It reinforces our trust in His mercies and His power to deliver us out of all our troubles. It purifies our motives and gives us a proper perspective.

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,

          The Lord is speaking a strong word of correction through the prophet Isaiah. The Lord rebuked His people for trusting in Egypt for strength and salvation instead of Him. Isaiah said by the word of the Lord that in returning and rest they would be saved and in quietness and confidence they would be strengthened, but they refused to do it. This was recorded so we could learn from their mistakes.

          Quietness and stillness should be practiced individually and corporately to keep us from trusting in the world and its systems. How many gatherings have we seen where we corporately wait in silence before the Lord?

          We live in an age of distractions and constant movement. It is vitally important that we practice stillness before the Lord to help us cut through the clamor and chaos of our generation. Stillness is the frequency of God. It positions our hearts to hear the still small voice of the Spirit.

How much of our prayer life is spent in stillness?

“Be still and know that I am God

For more teaching on Spiritual Warfare, CLICK HERE.

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

JC

Spiritual Warfare #13 ~ Keeping Watch

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

          What did Jesus mean when He said “Watch and Pray?” Here is a true story from a friend of mine that I believe will help us understand what Jesus was talking about.

While going to a grocery store one day the Lord prompted me to remain in the car while my friends went in to do some shopping. In the car next to me was a little dog sitting in the driver’s seat, staring intently at the sliding glass doors of the store. This 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. Many times people would come out of that door and the dog would get excited until he realized that it was not his master. Then the dog would return to his intense watchful position, not disappointed, but with an obvious understanding that one of these times his master would appear, he had only to wait patiently.

I knew the Lord was Fathering me. My attention was on this dog like his attention was on the door. Through this little dog, the Lord showed me what He meant when He said “watch.”

Eventually the little dog’s master exited the door. His excitement and enthusiasm came completely unhinged! I could hear his happy little whines and yelps as he watched his owner walk to the car. His love and appreciation for his master was unquestionable.

         They could not have been apart for more than 30 minutes, yet the dog greeted his master like he had been missing him for a month. To this dog, his master was the most precious person on the planet. He desperately wanted to be with his master. It was obvious this dog was longing for another opportunity to love on his master with everything that was in him. I wept as I watched this unfold before me.

         After hearing this story of the little dog, I was convicted that we often take the Lord for granted. That our attention is often on the wrong things. We may not fully understand what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12:30) But this little dog understood.

Do we really see Him as our master, the one who paid for us with His very own blood? Are our hearts divided? Our minds distracted? Do we allow other things matter more than what should matter most?

         What would it be like if we saw our Heavenly Father the way this little dog saw his master? What difference would it make in our lives? How would it affect our relationships with the Lord and others? What would it do to our perspectives? How would it affect our faith?

         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 often approach God with our laundry list of needs and wants like He wasn’t serious when He said that.

         The Christian faith is a very focused perspective. A Christian has a narrow way of thinking, believing, speaking and behaving. This cannot be fully realized without practicing watchfulness.

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 the Father do. Jesus was able to do what He did because He constantly practiced watching the Father. Could this be a reason that we don’t see the level of supernatural life that we read about in the gospels and the book of Acts?

         The discipline of watching helps move us from being a child to a mature son or daughter. It is only the mature ones that can receive their full inheritance. (Gal 4:1-2)

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

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

         Being watchful produces an integrity of heart that makes resisting temptation easy. It keeps us prepared to face anything that life would dish out. Watchfulness is one of the most important parts of prayer. When we practice watching, we know better what to pray for and how to pray. We know what to do and how to do it. It positions us to be a vessel that the Father can move through. Watchfulness sanctifies us.

Luke 21:34-36  “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Mark 13:33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

Matthew 25:13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

For more teaching on Spiritual Warfare, CLICK HERE.

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

JC

Spiritual Warfare #12 ~ Praying in the Spirit

          One of the greatest tragedies in the Church is the confusion we have about the Holy Spirit. Even among groups that emphasize the Holy Spirit and His role in the Church, we see different beliefs, expressions, and practices, many of which are contradictory.

We see throughout the Bible that mishandling of holy things brings serious consequences. How much more the Holy Spirit of God living inside us?

It is important that we rightly divide truth concerning the Holy Spirit.

In this lesson we will address the practice of praying in the Spirit and define what exactly praying in the Spirit is. While some limit praying in the Spirit to praying God’s word, others say that praying in the Spirit is only praying with other tongues. Still, others reject praying with other tongues altogether. Our lack of agreement reveals our overall lack of understanding.

Effective spiritual warfare requires an understanding of praying in the Spirit, so lets bring some clarity from God’s word and put all other opinions to rest.

The first thing we must understand is that praying in the Spirit is 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,

          Our instruction is that 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 yes, praying with other tongues. They are ALL to be prayed “in the Spirit.” So, what does that look like?

          Everything God does is relational. Prayer is no exception. Many of us have allowed our devotional time to become mechanical and lifeless. We run through a prayer list and read our daily devotional, never spending time in silent reverence so we can connect with the one we are talking to. Having a daily devotional is commendable. Having a daily devotional and never actually connecting intimately with our Father is tragic. Praying in the Spirit requires communion, not just conversation.

com·mun·ion – the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.

          If all we do is pray from our limited thinking, our prayer life will lack the authority to bear much fruit. I am not saying that praying with our 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 so we can be receptive to the influence of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians makes it clear that we need both.

1 Corinthians 14:15 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 usually starts in the natural, but as we approach God in prayer to partner with Him we should be expecting supernatural utterance to come from our own lips. Praying in the Spirit requires us to connect our thoughts and our attention to the Holy Spirit inside us, praying out, and praying into what rises in our hearts. Praying in the Spirit requires dependence upon His leading and a willingness to follow even when it doesn’t seem to make sense.

          All prayer should should be approached with humility. Hearing His voice and sensing His direction becomes easy when we have a humble heart. Humility gives us a higher perspective and brings us to the place with the greatest light. Everything becomes clear from a place of humility. It is the place of greatest sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Humility before God brings His grace on the scene and our prayers become filled with His divine influence and direction.

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

          When we approach God in prayer, we should recognize that we are here for His good pleasure. It is His will, His agenda, and His purpose we are pursuing, even when we are praying for ourselves. We need His involvement, His instruction, and His direction. When we approach God with an awareness that we have an audience with the Creator of the universe, we are more likely to have a listening ear than simply a running mouth. Mindless recital of prayer should become a thing of the past and effective fervent prayer a lifestyle.

James 5:13-16  Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

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

Concerning praying in tongues, there seems to be confusion and division over this practice more than any other form of prayer. Praying in tongues is clearly a New Testament doctrine and I see no scriptural evidence of it ending or being “done away with.” However I see a lot of misunderstanding and unbiblical demonstration throughout the Church so I will address this. But first, I will share my personal experience with the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In November of 1988, a few weeks after being born again, being completely unchurched, and having had no exposure to any teaching about praying in tongues, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues while alone in my bedroom.

I was reading the book of Acts for the second time and I could see clearly that there was more available to me than what I was currently experiencing, so I prayed, “Lord if there is more of You available to me, I want it.” and the Lord baptized me in His Holy Spirit.

When the Spirit of God came on me I felt amazing power like electricity all over my body and it felt like my tongue was as big around as a soda can. I could hear in my head these crazy sounding words and syllables but at first I resisted saying them out of my mouth because this was all very strange to me. When I finally did yield to what was bubbling up inside of me I said a few sentences in an unknown tongue and then stopped because it freaked me out a bit. I could not deny however, that I had a genuine experience and felt the power of God all over me, I just didn’t understand what happened.

No one taught me, no one prayed over me, no one laid hands on me. I simply saw it in His word and asked for it. God is good!

Here is my concern from over 30 years of observation. Many that claim to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit speak a sentence or two and just repeat the same thing over and over. This is the limit of their “prayer language.” I have seen some people repeatedly give “messages from the Lord” by tongues and interpretation, but using the same few words in tongues over and over again, maybe changing the order of the words a bit. However, the interpretation is always different.

I am not saying these people have not been baptized in the Spirit, I just question their understanding and their expression to the body of Christ. I believe that some things are out of order.

Are they being done with an understanding that they are handling holy things and representing a Holy God? Is it being done in the fear of the Lord? Are these things edifying the Church? It is a serious thing to speak publicly and claim these words are from the Lord.

My understanding of scripture is that praying in tongues is necessary, but should be limited in a public setting unless accompanied by an interpretation. 1 Corinthians 14 addresses this issue.

1 Corinthians 14:22-25 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you.

How we represent God in any setting is a serious thing. We are responsible as individuals be an example to others to the best of our ability. We are all at different places in our journey with the Lord and should not be too quick to follow others examples unless we are confident that they represent the Holy Spirit well.

We can all grow in our understanding, our humility, and our fear of the Lord. Let us not put God in the miniscule box of our limited experience. Instead, lets ask Him to elevate our experience and understanding to match the Bible.

Praying in the Spirit is a beautiful thing. It is yielding to the influence of the Holy Spirit, letting Him define us and shape us as we pray in the Spirit with all prayer and supplication.

Pray without ceasing! 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

watch

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

The Power Of Stillness

 StillnessGod-Speaks.png

          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.

Be-Still.png

“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